Native plants in summer

People new to native plants often express concern about the dreaded dormancy period they are reputed to exhibit in summer. Many tell me that they like native plants but want to have year around color. My reply, brown is a color, is usually not appreciated… But it is! Actually, a garden of carefully selected native […]

Visit your nature park

It was a beautiful day at the nature park. There were lots of butterflies, plants are greening up, and the weeds are making a big come back. In fact, there were more castor bean seedlings than we have seen in years and years. Check out the following pictures for butterfly, plant and weed id.


Good habitat requires more than a group of native plants. To understand what makes good habitat it is important to look at the garden from the perspective of the wildlife you wish to attract.Habitat provides conditions in which animals can live, reproduce, and raise their young. These include: 1) food, for both adult and young, […]

Wilding Your Garden

I recently gave a talk on habitat gardening titled, Wilding Your Garden. Yes I know that the very title is controversial since the word wilding has a rather unpleasant meaning in the urban context, but I kept it because it comes closest to conveying the message of the talk. This fierce-looking insect, a robber fly, […]

Work Reduction Work

Real quick post before going off to the beach. In my ongoing effort to be a lazy gardener I am always looking for changes that will result in less work. This week I did a big one. There were three very old xylosma shrubs that formed part of a hedge next to the sidewalk. It […]

Do as I say, not as I do

It has been cool and foggy so I set up the sprinkler to water the garden strip between the fence and the sidewalk. As I mentioned in the post on summer watering, it is much better to water when it is not extremely hot and dry. First of all, less water is lost to evaporation. […]

Take a look

I’m trying to write about my trials and tribulations pruning sage (Salvia). While looking for pictures of my wild sages as they mature I came across this: a lynx spider feasting on a wasp. Had to stop and upload it.

October GBBD

Middle of the month of October and not much in bloom. Among the natives in my garden, only buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), coast goldenbush (Isocoma menziesii), California fuchsia (Epilobium), and California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica) are blooming. But it is the quiet of the garden that is so appealing right now, here and even more so […]