Native Plants and the Vegetable Garden

summer squash love bumblebees!

What does vegetable gardening have to do with California native plants? Plenty, it turns out. When I first became interested in native plants, my philosophy was that it would be a good idea to use water, time and chemicals (if needed) on the edibles and use ornamental plants that wouldn’t need so much from me.… Continue reading Native Plants and the Vegetable Garden

The Latest on Bees

Last week I attended a webinar hosted by the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program about what’s new in the world of our bees here in California. The basics: 60-70% of flowering plants require animal pollination. More than 80 crops require animal pollination. Some agricultural/garden crops require specific types of pollinators. For example,… Continue reading The Latest on Bees

A garden of another color

Our newer, water-saving landscapes are helping us break free of plain old green in the garden. With many plants, the traits that make them water-thrifty, also give them interesting foliage color and form. We can use this to our advantage by creating a “wow!” garden based on the monochromatic style. Monochromatic gardens have been around… Continue reading A garden of another color

Milkweed for the California Garden

Almost everyone has heard that our beautiful Monarch butterflies across the United States are in decline. Fortunately, many gardeners and property owners, including farmers, are taking steps to help the population rebound. Habitat loss is the main reason for the butterfly decline, according to the experts. It’s also at least partly responsible for the decline… Continue reading Milkweed for the California Garden

Spring in the CA native plant garden

Late-winter is one of my favorite seasons in the garden.  Plants that were dormant in summer and fall look refreshed and green now. One of the showiest is silver bush lupin (Lupinus albifrons), with great stalks of purple or pink flowers that you can see from a distance. Bush lupin like to grow in colonies,… Continue reading Spring in the CA native plant garden