Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blogging natives...

Shamed back into the blogging saddle...

A few weeks ago, Barbara Eisenstein gave my blog an unsolicited plug during her lecture on Parkway Gardens. (Thank you, Barbara.) Still, I procrastinated in getting back to the keyboard. And, now this...

Here is a new blog from Nopalito Nursery. Well, never mind the plants, the Nopalito guys must have learned to clone themselves! They already run a labor-intense, sustainable, start-up business, offer an educational, often entertaining lecture series, and support other sustainable ventures in their community. Now, as they approach the end of year one, they find time to blog! Whew! Nopalito rocks!

Well, it might be nice to be a quarter of a century younger! In my fourth or fifth career, and probably my third childhood, I may not have the stamina of three guys running a native plants nursery, but I can do my little part to spread the word.

Below is a mostly native garden really beginning to grow in after only a few short months. Planted (at the "wrong" time) in late spring, early summer, I think this garden benefitted by luck and our rather cool summer weather. Still a work in progress, neighbors are loving the look -- a huge improvement over the broken fence and dead lawn it replaced!

Pictured are seedheads of Muhlenbergia rigens (Deer Grass) in front of Salvia apiana (White Sage). In the background is Salvia 'Pozo Blue' (Grey Musk Sage), with a row of Festuca californica (California Fescue), a bunch grass, along the sidewalk. Irrigation is by on-line drip tubing, covered by mulch, with an occasional wash-off of foliage by hose-end spray.

Fall planting season is just around the corner, my fellow Angelenos! Rather than worry about odd/even, Monday/Tuesday (how many minutes can my sprinklers run?), check out Nopalito Nursery in Ventura for water-wise, climate-compatible plants. To learn more, follow their new blog. Seriously, let’s quit watering the street, cap off or at least repair those errant sprinklers, and do like the Nopalito Nursery slogan says! Native plants, especially those local to your community, are compatible with soil in which they exist in nature. Free (hopefully) from chemical fertilizers and pesticides in wild lands, they won't need chemicals in your garden either. Certainly, the ocean does not need fertilizer and pesticides, contributed by lawn irrigation run-off. (Thank you on behalf of “Sponge Bob” and friends!)

For more information about effective ways to replace lawn and other water-guzzling plants with appropriate native species, check out these blog posts for more information:

On sheet-mulching: Native Sanctuary

On parkway gardening: WildSuburbia

If you're on the other side of town or you don't fancy a trip to cool, coastal, Ventura to get away from September heat, you can also find lots of great native plants and information at Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley, celebrating its 50th year.

In my next post, I'll talk about herb gardening, something really fun to do with kids!

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