Examples of a basic California Native Garden
Native gardens can be all things to all people. There can be a
native garden in the eyes of the area's native wildlife,
the garden designer or garden owner. The best native garden takes all
the pretty native plants from the native flyway (usually Baja to
British Columbia for California ), combines them with the local native
plants that are
important to your local rare wildlife (bees
and other insects along with birds), adds in fire considerations, water
deer and other critters,
and ta da!
You have a beautiful garden that's alive.
If your garden is a small
back yard in a major town, then you really do not have to worry
about the deer or fire problem. Focus on the small perennials and
shrubs from your area and pack the yard. On small gardens it's
important to jam as much focused variety as you can come up with. So
Angeles, pack the garden with coastal
sage scrub species, three
or so of each variety, the larger shrubs like Ceanothus or
, pick one shrub for each corner, and a small 'tree' in the middle.
The 'tree' can be a large shrub pruned up. Mynativeplants.com is an
attempt to do this for you, select plants that will work in your yard.
You have to figure out a design from those plants.
after you've figured out what plants will grow there, is low to high,
creating an amphitheater, with your window or doorway the main stage.
Put the stuff that needs more water together, sunny stuff together,
etc. Keep it simple stupid can be overwhelming. BUT, if you break the
yard up into small areas of like minded plants (I'm sorry, but I think
plants have feelings too) the design gets a lot simpler.
Many of our customers mix natives with edibles, but
but keep 'um separated. Others are growing natives on their balcony
Even a small yard can be broken into ten plots. One under the bird
bath, one along one wall, one along the other wall, one along the east
fence, one along west fence, etc. (One commercial planting in San Luis
Obispo had a soil pH difference of 5-7.8 in 30 feet, that a thousand
times difference in one little section.) If you can break the yard or
acreage up it becomes paint by the numbers and much easier. I'd argue,
actually much more creative because you can focus on each section more.
As long as they are all closely related plant
communities, the yard will look great. So if you're in Los
stay with coastal
sage scrub or chaparral plants. If you're in
Central oak woodland, Northern
oak woodland or Chaparral
plants, with a little riparian
Here's some more garden examples.