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.

This issue’s question was “What are your favorite gifts for native gardeners? Answers listed in order received.

Ron Vanderhoff: “A gift membership to CNPS of course. If they already have that (and who doesn’t), then a membership to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.”

Chuck Wright: “My favorite for the serious gardener would be tools like the ones I use. The best pruner would have to be a Felco, and I would include a small sharpening stone and light weight oil. For a lopper I've had great success with the Fiskar. My favorite weeders are screwdrivers, large and small—and a linoleum knife that I have sharpened on all edges. Oh, and a must would have to be a kneepad. Now if they had all that stuff I'd be stumped and I'd go read this column.”

Rama Nayeri: “My favorite gift to a native gardener would be a gift certificate to a spa. As a designer I find myself either sitting at the computer way too much (which is hard on the shoulders) or being out in the field placing plants (which becomes challenging on the back). The spa getaway would be a sweet relaxing brief retreat from the daily grind.”

Bob Allen: “A gift certificate to Tree of Life Nursery!”

Orchid Black: “Gift certificates for plants! Seeds! Books! Good gardeners already have tools and gloves.”

Sarah Jayne: “My gift this year for my favorite native gardener will be the new edition of California’s Wild Gardens (CNPS $34.95). Not only is it an inspiration for the garden, but also a guide to places one needs to visit. Who my favorite native gardener?—me!”

Dori Ito: “I'm of two minds—on the one hand, the fellowship of native plant lovers is a wonderful thing, nicely facilitated by a gift membership to what else?! CNPS! On the other hand, considering the hardship and heartbreak that some native species put us through in trying to cultivate and nurture them, a good wine can go a long way towards alleviating some of that pain and frustration!”

Dan Songster: “Native plant books signed by author at one of our events (if possible). Oh, and for some reason I always think gardeners should have a nice coffee mug with character, whether they drink coffee or not.”

Thanks to all who responded! Next issue’s question: “What is the dominant style or theme of the native garden you have installed (or are planning to install) to replace your lawn? (Examples: Community based design. Woodsy, habitat, local natives only, native/Mediterranean mix, formal, cottage, rock, children’s, or eclectic!?)”
Email your responses to Dan Songster at . Please remember to keep replies brief so we can include most of the responses!

- Dan Songster