The Native Plant Gardening Committee is part of the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. NPR-Climate Change & Bloom Time
Do you want a garden that is teeming with life? A garden that is constantly changing? A garden that looks stunning? Now add a garden that saves water, energy, effort, and money! It’s time for you to consider incorporating California native plants in your garden to attract butterflies, birds, and other wildlife. Native plants will give your garden a unique sense of place.
This Committee can help establish and maintain programs that help gardeners and home owners who want to learn how to grow California native plants in their landscapes. And we need help building it! Some day you’ll visit this site for plant lists and useful articles on the propagation, growth, care of native plant gardens, and where to see Native Plants in public areas.
The Native Plant Gardening Committee has been a group of people who can communicate thru email often and occasionally meet. The group contains a mix of beginners and seasoned professionals, and is a great place to learn. Newcomers are particularly welcome. We meet periodically. Sign up to be notified of our next meetings. In 2010 we began planning for our first Native Plant Garden Tour which produced Gardens Gone Native in May 2011. This year we have begun planning our first full day Native Plant Gardening Workshop. We expect to hold our event in Sept 2012. We are looking for someone to Chair or Co-Chair this Committee. To join the committee or more, please contact Chris at
Bringing Nature Home Workshop Fall, 2012 - Powerpoint Presentations
Beginning Your Transition Design Principles
Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery Maintenance of Native Plants
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If you have a question,
and I'll forward it to our experts.
POLLINATION Q: What native plants in our area have porose-poricidal anthers? I realized that these plants can only be pollinated by native bees (including bumble bees) because they require thoracic vibration for pollination, and since honeybees can't do that. (Julie Serences)
A: About 6-8% of flowers worldwide are pollinated that way, with the percentage varying by region. Australia is particularly rich in vibratory pollinated flowers. In California that kind of pollination characterizes the families Solanaceae (Datura wrightii) and Ericaceae and the genus Dodecatheon (shooting stars). Ericaceae may have the most California buzz-pollinated species since it includes Arctostaphylos (manzanita, madrone). Other California genera where it’s been recorded are Lupinus, Papaver, and Pedicularis but not necessarily in their California species. Pollination is little known for many of our species so garden observations can help fill gaps. (Glen Holstein)
WHAT'S in BLOOM and WHAT to PRUNE
‘What’s in Bloom’ is what to look for in your garden or out in Nature and is based on reports received.
The ‘What to Prune is a brief list of maintenance chores that could be done during this month/season.
Winter ‘Blooms’ - by Chris Lewis
Winter is such an interesting season in nature and your garden! As much as I love blossoms, I also love leaves - the incredible variety in shape, feel, color, and fragrance! So in Winter and along the American River Parkway you can appreciate our evergreens such as: Achillea millefolium, Arctostaphylos visida, Artemisia douglasiana, Baccharis pilularis, Ceanothus cuneatus, Dudleya cymosa, Frangula californica tomentella, Heteromeles arbutifolia, Lupinus albifrons, Mimulus aurantiacus, Muhlenbergia rigens, Rhamnus ilicifolia, and, Quercus wislizenii, all the amazing ferns- Adiantum jordanii, Dryopteris arguta , Pellaea andromedifolia, Pentagramma triangularis, and Polypodium californicum.
(Evergreens by common name: Yarrow, Whiteleaf Manzanita, Coyote Brush, Buckbrush, Liveforever, Hoary Coffeeberry, Toyon, Silver Bush Lupine, Sticky Bush Monkeyflower, Deer Grass, Hollyleaf Redberry, and Interior Live Oak. Our ferns are: Maindenhair fern, California Wood fern, Coffee fern, Goldback fern, and the ever-so-descriptive- California polypody.)
‘What to Prune’ -Winter Maintenance - by Alison Shilling
At this time of year your native garden may seem to be resting, but in fact roots are spreading, and early bloomers such as Manzanita [Arctostaphylos spp.] and Ceanothus are preparing their buds. Now is the time to cut back to near the ground fall- flowering plants such as California Fuchsia [Epilobium canum], Narrow-leaf Milkweed [Asclepias fascicularis] or Yarrow [Achillea millefolium], as well as grasses such as Purple Needlegrass [Nasslla pulchra] or the dramatic Giant Wild Rye [Leymus condensatus]. Evergreen shrubs such as Toyon [Heteromeles arbutifolia] and Coffeeberry [Rhamnus californica] can be pruned if needed, though radical shaping should be spread out over the year. Hoe up young weeds around shrubs and scatter seeds of annuals, but, as these sprout, remove slugs and snails – daily if possible – since many, like Lupines and Baby Blue Eyes [Nemophila menziesii], can disappear overnight.
Programs launched by the Native Plant Gardening Committee:
Gardens Gone Native, a tour of Gardens with Native Plants
Bringing Nature Home, a workshop on How to transition to a Native Plant Garden
Creating Habitat in Our Backyards
by Julie Serences
When you look out at your garden, what do you see? Perhaps you see all those carefully chosen, healthy plants that have finally reached the just the right height for the colors/textures to really sing with each other. A garden lives and breathes as a whole and I am grateful to be a part of that process, but I would like you to consider the next level of gardening experience. read more
Tell Bayer to stop killing bees
Yes, the complaint is valid. The science is in. See the Xerces Publication - Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees? One of the biggest problems is the recommended application rates for products for home garden usage are many,many times agriculture rate recommendations. Do they kill bees out right? Probably not, but the sublethal dosages disrupt the bees' neurological systems and larval development in harmful ways.
Here are highlight of a study done in Germany at reported in the Cal-IPC Newsletter:
Non-native and native plant species use different strategies to be successful. German researchers compared features such as lifespan, type of pollination, and habitats occupied for native and non-native plants. They found differences, such as non-native plants typically flowered later than native German species and were more likely to be self-pollinated, therefore avoiding competition for pollinators. On the other hand, native plants tended to live in a wider variety of habitats, while non-natives specialized in fewer habitats. These differences persisted even for species that were introduced centuries ago. According to one researcher, “These results are an argument in support of the view that the need to differentiate between native and non-native species in ecological systems remains”. The study was published in Ecology Letters. (Science Daily, May 4, MORE)