At Home with Natives 2012: Solutions for Nature-Friendly Landscaping

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saddleback College
28000 Marguerite Parkway
Mission Viejo CA

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Creating and growing beautiful water-wise gardens with California native plants has never made more sense.  Our native plants are as lovely as any; require fewer pesticides, fertilizers, and maintenance; and yes, most need far less water than “normal” landscapes.

The theme of this symposium is making it easier to create and take care of these native landscapes.  After all, there is a learning curve involved when using native plants in our landscapes and this symposium brings together some of our best local experts who will help you increase your knowledge about successfully using native plants, no matter your level of expertise.

    • Joshua Link and Aron Nussbaum:  When the Lawn is Gone
    • Orchid Black:  Green Native Gardens and Water!
    • Bob Allen:  Local Natives and the Bugs, Butterflies, and Birds They Attract
    • Ron Vanderhoff:  Color with Natives in the “Off” Seasons
    • Barbara Eisenstein:  The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth--Caring for a Native Garden
    • Ask the Experts: Panel of our Speakers plus Rob Moore and Dan Songster

Goto 'Program Details' tab for a detailed symposium schedule.

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Symposium Program

8:00-8:45   Registration and morning refreshments
8:45-9:00 Welcome   •Robert Farnsworth, Chair, Horticulture and
  Landscape Design Department
•Brad Jenkins, President, Orange County Chapter,
  California Native Plant Society, and Symposium
9:00-10:00 When the Lawn is Gone: Design Ideas
for the New California Landscape

The common notion of landscaping more
often than not reflects an aesthetic rooted
in the tradition of European gardens.  
Carpets of lawn, topiary walls and annual
floral knickknacks adorn much of the
human realm in the United States, turning a
blind eye to regional identity, local climate,
and the far-reaching impacts of landscape-
as-usual.  But in recent years, a growing
groundswell of consciousness has prompted
many to set aside the lawnmower and seek
out the vibrant, compelling natural heritage
at hand.  By bridging the gap between
domestic and wild, the definition of outdoor
living has been modified to include… life.  
Southern California is ripe for such a
movement, a thoughtful celebration of the
true California landscape.


Joshua Link and Aron Nussbaum of
Ecotone Studios

Founding partners of Ecotone Studios.
Landscape architects and urban designers; broad
experience ranging from campuses and parks to
urban infill development, residential gardens and
habitat restoration.  
Joshua Link: Bachelor of Landscape Architecture,
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis
Obispo; LEED trained.
Aron Nussbaum: Master of Architecture and Real
Estate Development, Woodbury University, San
Diego; Bachelor of Landscape Architecture,
California State Polytechnic University, San Luis
10:00-10:15   Break
10:15-11:15 Green Native Gardens and Water!
Must all our rainwater run down the storm
drains?  Sustainable native garden designs
must respect and treat water as the rare life
giving element it is.  Let’s see ways to keep
this valuable resource and even collect it for
use: swales and earthworks that are meant
to keep water on site, appropriate
rainwater harvesting, and practical
Orchid Black
Native Sanctuary (formerly Pitcher Sage Design)

blog and portfoilo at:

•Principal, Native Sanctuary, which offers native plant
  consulting, habitat creation and sustainable design
  services to the greater Los Angeles area.
•Writer and lecturer about native plants, water-saving
  strategies, and sustainable gardening.
11:15-12:15 Local Natives and the Bugs,
Butterflies, and Birds They Attract

Bob will discuss a sampling of southern
California natives that are good in the
garden, and their interactions with other
living things: reptiles, birds, butterflies,
beetles, and bees.  Interactions include
food, shelter, behavioral displays, and
Bob Allen

•Biologist, author, photographer and native plant
  gardener/landscaper.  Teaches classes and workshops
  in those subjects.  
•Master of Science in Environmental Studies, California
  State University, Fullerton; Bachelor of Science in
  Environmental and Systematic Biology, California
  Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.
•His long-awaited book on the wildflowers of Orange
  County is currently in press.
12:15-1:30 Buffet lunch in the Greenhouse   •Book sales by OCCNPS
•Displays by sponsors
1:30-2:30  Color with Natives in the “Off”

Let’s dispel the myth that natives are only
colorful in the spring.  Whether it’s flowers,
stems, foliage, or fruit, our natives have color
throughout the year--even in summer!  Ron
will show us examples of colorful native
plants and give us tips on how to grow these
wild beauties in our own gardens.
Ron Vanderhoff

•Lifelong southern California gardener; professional
  horticulturist and leader in the local gardening
  community as an educator, writer, lecturer and
•Nursery manager at Roger’s Gardens; leads a push for
  sustainable gardens in OC with the California Friendly
  Garden Contest (which OCCNPS helps sponsor).
•Has contributed articles to all forms of media; a
  special contributor to The Sunset Western Garden Book.
•Member of OCCNPS’ Board of Directors.
2:30-3:30  The Whole Truth and Nothing but the
Truth: Caring for a Native Garden

Get the real scoop on caring for a native
garden.  No garden, not even a native one, is
maintenance free.  Barbara will cover:
•Basic maintenance topics such as pruning,
  pest control and irrigation.
•How native gardens differ from standard
•Tips for creating a native garden that
  requires the amount of care you want to
  provide--how and when to work in the
  native garden for greatest impact with the
  least effort.
Barbara Eisenstein

•Native plant gardener, horticulturist, speaker, writer,
  and blogger.
•Founded and leads Friends of the Nature Park, a
  citizen stewardship program in South Pasadena.
•Horticulture Chair for the San Gabriel Mountains
  Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.
•Former Horticulture Outreach and Education
  Coordinator at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden,
  where she may have answered your questions on the
  garden hotline.
3:30-3:45 Break    
3:45-4:45 Ask the Experts
Panel of today’s speakers plus Rob
Moore and Dan Songster,
moderated by Ron Vanderhoff.

Images of different landscapes and gardens
will be projected as the prompts for
discussion about good design, planting
techniques, plant selection and spacing,
maintenance issues, irrigation ideas, art in the
garden, and more.
Now is the time to ask your questions about
any and all aspects of native gardening and






Rob Moore

•Principal, California Native Landscape Design, offering
  landscape design/consultation services throughout the
  southern California region.
•Has written for the Association of Professional
  Landscape Designers' magazine The Designer and for
  the California Native Plant Society’s journal Fremontia.
  Currently a Contributing Editor for Fremontia.
•Served as Sustainability Co-Chair for the Greater LA
  District Association of Professional Landscape
•Member of OCCNPS’ Board of Directors.

Dan Songster

•Over 35 years experience in landscaping and
  gardening in Orange County.  
•Member and Past President of OCCNPS’ Board of
•Member of the California Native Plant Society’s
  statewide Horticulture Committee.
•Charter member of the California Invasive Plant
•Director of the Golden West College Native Garden
  in Huntington Beach since 1985.
4:45-5:15 End of Symposium Social   Cookies and tea, and another chance to buy
books, in the HS Courtyard