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Parking strip gardening 2009


This lecture was given in January, 2009 as part of the California native plant gardening series ‘Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden’

This lecture was given in January, 2009 as part of the California native plant gardening series ‘Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden’

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  • 1. Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden Gardening with Western L.A. County Native Plants Project SOUND - 2009 © Project SOUND
  • 2. Beyond the Lawn Parking Strip C.M. Vadheim and T. DrakeCSU Dominguez Hills & Madrona Marsh Preserve Madrona Marsh Preserve January 3 & 6, 2009 © Project SOUND
  • 3. The parking strip can be one of the greatest gardening challenges  It’s the first thing you see when someone visits  People walk all over it; dogs poop & pee on it  It may be very shady – with lots of tree roots; or a hot, dry desert – bordered by sidewalk and street  And you may not even own it! The time-honored solution was to plant a grass lawn © Project SOUND
  • 4. But the times, they are a’ changin’ © Project SOUND
  • 5. Despite the challenges, the parking strip can be an important asset  Opportunity to increase your growing space - particularly important for small S. CA lots  Serves as a design transition from the street to your home  May be the sunniest place in your garden  An opportunity to increase the livability of your neighborhood – change to interact with your neighbors © Project SOUND
  • 6. The parking strip garden requires a carefuldesign plan  Soil is often poor:  Construction ‘dregs’ often put here  Compacted by foot traffic & road construction  Tree roots from street trees  Dog pee  Water is often difficult to control  May be difficult to get water to strip  May be drainage issues (drainage from sidewalk, street)  Water Zones for existing street trees  Light can often be a challenge  Full sun – hot & dry  Quite shady – if have street trees  Underground utilities, fire hydrants  Aboveground utilities; city has access rights  Often an unusual – challenging – size/shape © Project SOUND
  • 7. Parking strips are public places…. © Project SOUND
  • 8. Some rules for a ‘reasonable’ parking strip gardening plan  Safety  Provides good visibility for vehicles & pedestrians  Does not impede foot traffic on sidewalks  Does not impede passing/parking of vehicles  Allows safe exiting from vehicles and access to the sidewalk (if adjacent parking is permitted)  Is not dangerous: poisonous; sharp; trip hazards  Water conservation  Promotes infiltration, not run-off  Aesthetics  Conforms to ‘weed abatement’ regulations  Looks ‘appropriate’ for neighborhood  Fits with rest of your front yard © Project SOUND
  • 9. Steps for designing your ‘New CA Parking Strip’  Get to know your local regulations  Assess your site:  Pedestrian traffic patterns  Location of above/underground utilities, water & sewer lines, fire hydrants, etc.  Existing vegetation (that will remain; e.g. existing trees)  Sun & shade patterns; soil conditions (texture; pH)  Design and locate the ‘pathways’  Choose an appropriate planting design © Project SOUND
  • 10. First things first – what are you allowed to do with your parking strip?  Check your city’s current regulations - lots of variability between cities:  Who owns the parking strip?  What are your responsibilities for upkeep?  What are you allowed to do with your parking strip; what permits are required? Most cities have this information available on the city’s website © Project SOUND
  • 11. Parking strip regulations vary by city – and are changing…  Hardscape (walkways; steps; rocks; planters; etc)  Size of plants: often are height restrictions (18”; may be 3 ft for plants other than trees)  Types of plants:  Street tree: almost always a ‘street tree list’ or specific regulations; city may own the street trees  Other plants : in some cities you are still only allowed to plant grass; other cities may require permits for non-grass alternatives © Project SOUND
  • 12. Torrance municipal code SECTION 75.1.6. PLANTING VEGETATION AROUND TREES. No person shall plant or grow or cause to be planted or grown any ivy, geranium or other vegetation to a height of more than eighteen (18) inches above the top of any curb, sidewalk or ground on, against or around any tree upon any parkway in the City. For the purpose of this Section, the term parkway shall include that area of any public street between the curb or other edge of the pavement and the private property line. ARTICLE 2 - VISIBILITY AT INTERSECTIONS (Added by O- 1288) SECTION 75.2.1. OBSTRUCTING VISIBILITY PROHIBITED. No person owning or in possession of real property shall install or maintain, or permit the installation or maintenance or existence of any tree, shrub or plant within that triangular area between the property lines parallel to intersecting streets and a diagonal line joining points on said property lines twenty-five (25) feet from the intersection of said property lines or within twenty (20) feet of said property lines, which growth prevents or interferes with a driver of a vehicle approaching the intersection on one street seeing a vehicle approaching the intersection on another street. © Project SOUND
  • 13. The ‘visibility triangle’ is used by many cities todetermine height requirements for intersections  Anything within a specified distance of the apex of the street angle must conform to height/planting regulations  Often varies by speed limit: 25-45 ft is common for residential streets  Varies by city: know your regulations © Project SOUND
  • 14. Street trees  Don’t plant anything without city approval; city will usually direct the planting & placement of street trees  Learn your city’s regulations: species, characteristics & placement  If you want to plant a native tree: see if it can be added to the approved list  Qualities of good street trees (in addition to being attractive):  Single trunk  Can be pruned up: 7 ft above sidewalk; 14 ft above street is common)  Not hazardous: weak wood; sharp seeds, etc.  Non-invasive roots; roots that don’t damage sidewalks, roadways  Water-wise (now figures in most cities)  Non-littering when possible © Project SOUND
  • 15. Access features are the first items to locate on your design plan  They determine where & what you will plant  They require careful placement  Public safety  Location of utilities; street trees  They are often the first thing you install  They have an impact on the ‘looks’ of the parking strip garden © Project SOUND
  • 16. Pedestrian access: safety & design Safety first - parking strips are public areas  Should allow for easy access to parked vehicles  Should be placed to provide reasonable access to the sidewalk: some suggest 1 per car-length  Should be adequately wide (2-2 ½ ft); or 1 ½ ft. in addition to curbing)  Should stay reasonably dry in rainy season  Should provide a firm footing for walking  Ideally should be pervious to water; allow water to percolate © Project SOUND
  • 17. Pedestrian access: safety & design Design - many hardscape options to complement the rest of the garden  Concrete pavers (with or without vegetation; crushed rock)  Natural stone (flag stone; PV stone)  Brick (set in sand)  Crushed rock/ decomposed granite  Shredded bark; woodchip mulch (even just between widely-spaced plants) © Project SOUND
  • 18. Pedestrian access: living walkways  Native sod-forming ‘grasses’  Non-native ‘walkable’ groundcover plants:  Corsican mint - Mentha requienii  Baby tears - Solierolia soleirolii  Corsican sandwort - Arenaria balerica  Creeping thymes:  Mother of thyme (Thymus serpyllum)  Woolly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus )  Elfin thyme (Thymus praecox)  Silver Carpet (Dymondia margaretae)  Chamaemelum nobile Treneague (non-flowering) © Project SOUND
  • 19. Design can be similar to rest of yard or different – it’s separate enough to be treated either way © Project SOUND
  • 20. Parking strips are usually narrow; often, fewer species is better….,0,3338874.storyNo matter the location, low maintenanceand proper scale are crucial. © Project SOUND
  • 21. “Its good to select evergreens for the parking strip,accented with herbaceous plants. A strip that is completelybare in summer or winter is not only uninteresting, its aninvitation for weed seeds to germinate.” © Project SOUND
  • 22. New CA Garden ‘Parking Strip Combo Palettes’ Based on sun, drainage & Water Zones Include a limited plant palette:  Heavy on evergreen species  All are low-growing  All are hardy on parking strips You can mix & match within a palette, depending on your needs Palettes can be used to create either a formal or informal design © Project SOUND
  • 23. Each palette includes three types of plants:  Group 1: Backbone plants  Spreading evergreen species (mostly); many < 2 ft tall  Take up 60-80% of parking strip area  Choose 1-3 from list  Group 2: Contrast plants  Add interest and fill space between backbone plants  Take up 10-30% of area  Group 3: Color plants  Mostly plants with good flower color  Take up 10-20% of area  Particularly important during first several years © Project SOUND
  • 24. A common parking strip challenge…  Existing street trees – moderate shade  May be pine needles – slightly more acid soil  Soil compacted; roots  Need a low groundcover that looks fairly tidy Where would you put walkways? What material would you use? © Project SOUND
  • 25. New CA Garden ‘Parking Strip Combo Palettes’ Based on sun, drainage & Water Zones Include a limited plant palette:  Heavy on evergreen species  All are low-growing  All are hardy on parking strips You can mix & match within a palette, depending on your needs Palettes can be used to create either a formal or informal design © Project SOUND
  • 26. Creeping Barberry – Mahonia repens R.A. Howard @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database © Project SOUND
  • 27. Creeping Barberry – Mahonia repens  Western U.S. to S. Canada  In CA:  Foothills of the coastal ranges, Sierras  Locally: mountains in San Diego  Often on dry slopes or canyons in grasslands, shrublands, open forest  In many plant communities: riparian, sagebrush, chaparral, pinyon-juniper, mountain brush, oak, aspen, pine, and conifer communities © Project SOUND
  • 28. In the wild – a groundcover plant © Project SOUND
  • 29. Characteristics of Creeping Mahonia  Size:  1-2 ft tall  spreading – 2-4 ft wide  Growth form:  Sprawling woody shrub; spreads via stems (stolons or rhizomes)  Evergreen  Rather stiff appearance  Foliage:  Leaves holly-like  Dark green; old leaves may turn purple/red in winter  Roots: deep rooted; can resprout from root crowns© 1984, H. Tim Gladwin © Project SOUND
  • 30. Roots of Mahonia species are special  Widely used as medicinal  as an antiseptic and healing wash or poultice on wounds, mahonia-repens-C2926 tincture of root scorpion bites  As a tea or tincture:  Coughs, fevers  Enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery  Kidney problems  Roots & bark produce a yellow natural dye © Project SOUND
  • 31. Flowers are showy against the dark leaves  Blooms:  In spring - usually Apr-May in lower elevations of our area  Depends in part on temperature  Flowers:  Bright, intense yellow  Small (1/3 inch or so); but in dense, showy clusters  Sweet scented – to attract the native pollinators (bees, others)  Fruits:  Waxy blue when ripe  Tart – but make wonderful jellies, sauces  Birds love them!! (robins, finches and towhees) © Project SOUNDCharles Webber © California Academy of Sciences
  • 32.  Soils:Plant Requirements  Texture: any, including heavy clays  pH: any local; does fine with acidic soils – OK under pines  Light:  Part-shade to full shade  Will flower and fruit best in part- shade (like under trees)  Water:  Winter: good winter water  Summer: Zone 2 once established; Zone 2-3 or 3 for first 1-2 years  Fertilizer: use an organic mulch (pine needles are ideal)  Other: tolerates heat; easy to grow © Project SOUND
  • 33. Creeping Barberry  Most often used as a low natural groundcover  Evergreen; low-growing  Easy to grow  Fills in to cover an area  Interesting, attractive foliage  Bright spring flowers; winter foliage color  Great under trees; other shady areas  In a woodsy garden; or creeping over a low stone wall  To attract fruit-eating birds  Fine in pots/planters  Anywhere you might consider (shudder) planting ivy © Project SOUND
  • 34. Growing native woody groundcovers  Choose a species with a moderate growth rate (will live longer than quick-growers)  Space plants appropriately:  Distance should be ~ ¾ of the plant’s mature diameter – allows a little overlap  Can plant as close as ½ mature diameter for quicker cover  Mulch, mulch, mulch  Weed regularly  Start selective pruning early  Consider using filler plants:  Short-lived grasses; YarrowG.A. Cooper @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database  Annual wildflowers © Project SOUND
  • 35. Native woody parking strips: one speciesor several  Single species:  More formal, tidy looking  Entire area has same cultural requirements  ? Easier to maintain  Looks more like a conventional ‘single species’ parking strip  Several (2-3) species:  More interesting: foliage, flowers  Better habitat value  May be smarter choice – even if one species doesn’t make it  Allows you to include a few (expensive; rare) species  May be more like ‘Mother Nature’s Garden’ © Project SOUND
  • 36. Grasses, sedges and other groundcovers can provide an interesting mix….. © Project SOUND
  • 37. In the mountains of CO, Creeping Mahonia often grows with Kinnickinnick © Project SOUND
  • 38. Kinnikinnick – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi © Project SOUND
  • 39. Kinnikinnick – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi  Also commonly called Bear Berry  Found throughout the Northern Hemisphere:  N. Asia/Russia  N. Europe  In North America - from the northern half of California north to Alaska and across Canada and the northern United States to New England and Newfoundland.  In CA – mostly along the N. CA coast  Rocky outcrops, slopes, sandy soils, coastal dunes, chaparral, coniferous forest © Project SOUND,3454,3542
  • 40.  Occurs in widely variable conditions © Project SOUND
  • 41. Does well in sandy soils along the CA coast © Clayton J. Antieau © Project SOUND
  • 42. Kinnikinnick is another low-growing woody shrub  Size:  < 1 ft tall  spreading: 3-15 ft wide  Growth form:  Evergreen woody shrub  Very low, dense growth – mat- like© 2007 Matt Below  Spreads by rooting stems  Foliage:  Like other Manzanitas  Leathery leaves; green but may become red-tinged in winter  Neat appearing – garden-like  Good antibacterial qualities: used for urinary, skin infections © 2005 Steve Matson  Roots: fibrous; to 6+ feet depth © Project SOUND Deer will browse
  • 43. Flowers & fruits are pure Manzanita  Blooms: in spring; usually Mar- May in our area  Flowers:  Small; but in clusters  Pink/white  Typical urn-shaped © 2007 Matt Below  Sweetly fragrant; attracts butterflies & hummingbirds  Fruits:  Little red ‘apples’ in late summer/fall; very showy  Yum! : birds eat them & you can make jellies, sauces from themG.A. Cooper @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database © Project SOUND
  • 44. Kinnikinnick - well suited  Soils:  Texture: best in sandy soils, butto garden conditions… fine in most well-drained soils  pH: any, including quite acidic – fine under pines  Light:  Best in part shade; tolerates full shade (but less flowering)  Full sun only near immediate coast  Water:  Young plants: Zone 2-3  Winter: needs good water – deep roots  Summer: Zone 2-3 (best); Zone 2 ok once established  Fertilizer: none  Other: delicate roots; don’t move or compact soils © Project SOUND
  • 45. Mainly used as a low groundcover  Excellent groundcover under trees  Fine on parking strips in virtually all local cities – very low-growing & looks way better than ivy!  Looks nice cascading over a low retaining wall  Combine with rocks  Nice in a large pot or planter – even on shady patios  Great on slopes – even steep ones!  Fine near the ocean © Project SOUND
  • 46. ‘Wood’s Compact’ ‘Point Reyes’ Several cultivars available ‘Green Supreme’ ant_Catalog/SHRUBS/ ‘Radiant’ ‘Pacific Mist’ © Project SOUND
  • 47. Management is easy…  Plant when plants are young – don’t move them  Mulch & weed until established  Pinch/tip-prune when young to encouragePhoto by Richard Old, fullness – early spring  Prune out dead/old branches after flowering in spring  Easy to grow – few pest if appropriately watered © Project SOUND
  • 48. Tricks to keeping parking strip plants under theheight limit  Choose naturally low-growing species/cultivars  Best: see the plant actually growing under conditions similar to yours  Talk to knowledgeable nursery staff  Start training the plants from the beginning – selective pruning & pinching  Remember Mother Nature’s lessons:  Don’t over-water or over- fertilize ‘Little Sur’ Manzanita  Be sure plant gets adequate sunlight © Project SOUND
  • 49. A ‘Shady Woodland’ mix works well for manyshady parking strips that need some summer water © Project SOUND
  • 50. There also are mixes more suited to dry shady situations  Perfect under street trees that need little water (native oaks; Eucalyptus)  Combine low shrubby native groundcovers with:  Grasses/grass-like species  A few low shrubs  Even some native bulbs and flowering species  Look great in yards that use other CA native plants © Project SOUND
  • 51. What to do with ‘mixed light’ parking strips  Try a ‘Dappled Shadeland’ garden  Choose 1-2 backbone species with wide light tolerances:  Yarrow  Fragaria  Mix with sun- or shade- requiring species as Contrast & Accent species  Dichondra  Argentina  flowering perennials & annual wildflowers (at least until the other species fill in) © Project SOUND
  • 52. For well-drained sandy soils, choose native soil- binders as Backbone Plants  Yarrow (Achillea)  Strawberries (Fragaria)  Silverweed  Checkerbloom (Sidalcea species)  Native dichondra © Project SOUND
  • 53. Formal or informal: the choice is yours Many plants in the ‘Parking Strip Combos’ palettes look equally good either way Formal designs using CA native plants can be strikingly beautiful; refreshing Remember that formal designs require more upkeep  Separate species with barriers  Be ruthless in keeping species in their proper places Edging between your parking strip and the lawn next door © Project SOUND
  • 54. Pacific Silverweed – Argentina egedii ssp. egedii (Potentilla anserina vars. grandis, pacifica)© 2005 Dr. Amadej Trnkoczy © Project SOUND
  • 55. Pacific Silverweed – Argentina egedii ssp. egedii (Potentilla anserina vars. grandis, pacifica)  Immediate west coast from AK to Baja; also coasts in Asia  Name nightmares:  Formerly classified in the genus Potentilla but has recently been reclassified into the new genus Argentina.  Very closely related to Silverweed (A. anserina or Potentilla anserina), the only other species in the genus), and is treated as a subspecies of it by Jepson,,6824,6825,6827 plant growers. © Project SOUND
  • 56. Silverweed in nature  Wet to seasonally wet areas:  Coastal dunes & sandy bluffs  Freshwater and brackish marsh edges  Estuaries & mudflats  Wetland meadows  Along streams  Soils: sandy to clay; may also be rocky© 2004, Ben Legler © Project SOUND
  • 57. Characteristics of Pacific Silverweed  Size:  1 to 1 ½ ft tall  Spreading to 4-5 ft wide; old plants die – replaced by new  Growth form:  Herbaceous perennial  Spreads by stolons (runners) producing new plantlets  Foliage:  Almost fern-like; showy  Green above; silvery below  Roots: soil-binding© 2004, Ben Legler © Project SOUND
  • 58. Cinquefoils (including Silverweed) & Strawberries  Close relatives – both in Rose family:  Somewhat similar leaves  Spread via runners – sometimes invasively so © 2004, Ben Legler (ah ha – perfect for the parking strip!)  Individual plants live only 2-3 year  Flowers quite similar except in color © Project SOUND
  • 59. Bright, sunny flowers  Blooms:  Spring/summer - usually in May-Aug in our area  Fairly long bloom period – several months  Flowers:  Like strawberry – only yellow and a bit bigger.  On stalks above foliage  Close on cloudy days  Seeds:  Dry – attached to a core  Fairly easy to start from seed in winter/spring – no© 2005 Dr. Amadej Trnkoczy treatment © 2004, Ben Legler © Project SOUND
  • 60. Silverweed is easy  Soils: to please….  Texture: any well-drained sandy or clay soil  pH: any local  Light:  Full sun to light shade  Great in dappled sun under trees  Water:  Winter: needs good rains/water  Summer: very adaptable; Zone 2 to 3; will die back in drought  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: tolerates winter flooding, seaside conditions, salty soils © Project SOUND
  • 61. Garden uses for Silverweed  Great groundcover, parking strip plant  Contained areas like planters  As an attractive pot plant  Under Zone 3 trees© 2002 Dean Wm. Taylor  In wet spots in garden – near sprinklers, low spots, drainage areas (rain gardens)  In vegetable garden  Taproots baked or steamed and eaten – native delicacy  Roots also used as an astringent compress or tea (for diarrhea, sore throat) © Project SOUND
  • 62. Tips for designing an ‘informal’ parking strip  Choose plants from the appropriate ‘combo’ palette  Planting several Backbone Species and let them fight it out for real estate.  Aim for swirls and riffs of color, like a living Persian carpet; always plant at least 3 plants of a single species together.  Add flagstones or stepping stones in spots, so you arent fighting human nature when it comes to taking shortcuts to the street.  Commit to some serious hand-weeding until the ground covers become established © Project SOUND
  • 63. Filler and Accent plants add interest  Filler plants  May be either spreaders or smaller shrubs/ perennials that can be massed  Usually are evergreen – at least with a little summerCarex species water  Used to provide contrasts to backbone plants:  Size/shape  Foliage color, type  Accent plants  Used to provide seasonal color  Foliage may be insignificant  May die back in summer/fallSilene species or in winter © Project SOUND
  • 64. Color plants play a key role in the first years of many native parking strips Remember the old adage... first year they sleep, then they creep, then they leap.  Use mulch between plants  Use signage to let people know what’s in progress  Talk to neighbors before, during and after installation © Project SOUND
  • 65. California Primrose – Oenothera californica© 2005 Brent Miller © Project SOUND
  • 66. California Primrose – Oenothera californica  Coastal, Sierra, Transverse and desert mountain ranges of CA to Baja – locally in San Gabriels  In foothills (mostly)  Sandy or gravelly areas, dunes, desert scrub to pinyon/juniper or ponderosa- pine woodlands  Same genus as Hooker’s Evening Primrose © Project SOUND
  • 67. Characteristics of CA Primrose  Size:  Usually < 1 ft tall  Usually 2-4 ft wide; more in favorable locations (with more water)  Growth form:  Sprawling sub-shrub or herbaceous perennial  Foliage initially in basal rosette – then becomes almost vine-like  Foliage:  Lance-shaped; may be incised  Drought & cold deciduous  Roots: 2-4 ft © Project SOUND
  • 68. Flowers are the reason to plant native primroses  Blooms:  In spring - usually Apr-May in our area  Flowers open over long period – individual flowers short-lived © 2003 Lynn Watson  Flowers:  White, becoming more pink  Fairly large (2 inch) and definitely showy  Sweet, slightly musky fragrance  Seeds: many tiny seeds in a capsule  Vegetative reproduction: sprouting from roots © Project SOUND
  • 69. Care and management: plant & ignore  Soils:  Texture: sandy/rocky best  pH: any local to 8.5 (alkali)  Light:  Full sun – coastal  Part-shade/morning sun inland  Water:  Winter: good winter rains  Summer: drought tolerant but takes anything from 2 to 3; best to let dry out in late summer/fall  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: cut back as needed in fall. © Project SOUND
  • 70. Native primroses in the garden  Best planted with native grasses, perennials, annual wildflowers  Excellent choice for water-wise parking strip  Lovely in pots on a sunny deck  Attract a wild assortment of insects © Project SOUND
  • 71. Filler plants may also provide flower color Epilobium canum Penstemon heterophyllus © Project SOUND
  • 72. Pacific Aster – Symphyotrichum chilense var. chilense (Aster chilensis)© 2007 Neal Kramer © Project SOUND
  • 73. Pacific Aster – Symphyotrichum chilense var. chilense (Aster chilensis)  Northwestern U.S., Canada, coastal CA to Santa Barbara Co.  Locally: mountains of San Diego Co; San Bernardino Mountains  Despite its Latin name, it does not occur in Chile – another mistake handed down to posterity! © Project SOUND
  • 74. A plant of many habitats  Grasslands  Salt marshes  Coastal dunes and bluffs  Coastal grasslands and scrub,  Even open disturbed habitats in evergreen and Pacific coast coniferous forest© 2004, Ben LeglerNot surprisingly, there are phenotypic variants © Project SOUND
  • 75. Pacific Aster – not grown for it’s foliage  Size:  1-2 ft tall  Spreading to 5+ ft wide  Growth form:  Herbaceous perennial  Upright, then carpet-like  Drought deciduous – dies back to ground in late summer  Foliage:  Thin/sparse; medium green  Roots: rhizomes – by which it spreads, often vigorously© 2004, Ben Legler © Project SOUND
  • 76. Flowers are dainty  Blooms:  Summer: usually Jul-Aug in Western L.A. Co.  Flowers:  Typical sunflower head – but dainty; ~ 1 inch head  White to purple (even pink) ray flowers; yellow disc flowers  Many flowers blooming at one time; very showy  Excellent nectar source for native moths and butterflies  Seeds:  With fluffy tail to aid wind distribution; birds love them! © 2007 Neal Kramer  Can reseed on bare ground© 2004, Ben Legler © Project SOUND
  • 77. Pacific Aster can thrive  Soils: on your parking strip  Texture: any – sand to clay  pH: any local  Light:  Full sun to light shade;  Probably best color in light shade  Water:  Winter: adequate  Summer: wide range (Zone 1-2 to 3); probably best as Zone 2 – too aggressive with more water.  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: can be heavily pruned, even mowed, occasionally. Cut back in fall after flowering.© 2004, Ben Legler © Project SOUND
  • 78. Pacific Aster: not for everywhere…  Best contained, as it is an aggressive competitor:  Pots & planters  Areas bounded by walks, or other boundries  Parking strips – if managed  Usually used in combination with native grasses, bulbs, sub-shrubs (Epilobium canum; Goldenrods) in native meadows; can be mowed back in fall © 2005 Andrea Jesse  Appropriate for Cottage Gardens  Good for stabilizing slopesExcellent choice for butterfly gardens © Project SOUND
  • 79. ‘Point St. George’ cultivar is more robust  Native cultivar from N. CA  Generally more robust:  Larger, more robust leaves  Larger flowers  Looks more like a cultivated plant  ‘Purple Haze’ cultivar:  Dark purple flowers  Otherwise similar to parent species© 2003 Charles E. Jones ‘Point St. George’ © Project SOUND
  • 80. The Parking Strip is the driest, sunniest place in some gardens © Project SOUND
  • 81. Sunny Coastal Prairie or Shrubland plants may be appropriate © Project SOUND
  • 82. Bringing Back the Natives – One Pot at a Time Your commitment:  Materials  Pot: 12-16 inches in diameter; 12- 16 inches deep  Potting soil: Lowe’s ‘Gardeners’ or Super Soil (cheapest) potting soil  Time  Plant seeds; care for plants  After seeds are ripe/dry:  Scatter in your garden  Collect and share with others  Photos & feedback  Provide us photos and (brief) written feedback about your successes and failures © Project SOUND
  • 83. Bringing Back the Natives – One Pot at a Time We will provide:  Seeds – enough for 1 pot  Baby Blue-eyes  Chinese Houses  Globe and Bird’s Eye Gilias  Goldfields  Meadowfoam  Purple & Elegant Clarkias  Tidy Tips  Dot-seed Plantain  Several others  Advice and encouragement  Garden Information Sheets  Advice and encouragement via e-mail, phone, blog © Project SOUND
  • 84. Penstemons do well in a dry, sunny parking strip Penstemon heterophyllus Penstemon newberryi © Project SOUND
  • 85. Penstemons: most of the foliage is low laetus Penstemon eatonii © Project SOUND
  • 86. White Fairy-lantern – Calochortus albus © Project SOUND
  • 87. White Fairy-lantern – Calochortus albus  California endemic (limited to CA)  North/central Sierra Nevada Foothills  Central & S. coastal mountain ranges, Transverse ranges, Channel Islands  Locally: Catalina & Santa Monica Mtns.  Shady to open woodlands, Rocky outcrops  Chaparral, foothill woodland, yellow pine forest to 6000 © Project SOUND,8461,8462
  • 88. Calochortus: members of the Liliaceae (Lily Family)  Large family - includes hyacinths, tulips, onions, as well as true lilies.  The flowers have 3 petals and 3 sepals, often very similar  Most CA natives are herbaceous (no woody stem) and die back, after flowering or fruiting, to underground bulbs, corms, or rhizomes.  New plants form from bulb division or sprout from seeds  Many native members of Liliaceae can be grown in the garden, keeping in mind their native situations:  Allium, Brodiaea, Camassia, Lilium and Calochortus species prefer open, sunny areas © Project SOUND
  • 89.  70 species from British Columbia to Guatemala and east to Nebraska (28The genus Calochortus species endemic to CA).  The genus Calochortus includes: C. luteus  Mariposas (or Mariposa lilies) with open wedge-shaped petals - dry grasslands and semideserts  Globe lilies and Fairy lanterns with globe- shaped flowers - closed forests  Cats ears and Star tulips with erect pointed petals - wet meadows & montane woodlands C. catalinae  Calochortus produce one or more flowers on a stem that arises from the bulb, generally in the spring or early summer.  Unlike most other Liliaceae, Calochortus petals differ in size and color from their sepals. Flowers can be white, yellow, pink, purple, bluish, or streaked.  The insides of the petals are often highly hairy. These hairs, along with theThe word Calochortus is derived nectaries, are often used in distinguishingfrom Greek and means "beautiful species from each other.grass". © Project SOUND
  • 90. Calochortus albus is a dainty Fairy Lily  Size:  1-2 ft tall  <1 ft wide  Growth form:  Herbaceaous perennial from a bulb  Upright form; slender  Dormant in fall dry season; dies back to bulb  Foliage:  Mostly basal  Grass-like leaves  Roots: bulbMargaret Williams @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database © Project SOUND
  • 91. White Fairy-lantern: enchanting flowers  Blooms:  Later spring: usually Apr-June in coastal L.A. County  Flowers:  Truly like a little ‘fairy lantern’  White tinged with pink  Flowers hangs from stem; nod in the breeze  Seeds:  Dark brown seeds in hanging winged capsule  Fairly easy to grow; plant fall-winter (with the rains) in pots or in ground  Vegetative reproduction: offsets from bulbs © Project SOUND
  • 92.  Soils: Plant Requirements  Texture: best in well-drained clays  pH: any local  Light:  Best in part-shade; under trees is good  Full sun only on immediate coast  Water:  Winter/spring: needs good spring water  Summer: no water after blooming (mid-summer)  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: easier than most Calochartus; water appropriately © Project SOUND
  • 93. Garden uses for White Fairylantern  In a pot – alone or with other bulbs & native wildflowers; allows you to treat plants as Zone 1  With native dry grasses (Melica imperfecta; Koeleria macrantha) & annual wildflowers – have same water & light requirements  Take a tip from Mother Nature – these look great when massed!  Great bulb for under native oaks; place where gets part-sun.  Protect the bulbs from rodents, including squirrels, gophers; native Californians roasted bulbs © Project SOUND
  • 94. Tips from city planning pros  “Plant low-growing plants, no more than 6 to 12 inches high, and the city won’t make a big deal.”  “Use plants that match the aesthetics of the yard, but don’t let it get out of hand. Avoid thorny things. Keep shrubby plants below 30 inches – no tall hedges or solid green walls, especially near driveways and street corners.”  “The best designs are driven by common sense.” Oishi (L.A. City) recommends that the two feet nearest the curb be planted with grass or some hardy groundcover that can withstand some foot traffic. He also suggests allowing at least one path from the street to the sidewalk. © Project SOUND