California Native Plant Society
Orange County Chapter
Chapter Meetings............................................ 1
President’s Message........................................ 2
Native Gardener’s Corner................................ 2
Nature Writings............................................... 3
Conservation Report........................................ 3
Bolsa Chica Field Trip...................................... 4
Garden Tour 2010............................................ 4
Caspers Park................................................... 4
Pendleton School Garden................................ 5
|September 3--board meeting|
|September 12--Chapter Council meeting, San Diego|
|September 17--Chapter Meeting|
|September 19--Bolsa Chica Field Trip|
|October 1--Board Meeting|
|October 15--Chapter Meeting|
|October 24--Fall Plant Sale|
Location, Time, Contact
UCI Arboretum; Thursdays 10-1; Celia Kutcher, 949-496-9689
Golden West College; Tuesday & Thursday, 10 – 1; Dan Songster, 949-768-0431
|Chapter meetings are held at the Duck Club in Irvine on the third Thursday of the month, September through June. Doors open at 6:45PM, Circumvistas allenii (Bob’s Look-around) 7:15 – 7:30, program starts at 7:30.|
Directions to the Duck Club:
Speakers: Debbie Evans and Gene Ratcliffe
If you want to take the bold and ecologically responsible step of replacing your lawn, consider featuring water-smart and habitat friendly California native plants! Fall is here, so now is a good time to plot the demise of your lawn and the creation of your new native garden.
Two dynamic and engaging speakers from Tree of Life Nursery will combine aspects of the nursery’s popular three-part series—the “Replace Your Lawn” workshops—and will cover the basics of tearing out the lawn, planning a native landscape and choosing plants appropriate for your site and conditions.
For those who already have native gardens, this is a great opportunity to bring along a friend or neighbor who might be leaning in that direction. From neat groundcovers to riotous color to gorgeous shrubs, native plants will be on hand to illustrate their many uses in the garden. Everyone can pick up new ideas! Let’s all start out the year focusing on making Water Less native gardens a reality all over Orange County.
Debbie Evans is a graduate of UC San Diego in Linguistics, and as much as anyone in this state literally grew up with native plants. She now promotes replacing lawns and many other topics as the Marketing Coordinator at Tree of Life Nursery.
Gene Ratcliffe is a graduate of UCLA with a degree in geology, and of Cornell University with a masters in ethnobotany. She is an experienced, articulate and engaging teacher, whom one of her students recently dubbed “an awesome powerhouse of information!”
Speaker: Greg Rubin
Thinking about going native but worried about what the neighbors will say? Afraid that natives are too difficult, look unpleasant half the year, constitute a fire hazard, or are just too easy to kill? Have we got a guest speaker for you!
Native horticulturalist and owner of California's Own Native Landscape Design (calown.com) Greg Rubin will share his vast experience with natives and his creativity. This special presentation will reveal many of the how-tos of native landscaping while exploring the little known and often surprising aspects of working with native plants in a landscape. Greg will dispel many of the myths related to native landscapes, showing successful summer planting of natives, natives landscapes that look great in summer and fall, native plantings that thrive with overhead watering, and native landscaping that can be extraordinarily fire resistant!
Greg Rubin, an aerospace engineer turned native landscape contractor, has been developing California gardens since the mid-80s and in 1993 started his own highly regarded design company, He has installed over 500 landscapes in Southern California and was part of the team that won the 2008 Grand Orchid Award for the Lux Art Institute in Encinitas. Greg is a well-known and passionate advocate for native plants and his work has been covered in Los Angeles Times, Sunset, Pacific Horticulture, and California Gardener. He has been a frequent guest of radio and television programs and regularly speaks to groups throughout southern California. Come to have fun, take notes, and be inspired by this dynamic speaker!
|In July, the Chapter board spent a summer Saturday reviewing our progress and goals. We had a very long and involved discussion about our big goals and priorities as a Chapter, not limiting ourselves to just this upcoming year, but working to identify the actions that would really make a difference to our county and our state. It’s a long list of exciting possibilities, and we’re still working on our final goals and focus.|
Water Less Gardening with Native Plants
We did agree that a major goal this year is to emphasize California native plants in our gardens and public spaces. We want to plant them, we want to help you plant them, and we want to let all of Orange County know that native plants are the best option for landscaping. Right now we are calling our campaign “Water Less Gardening” – but do you have a better idea for a title? Let us know. Our first two general meetings of the year will focus on native plant landscaping, and our plant sale is October 24th at Tree of Life Nursery. Don’t forget to put that date on your calendars, and look for more activities throughout the year focusing on native plant landscaping.
Orange County is Special -
Secondarily, in our general meetings and newsletter we will be emphasizing the special people and places that grace Orange County, especially our wildlands, parks and conservancies. Orange County is very special, and our beaches, hills and parks deserve to be explored. These days many of us are staying close to home, and enjoying our nearby attractions can take the place of more exotic vacations. Come to our general meetings, explore, read the newsletter, and we’ll let you know where you can take your family and friends, where the peaceful outdoors still exists right in our own backyard, and the beautiful and unique plants and animals that are a part of Orange County.
Do you have a special place in Orange County or very nearby that you’d like to share with us? Write an article or contact me to discuss how we can get the word out.*
Finally, the board has talked and talked, to each other and to you, but we would also like to hear your feedback. We are formulating a survey of our members and friends, which will be announced through email and take place online. Please keep your eyes open for the announcement in the next month, because your input is extremely valuable and really needed. If you are not on our email list yet, take a few minutes to contact any board member (see contact information in this newsletter) or the state CNPS office so that we can get our monthly eNews to you. We are so very grateful to all of you, our members, and look forward to seeing you at the upcoming monthly meetings and activities.
—Laura Camp, President
*see Laura’s article on page 5
This column will be a regular feature offering a place to share information on favorite plants, design tips, weed control methods, pruning techniques, gardening tools and anything else related to gardening with natives.
For this first column we simply contacted a few friends and chapter members and got their response to a simple question: What is your favorite native tree (and why)? Enjoy these responses (Edited for space-Sorry!)
Sycamore has visual appeal because of the free-form shapes it assumes, the patchy white bark, gorgeous over-size leaves. As a yard tree, it provides shade in summer when shade is needed and light in winter. I enjoy the tree without leaves as much or more than the tree with leaves. Sarah Jayne
My favorite tree is Lyonothmamnus floribundus ssp. aspleniifolius, the Santa Cruz Island Ironwood. (Also called Fern-leaved Catalina Ironwood) Several attributes recommend it for the urban garden. Its upright form doesn't consume an entire garden; its bark is coarse, which creates interesting designs as it sheds. The leaves, like the bark, are not just smooth but have texture; and are fern like and evergreen. This combination makes for a beautiful tree. Alan Lindsay
Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia), because it supports so much life, a big, mature Coast Live Oak creates a home for so many other living things: numerous birds, small mammals, a myriad of insects, fungi both above and below ground, etc. Wildflowers and grasses often grow at its margins, enjoying the protection it provides. A world of living things is created just by the presence of an oak tree. And, like me, it can be as happy in a garden as it is in the wild. Ron Vanderhoff
My favorite tree is rapidly becoming Chilopsis linearis, especially with some of the newer seedless varieties and the exceptional flower colors that are being introduced. It is quite adaptable, fairly fast growing, very heat tolerant, floriferous for a long period of time, and quite disease resistant. Selections like "Burgundy" seem to have fewer seed pods during dormancy. I like the lacy foliage and the scale of the tree. It seems equally happy as a standard or multi-trunk. Greg Rubin
My favorite native tree for home landscape use is toyon, which can be trained as a small multi-trunk tree. Most native trees are ultimately too large for the average-size home landscape. Toyon as a small tree is in scale with such a landscape. It looks good year-round, important in a close-up setting. Its flowers attract native insects & its fruits attract native birds as well as providing native "holly" at Christmastime. It doesn't mind some summer water, so can take conditions near turf if drainage is reasonable. Celia Kutcher
Sycamore, Platanus racemosa, has great bark, fall color, and is deciduous—emphasizing our changing seasons. It even has fuzz on leaves for hummingbird nest material. It’s majestic. Laura Camp
My favorite tree is the Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii). Besides the beauty of its summer leaf sparkle, it's a completely useful tree as well—root, bark, bud, catkin, seedpod. Good news for travelers, these trees signal water is near in otherwise arid landscapes. In a cottonwood oasis, birds find an upper-story streamside home, while below float drifts of cottony summer snow. And how could you sing “Don't Fence Me In” without this tree? “I want to be by myself in the evening breeze, listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees.” Thea Gavin
My favorite tree, though small is Chilopsis linearis or Desert Willow. It is green in the summer despite being a desert species and it is dormant in the winter, and thanks to its very deep roots it has access to deep water throughout the year. It is called a phreatophyte or "well hole plant".
I must say that the coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) is far and away my favorite tree. It is an excellent street and landscape tree with a broad canopy providing comforting shade, and it requires little water or attention. Some people don't like to use it because they think it is slow growing. This is not the case. I have seen planted oak woodlands no more than ten years of age that provide a delightful environment for people, birds, and innumerable other creatures. Most importantly, it belongs here! Barbara Eisenstein
Thanks to all who responded! Next issue’s question: Which native plant do you find to be the most successfully grown in a wide variety of landscape situations and “looks good” and has neighbor appeal for much of the year.
Under Summer Cottonwoods
breeze-shivers in the leaf choir
Foot vs. Trench
Please send you three-line glimpses, Poemsis trilineata, (or your longer works) to . Visit Thea's website at www.theagavin.com.
newsletters | home | contents