Local Garden Tours
Get inspired, see what’s possible
See what's possible in your garden
California’s native plant gardens increase wildlife corridors in fragmented habitats, preserve our natural ecosystem, and promote biodiversity in our built environments. Native plant gardens help restore nature, one garden at a time! By walking through an assortment of native plant gardens we see a variety of plant families used in new and interesting combinations, view mixes of plants that we may not have considered, and hear how others deal with challenges.
Virtually visit a variety of native plant gardens to learn how you can create your own beautiful, low water, native plant garden that supports local pollinators and wildlife. On these tours, you may have the opportunity to:
- Learn about the importance and benefits of native plants to local ecosystems
- See the beauty of California native plants in a garden
- Discover native plants and design ideas for your location
- Hear from garden tours hosts their tips and tricks for native plant gardening
Virtual native garden tours give us all the opportunity to enjoy the variety of ecosystems in the large space that is California.
– Ann-Marie Benz
Archive of 2020 garden tours. See 2021 California Native Plant Week
CNPS Riverside-San Bernadino
You can visit three Redlands, CA gardens through videos below.
The chapter purposely planned yards in different stages, each one replacing some former water-thirsty lawn. Click on the link to watch the 3 to 8 minute videos.
- Master Gardener Brenda Spoelstra’s is brand new, planted in January. The design approach for this California Native garden was to use the architecture of the plants, to mix height, color, and texture for the viewer by beginning with a taller manzanita variety centrally located, surrounded by color and a small walking path to a bird bath. This newly planted garden will fill out over the coming years.
- Master Gardener Betty Richards’ beautiful yard illustrates 3-5 year growth. Betty’s yard is a great example of transitioning a 1980s landscape of front and back lawns to a low-water use garden, with primarily California native plants in the front yard and a mix of California natives and other water-wise plants in the back. Most was done in the fall of 2015. This maturing garden features plants flowering year-round, which attract hummingbirds as well as native bees.
- And Linda Richards – is the mature (some would say overgrown!) 10+ year old yard. In early 2009 Linda and her husband replaced a dead lawn with two dragon trees, and many California native plants, including different species of manzanitas, ceanothus, and buckwheat, plus Nevin’s Barberry that used to be prevalent in Redlands. Initially planted for drought tolerance, the California native plants have established a rich habitat garden that ushers in butterflies, birds, bees and other beneficial bugs. The backyard features a steep slope, paths and benches among an established orchard and a mix of 80+ year old natives and non-natives.
Thanks to Ed Harrison at Riverside-San Bernardino California Native Plant Society (CNPS) chapter for getting these up.
CNPS Orange County Chapter
View photo galleries of Orange County’s most beautiful native gardens.
CNPS Sacramento Valley Chapter Gardens Gone Native
Starting April 25, see photo galleries of gardens in the Sacramento and Yolo County area.
East Bay Bringing Back the Natives - April 26, May 3, May 10
This year’s Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour was online and three days instead of one. You can watch all of the fun on the BBNG YouTube channel.
Learn more about the tour here.
CNPS Santa Clara Valley Chapter Going Native Garden Tour - May 2, 9, 16 and June 13
GNGT gardens located throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo counties will have virtual tours with more photos and new videos. For more information and register for email updates, visit gngt.org.
CNPS Yerba Buena Chapter Virtual Garden Tour - May 10
Go online to celebrate the local wonders of biodiversity native plant gardeners are tending in their San Francisco and San Mateo county backyards.
-Amber Hasselbring, Executive Director of Nature In The City, will show us how to put biodiversity in our backyards
-Matt Ritter, author of California Plants: A Guide to Our Iconic Flora, presents wild plants you can integrate in your cultivated garden
-Mike Belcher, butterfly aficionado, gives us a live look at the pipevine swallowtail butterflies he raises in the city
-Matt Zlatunich and Bob Hall walk us through their private home gardens
-Sutro Nursery’s Millie Calzada, will shows us what’s blooming in the nursery and discuss the nursery’s new plant pick-up policy
Theodore Payne Foundation Native Plant Garden Tour
Theodore Payne Foundation kicked of the virtual garden tour season on a sunny weekend in March. See the recorded videos of Los Angeles County gardens.
“Natives Live Here” sign
Make sure to get a sign for your own garden to show your neighbors the beauty of our California native plants!