California Native Plant Society - Orange County

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California Native Plant Society - Orange County

Fall Native Plant Sale 2015

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CNPS Orange County Chapter Membership Appreciation Day! Click here for flyer
October 17 from 9 am - 4pm at Tree of Life Nursery (Directions)
- Renew your membership (or sign up to be a member) and receive a free plant or seed packet
- CNPS members receive a 10% discount at Tree of Life Nursery
- The general public is welcome. Get expert plant selection help from CNPS members!

Chapter Meeting: October 2015

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How to Wild Your Garden with Native Plants

Speaker: Barbara Eisenstein

Date: Thursday, October 15, 2015 (doors open 6:45 pm, Speaker at 7:30 pm)

Location: Duck Club, Irvine (Directions)

Thinking of getting rid of the lawn or simply improving your existing landscape? This talk will present practical approaches to transitioning from traditional resource-intensive yards to more natural, interesting, and fun gardens featuring low-water-use native plants. There will be tips on landscaping and gardening with native plants and examples of a variety of sustainable native plant gardens. If you have heard Barbara speak before, then you know you will enjoy the great information as well as her humor and easy manner. Of course, for those who already have native plants in their home landscapes there is always more to learn from Barbara’s presentations.

Bring your questions and notepads!

Barbara Eisenstein is a California native plant gardener, horticulturist, writer, and photographer. She lives in South Pasadena and is a former native plant garden hotline expert at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. She is now an RSABG Research Associate, a board member of the San Gabriel Mountains Chapter of CNPS, and founder of Friends of the South Pasadena Nature Park. To follow her gardening adventures, check out her blog, Wild Suburbia (

Conservation Report: July/August 2015

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•AT TALBERT:  See, contact

•AT PETERS CYN:  See, contact

ACTION NOW:  If you are familiar with either of these parks, please contact its link, above, to have input into the planning for its future.

ALISO CREEK WATERSHED:  GOOD NEWS!!!!  The new Aliso Canyon Preserve protects two properties, totaling 151 acres, in southerly Laguna Beach. The Preserve is the final open space connection between the south end of the Laguna Greenbelt, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, and the sea. It features generally unsullied terrain of chaparral, grassland, and coastal sage scrub, and allows for several important wildlife movement corridors. Several special status plant and animal species are known within a one-mile radius of the study area.

This land was acquired as part of the Orange County Transportation Authority's Environmental Mitigation Program. The program was negotiated by a coalition of conservation groups led by Friends of Harbors, Beaches, and Parks, to be part of the Measure M2 approved by Orange County voters in November 2006.


Native Gardener's Corner: July/August 2015

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Native Gardener’s Corner—Members’ Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

This column is a regular newsletter feature offering chapter members and local experts a chance to briefly share information on many things related to gardening with natives. Answers are listed in order received.

Our question for this newsletter is: What strategies are you currently using to save water in this drought (gray water, special irrigation heads, smart controller, etc.) and how are those efforts working for you?”

Nancy Harris - “We installed a hot water recirculating pump years ago. It can be set on a timer for the hours you need hot water. We take Navy showers and not every day. Washing clothes every two weeks with new machines. Our whole yard is planted in drought tolerant plants. Unfortunately we have a pool and vegetable garden, which negates the saving of a lot of water. If we ever get some rain we can install a rain barrel for the vegetable garden.”

Joe Gautsch - “Keep water away from drains and the street. Water collection has become 2ndnature for me now. I harvest rainwater on three corners of my house and use it to water outdoors. I keep a 5gallon pail in the shower to catch water until it warms up and use it as toilet flush. I use the dishpan to capture reusable water in the kitchen. I also capture the water from my washing machine and use it on my natives, succulents and trees out back. I am considering a cistern outside of the back bathroom to catch wastewater from the shower and vanity but just in the dream phase now.”


2015 Field Trips

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Almost all field trips are free and open to all, but read the trip outlines to be sure they fit your needs and physical abilities. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, appropriate trail shoes, a camera, a notepad and lots of enthusiasm. A copy of the recently published Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mts. by Robert Allen and Fred Roberts is also very helpful. If you have other field trip suggestions or would like to lead or assist with a field trip, we would love to hear from you. Please email

Important – always check this website for current trip information.

Rain cancels – check this website after 7 pm the evening before the trip for final weather and trip updates.

   Upcoming trips (click on a trip to expand entry and see details). Past trips are at the end:

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden – Sun., Nov. 8. $10 donation requested.

A great way to kick off the fall native planting season. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is an 86 acre museum of plants—a living collection. The Garden’s curated living collection contains more than 22,000 plants, representing nearly 1,400 species, hybrids and cultivars of native California flora. To take care of this vast collection, an accession system is vital. Plant curation, like art curation, involves the organization of information about its components. We will be guided into some special areas of the garden and discuss some hidden secrets of the collection. Behind-the-scenes stops will be a big part of this trip and will include the seed bank, which houses over 1,500 species, the library and a tour of RSA’s massive herbarium. The herbarium houses over 1.1 million specimens and is the tenth largest in the U.S. Be sure to visit the Grow Natives Nursery following the visit.

Meet 9 AM at the entrance booth at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, 1500 N. College Ave, Claremont. For those who are not already members, there is an $8 entry fee ($6 for seniors or students). For this visit we are also requesting a $10 donation from attendees. This donation will be divided between the botanic garden and OCCNPS. Please bring cash, no credit cards or checks for this donation. Bring comfortable shoes, camera, hat, notepad and enthusiasm.

Physical Difficulty: Easy. Short walking distances. Plant Intensity: High. Time: Approx. 3 hours.


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Our newsletter is published six times a year and is the best source of information about current activities. The newsletter also contains useful and fun articles.


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