Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Going native in your garden, Part 3

Perhaps by now you have taken the first steps to either refurbish your existing garden or create a whole new sustainable habitat that is both earth friendly and conserves water.

In parts 1 and 2, I laid out the various specifics you need to consider to get started including layout, soil preparation, irrigation and hardscape.

Today, we will focus on plant selection. I have listed my personal favorites and most suitable plants to consider as part of your new landscape.

Trees, shrubs and perennials

Native oaks – can be the structural pillars in landscaping

Catalina Ironwood – evergreen, white flowers, striking foliage

California Redbud – pink flowers, autumn foliage, drought tolerant

Native Walnut – if space allows, deciduous

Holly-leaf Cherry – evergreen, white flowers, fruits for wildlife

Toyon/Christmas berry – evergreen, red berries

Manzanita species – low growing to large shrubs, striking mahogany colored bark

Ceanothus species – from groundcover to large shrubs

Matilija poppy/fried egg plant – 8' spreading, blooms May – July

Elderberry – large shrub, white flowers. Used to make wine and jams.

Lemonade berry – evergreen, large shrub, fruits for wildlife

Mexican Palo Verde – small, open desert looking tree

Many Salvia species – good habitat plants, long blooming

Cleveland Sage – 3'x3' blue flowering shrub, early summer

Wooly Blue Curls – shrub, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds

Mimulus/Monkey flower – low flowering, spring time

Heuchera/Coral bells – delicate semi shade perennial

Ribes species/gooseberry – edible fruit

Chilopsis/Desert Willow tree – many cultivars are available

Hesperaloe/Red Yucca – succulent with tall, red flowers

Yarrows – low perennial ground cover – attracts butterflies and pollinators

California Buckwheat – perennial 2x4, good nectar source

Milkweed – Asclepias species – 3'x3', host to Monarch butterflies

Coyote bush – from low growing groundcover to medium size shrubs

Coffee berry – nice evergreen shrub 8'x12', attracts birds

Encelia Californica – bright yellow flowers in summer time

Symphoricarpos species/White Snowberry – white fruits attracts birds

Iris douglasiana – low perennial, many colors to choose from

Sisyrinchium bellum – low growing petit iris in blue and yellow

Dudley species – chalky succulent, grows on cool north slopes

Lupinus species/Lupine – blue and white flowers for springtime color

Dendromecon/Bush poppy – large yellow flowering shrub, 5'x15'

Artemisia/Dwarf California Sagebrush – low plants with gray foliage

Carex species – native dwarf grass, good lawn replacement.

Mahonia "Nevin" – dense barrier shrub 8" plus, yellow flowers

California Tree mallow – large shrub, rose colored flowers

Fouquieria/Desert Ocotillo – structural tall stems, prefers it very dry

For native plants to be resilient during the long, hot and rainless season they need to be well established with extensive, deep root systems. Summer is the most challenging season to install native plants, but it is possible with diligent and proper stewardship. I do prefer to wait until the air has cooled down and the soil temperature is lower. Rain is of course helpful! Climate swings and water crisis present additional challenges we need to take into consideration and it is important to gather as much information as possible to successfully create an enjoyable native garden.

I hope my last three articles on "Going Native in Your Garden" have been inspiring and helpful. If you have questions or concerns I will be happy to assist you.

"He who plants a garden brings happiness for others to enjoy." (an old Chinese proverb)

Roger Boddaert, Maker of Natural Gardens, can be reached at 760-.728-4297.


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