Jens Jensen

image courtesy jensejensenthelivinggreen.com


Deirdre Kennelly, our CommunicationsDirector, passed along this interesting item:
The film Jens Jensen The Living Green, will be screened in  Los Angeles on April 27th, with Earth Day.
Jens Jensen pioneered the use of native flowers and plants in his designs for midwestern parks and became known as the Dean of Landscape Architects. Today his story resonates on a high level as cities struggle to deal with expanding populations and decreased green space, water and many issues here in California.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

The City of Encinitas Proclaims California Native Plant Week! Thanks to Betsy Cory and Dave Varner, members of the San diego Chapter, the City of Encinitas worked up a very nice proclamation in honor of our annual native plant celebration.

Click on this link to see the proclamation full size: 2015-03-11_City of Encinitas Proclamation_Native Plant Week

lax-logo-top-2015I’ll be speaking at the LA Expo – which is an industry conference for the landscape industry, with thousands of commercial design elements, lighting, structures, hardscapes and specialized products. Why are we there? To spread the message amongst the industry that is most affected by plant material choices!

We look to garden with natives, and in order to do that, we are supported by a ton of commercial interests: plant growers and sellers, gardens, designers, people with ancillary products, even companies that sell soils and synthetic chemicals.

And they all need to hear our message. So, I love to go out on the road and evangelize for our viewpoint. These sessions are fun and eye-openers. It is great to see how the industry is slowly but surely embracing better gardening practices.

And we are at the center of that!

The LA Expo is this March 12th & 13th at the Long Beach Convention Center. IF you want to check it out, I’ll be speaking at 9 AM on the 12th. Stop by and say hello.

A nice resource


Dodecatheon hendersonii – courtesy of Henry W. Coe State Park website

Our buddy, Patrick Pizzo, send us this link to a very colorful website about wildflowers: http://coepark.net/pineridgeassociation/plants-animals-geology/wildflowers?catid=6

Their photos are all really clear – for example, the one shown here is  Dodecatheon hendersonii – I wish I could capture an image that radiant.

Please pass this along to those who love clear examples of nature’s best.


CLCA LISJust a quick note to follow up – we recently gave a seminar at the California Licensed Contractors Association Landscape Industry Show in Ontario and the response was very encouraging. This fee-based seminar was a hit. Over 215 people pre-registered and, with on-the-spot additions, we had over 50 people in attendance.

The key point here is that these were licensed contractors – the people responsible for maintaining all those lovely gardens we have. And they were interested. And they asked great questions. And they want to know more.

This is a really good trend.


SR 163

Photo Courtesy of Our City blog

San Diego has an older freeway, called the 163, that zips through the downtown area, part of Balboa Park and on out into the eastern part of the city. I can remember that freeway from when I was a little girl – I was enamored of how attractive it was, compared to all the other highways I’d been on.

Sadly, it has gotten a little less attractive over the years. Budgets, congestion, and other issues. Whenever a project starts up to “improve” it, the public weighs in with criticisms and alternatives. “More natives,” “more grass,” “don’t spend any money,” and other rallying cries go up.

The most recent effort is a $6.7 million project adding trees, shrubs, turf and a new irrigation system. The grass has stirred up comment from, of all places, the San Diego Taxpayers Association! CNPS members locally have also made their voices known, but this surprising “environmental” group has an interesting slant on this.

Their vice president, Sean Karafin, says, “Caltrans is putting the equivalent of a fairway on the freeway where no one will ever play golf, go for a walk or play…The freeway, at a minimum, disrespects everyone that’s trying to cut back water use.” And he went on to comment that his estimation is that it could cost up to $70,000 each year to water that grass.

The head of the local building preservation society, SOHO, suggested that grasses were OK because there had once been grasses in that valley. But the grasses that CalTRANS will be using aren’t native. Hmmm.

Very messy.

At the end of the article, though, there was one quick reference to the idea of removing the freeway altogether! That also caught my attention. The author had a link to this article in Gizmodo. It discusses cities worldwide that have removed freeways and I was very excited to see these projects. The Los Angeles River is being revitalized and parts will run free-flow. The San Diego River is getting its due respect. So these large reversals are possible. The idea of removing an entire freeway is exciting!

LIS CLCAI am speaking at the CLCA Landscape Industry Show tomorrow – the convention is in Ontario on Wendweday and Thursday. My presentation is California Native Plants For A Water-Challenged Future


This seminar is about reducing landscape irrigation needs, minimizing chemical use, and gardening for sustainability (building habitat and reducing green waste) are all important trends that benefit from the use of California native plants. This session will explore some of the myths of native plants; will show beautiful, low maintenance examples of native plant gardens in managed landscapes as well as individual residences; and explain the benefits of native plants over the broader Mediterranean or “drought-tolerant” plant selection categories.

Participants will learn about the key California native landscape plants that provide extended bloom, color and reliability; How maintenance strategies in managed landscapes differ from conventional practices; IPM the easy way – using native plants; The key benefits of California native plans over other plant selections, such as Mediterranean and drought-tolerant selections; How native plants are best adapted to exist in difficult soil conditions; Key resources for more information, training, marketing campaigns and partnering opportunities to create a new future; and the new CNPS Certification Program for licensed professionals.


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