Native Gardening Advice

Confused about where to start, or how to address particular challenges? These articles will help you find answers. We also recommend checking out the Calscape Garden Planner, the Calscape App to find out what grows in your area, and the CNPS website. This has an extensive information on gardening tips, techniques, tours of native gardens, and the Naturehood 101 videos that provide in-depth information on subjects as diverse as Healthy Soils, Plant Selection, Lawn Replacements and Watering.

 

Why Garden with Natives

Why Garden with Natives

By David Long

California native plants evolved over thousands of years in our soils and climate. California has one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. These range from seashore to high mountain top; from coastal areas with a temperate Mediterranean climate to deserts with dramatic temperature extremes including some of the hottest on earth.

read more
From Lawn to Flourishing Habitat

From Lawn to Flourishing Habitat

By Laura Lovett, Gardening with Natives Committee Chair

Lawns cover more acreage in home landscapes than any other plant and provide the least resources for other creatures. In most of California, a lawn will only thrive by irrigating it with expensive and often limited water. Consider removing your lawn and creating habitat by planting a more complex variety of species. If you include California native plants in that mix, your landscape will provide a thriving habitat while requiring less water, less energy, and no pesticides.

read more
Biodiversity Needs You

Biodiversity Needs You

by Laura Lovett and Rachael L. Olliff-Yang

Here are some ways you can increase your garden’s diversity, extend flowering time, and help pollinators thrive in your home garden.

read more
Gardening During Drought

Gardening During Drought

By Laura Lovett and Kristin Jakob

Native plants are a great choice for our gardens. They need a fraction of the water that is required to maintain traditional gardens—approximately 30% of what is needed for most non-native ornamental shrubs

read more

Yard Conversion: from Pool to Habitat

by Stacey Pogorzelski

The yard conversion of a multi-generational family home came with many challenges. The removal of a pool and old deck freed space for edibles and native bunchgrasses near the house.

read more
Planting A Community in the Novato Wetlands

Planting A Community in the Novato Wetlands

By Stacey Pogorzelski and Tiffany Higgins

A dozen people gather on a levee in the Hamilton wetlands. They walk in pairs down the side of the levee toward a seasonal wetland where shorebirds and ducks feed in water left by the last rain. The volunteers measure off a square meter of earth, mark the corners with flags and sprinkle seeds of California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and Douglas’ mugwort (Artemisia douglasiana), and others. They then walk gently on the area to press the seeds into the soil.

read more

Articles Index

Why Garden with Natives

By David Long

California native plants evolved over thousands of years in our soils and climate. California has one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. These range from seashore to high mountain top; from coastal areas with a temperate Mediterranean climate to deserts with dramatic temperature extremes including some of the hottest on earth.

From Lawn to Flourishing Habitat

By Laura Lovett, Gardening with Natives Committee Chair

Lawns cover more acreage in home landscapes than any other plant and provide the least resources for other creatures. In most of California, a lawn will only thrive by irrigating it with expensive and often limited water. Consider removing your lawn and creating habitat by planting a more complex variety of species. If you include California native plants in that mix, your landscape will provide a thriving habitat while requiring less water, less energy, and no pesticides.

Biodiversity Needs You

by Laura Lovett and Rachael L. Olliff-Yang

Here are some ways you can increase your garden’s diversity, extend flowering time, and help pollinators thrive in your home garden.

Gardening During Drought

By Laura Lovett and Kristin Jakob

Native plants are a great choice for our gardens. They need a fraction of the water that is required to maintain traditional gardens—approximately 30% of what is needed for most non-native ornamental shrubs

Yard Conversion: from Pool to Habitat

by Stacey Pogorzelski

The yard conversion of a multi-generational family home came with many challenges. The removal of a pool and old deck freed space for edibles and native bunchgrasses near the house.

Planting A Community in the Novato Wetlands

By Stacey Pogorzelski and Tiffany Higgins

A dozen people gather on a levee in the Hamilton wetlands. They walk in pairs down the side of the levee toward a seasonal wetland where shorebirds and ducks feed in water left by the last rain. The volunteers measure off a square meter of earth, mark the corners with flags and sprinkle seeds of California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and Douglas’ mugwort (Artemisia douglasiana), and others. They then walk gently on the area to press the seeds into the soil.

Handouts to Download

Planting Natives in Spring
Planting Natives in Fall
Sowing Wildflower Mix
Growing Salvia from Seed
Planting Native Bulbs
Maintenance Topics from CNPS