Highlights of Orange County’s Native Garden Tour

CNPS Orange County sponsored, hosted, organized (whatever you want to call it!) a Native Garden Tour on May 8, 2010.  The tour was very well-attended (numbers are coming in) and the weather was Southern California perfect!  After hosting duties at one of the gardens, I was able to visit 5 gardens out of 11, and here are some photo highlights from my day.

Meandering trail in dramatic canyon garden

Continue reading

Orange County Native Garden Tour – Saturday, May 8, 2010

If you are in the Southern California area, you will not want to miss the Orange County Native Garden Tour, sponsored by the Orange County Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Eleven outstanding gardens will be open to the public for one day only, on May 8, 2010, from 10 am to 4 pm, and this event is FREE to all enthusiasts.

Registration is required.  Click on this link for full descriptions of the gardens and for registration details.

Please spread the word! We are counting down less than four weeks until this fantastic event!

Seasonal Color With California Bulbs

Triteleia laxa

Ithuriel's Spear (Triteleia laxa) in a San Jose garden

Some of the most reliable plants in my garden are California native bulbs. They bring seasonal color and variety to the garden, and give it a sense of place (“This is California!”) and a sense of time: they are the markers of spring glory.

Native bulbs are especially appealing to lazy gardeners like me. They need minimal effort at planting time (no need to dig big holes) and no effort thereafter, ever! They come up with the winter rains, and flower in spring. They disappear during summer and return in winter, year after year. To me they are the ultimate in low maintenance gardening!

To succeed with California bulbs, follow these simple rules:

Continue reading

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

On March 12, I had the pleasure of visiting the premier native botanic garden in the Los Angeles area, on a beautiful sunny day.  The nearby snow-capped peaks were framed by large trees and flowering shrubs.

Many gardening ideas jumped out from all corners of the garden.  The container garden exhibit included this great hybrid Monkeyflower spilling out of a very large pot.

Mimulus 'Ruby Silver' (Hybrid Monkeyflower), Photo by Laura Camp at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Continue reading

Seasonal Color – February

The month of February has rushed past us already.  Here are a couple of California native plant color highlights from the past month….

Pink-Flowering Currant, Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum, Photo: Laura Camp ©Tree of Life Nursery

The Gooseberries and Currents, Ribes spp., have continued their color show that started in January.  Pictured here is one of the stunning cultivars of Pink-flowering currant, Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum, Continue reading

Seasonal interest in the garden-January (3 of 3)

Finally a couple of January highlights that aren’t Manzanitas or Gooseberries!

Cneoridium dumosum, Photo by Laura Camp ©Tree of Life Nursery

Cneoridium (bless you!) (just kidding, that’s actually pronounced with a silent “c”), or Bushrue, from the coastal sage scrub or chaparral environments, is a very slow-growing small shrub in the garden, and it provides a bright white accent in the garden in January with it’s small vivid flowers.  Some people experience “contact dermatitis” when handling this plant, so take care.

Continue reading

Seasonal interest in the garden-January (2 of 3)

Continuing my look at plants that are blooming or providing other seasonal interest in the southern California garden in January, next up is Ribes, the gooseberries or currants.

Ribes species are varied and great for the shade garden.  Ribes malvaceum, R. sanguineum, R. aureum are among the currants, which have no thorns.  They have wonderful flowers in white, pink or yellow in early spring and generally are summer dormant.  Ribes indecorum, the White-flowering currant, is the earliest to bloom in Southern California.

Continue reading