We’re a group of people who love growing California native plants in their gardens. Some of us are people who are just starting to garden with native plants and want more information. Others are seasoned gardeners with years of experience creating, maintaining and enjoying native plant gardens.
We’re on Facebook!
Our focus is on horticulture, not botany. We’d like to advance knowledge of growing, propagating, maintaining and installing native plants in built environments.
This is a place to share information, learn about what others have done and find out more about which California native plants do well here in the Sacramento Valley.
Native plants support the environment. They typically don’t use much water, provide food for birds, bees and butterflies, and don’t require a lot of care because they’re already adapted to our climate.
Native landscapes can transform often sterile urban and suburban landscapes into viable microhabitats that save water, create habitat and potentially restore dwindling butterfly and bee populations. With a minimum number of native plant gardens, we can potentially transform sprawl into sustainable landscapes that restore at least some of our lost ecosystem – maybe even boost sagging monarch butterfly populations.
Our mission is to increase understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of native plants. By getting involved in the horticultural side of native plants, we can hopefully increase knowledge in the following issues:
- best cultural practices for growing natives in the Sacramento area. Much cultural information is targeted to coastal areas, not our hotter, colder inland valley
- best maintenance practices for native plants: when to prune, thin. Which plants to leave alone, which to manage more actively (mimic Native American plant management?)
- evaluating sources of native plants: which provide best adapted plants, which have banned bee-killing neonicitinoid pesticides, which are growing interesting plants?
- information sharing on different species, cultivars and native plant hybrids: which perform well, and how to tell them apart
- matching successful native plants with soil types, microclimates and watering practices to better predict performance in new installations
- techniques for propagating native plants in the garden
- share information on the ecological benefits of natives: which butterfly food plants are being eaten, which bee species are visiting the flowers, how native gardens have affected biodiversity and habitat
- address the lack of local availability of larger quantities of native plants, necessary when installing new gardens. Is there a solution? Can we create a “plant bank” or other system, or will this depend on a new commercial nursery?
- Do citizen science related to propagation, maintenance, pest control, insect or bird populations, increasing the survival rate of butterfly larvae, soil treatment, mycorrhizal inoculation and other topics
- investigate design options using native plants: suitability for new applications such as green walls, lawn replacement, native alternatives to commonly used exotic ornamental plants…
If you garden with California native plants – or would like to, please attend a meeting!
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