Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

California native plant Myths 2014 - notes

2,399 views

Published on

Published in: Education
  • There are over 16,000 woodworking plans that comes with step-by-step instructions and detailed photos, Click here to take a look ★★★ http://tinyurl.com/yy9yh8fu
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • The #1 Woodworking Resource With Over 16,000 Plans, Download 50 FREE Plans... ★★★ http://ishbv.com/tedsplans/pdf
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Want to preview some of our plans? You can get 50 Woodworking Plans and a 440-Page "The Art of Woodworking" Book... Absolutely FREE ♣♣♣ http://tinyurl.com/y3hc8gpw
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Be the first to like this

California native plant Myths 2014 - notes

  1. 1. 12/6/2014 1 © Project SOUND Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden Gardening with California Native Plants in Western L.A. County Project SOUND – 2014 (our 10th year) 2014: Bringing Nature Home - Lessons from Gardening Traditions Worldwide © Project SOUND Many cultures, same message: the best gardens are both beautiful and sustainable © Project SOUND Myths, Magic & Madness: common myths about CA native plants and gardening C.M. Vadheim and T. Drake CSUDH & Madrona Marsh Preserve Madrona Marsh Preserve December 6 & 11, 2014 © Project SOUND http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bf/Hype-Cycle-General.png
  2. 2. 12/6/2014 2 Myths about California native plants © Project SOUND Myth 1 : ‘California natives are invasive ‘weeds’ that will take over the garden’ © Project SOUND http://weeklygravy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/BruceEmmett-Folio-Illustration-Agency- Boutique-Shop-Fine-Art-Prints-Oil-Painting-Vintage-Portrait-Retro-Alien-XL.jpg Co-myth: ‘Roadside ditches and vacant fields/lots usually contain native plants’ © Project SOUND Origins of the myth? Mistaking invasive non-native ‘weeds’ or garden escapees for native plants Observation of some natives: some grasses & other native naturalizers and spreaders © Project SOUND http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b0/Arundo.donax2web.jpg
  3. 3. 12/6/2014 3 The ‘reality’ (for S. CA/sustainable gardening) Some grasses (needlegrasses in particular) do spread via seed; others spread by runners – this is true whether native or not Annual native wildflowers, some Salvias, buckwheats and other plants ‘naturalize’ – but is that necessarily bad? © Project SOUND Re-seeding plants: sign of garden health and a boon to busy gardeners © Project SOUND Naturalizing plants are a natural part of garden succession Practical ecology: fill ‘empty’ spaces in a new garden with annuals & short-lived grasses © Project SOUND ‘Spreader’: just another word for ground cover Some plants (native or non-native) spread via rhizomes Use them as ground covers - they do just what you want In general, native groundcovers will be limited by some resource: shade; water; etc. The most invasive ground cover plants are common garden non- natives: the ivies, asian honeysuckles, iceplant, Vincas © Project SOUND http://www.make-my-own-house.com/images/ivy.jpg
  4. 4. 12/6/2014 4 Myth 2 : ‘Native plants attract vermin and undesirable insects’ © Project SOUND http://mindfulfitnessmovement.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/blogfacefearsmarysia_.jpg?w=610 Where did the myth originate? ? Observation of more insects (including native pollinators) on native plants ? Observation of lizards, snakes and other reptiles/ amphibians associated with native plants in the wilds (or possibly gardens) Association with the word ‘wild’ ? The horticulture industry (which wants you to plant their ‘garden’ plants) © Project SOUND The ‘reality’ (for S. CA/ sustainable gardening) Native plants do attract more native insects, birds, lizards and possibly snakes & other small critters (depending on how close you live to a wild area). The majority of these visitors (particularly the native ones) do not harm the plants – they ‘grew up together’ and hence ‘play nicely’ Many native plants attract beneficial insects, birds – those that keep harmful insects in check (IPM) Less water = fewer snails, slugs, mosquitoes © Project SOUND Plants that often provide habitat for flea- carriers in S. CA gardens include: Algerian ivy (Hedera canariensis) Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp.) California and Mexican fan palms (Washingtonia filifera, W. robusta) Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis) Creeping fig vine (Ficus pumila [= F. repens]) Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) Natal plum (Carissa macrocarpa [= C. grandiflora]) Oleander (Nerium oleander) Sydney golden wattle (Acacia longifolia) Yucca (Yucca spp.) Cape honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis) Non-native fruit trees & their fruits © Project SOUND Non-native – many invasive
  5. 5. 12/6/2014 5 Other things that attract ‘undesirables’ Rotting fruit on the ground Uncovered or overflowing compost or trash bins, particularly with meat or dairy products (don’t use these in compost bin) Pet food/uneaten bird food Buildings with easy access – seal gaps, openings Trash/utility piles (wooden pallets; furniture; firewood; pipes; etc.) © Project SOUND http://3.bp.blogspot.com/- cORBzzR5ENo/UHO9Xp98tZI/AAAAAAAABLQ/bDuOZL_gK2s/s1600/sknks.jpg Myth 3 : ‘Native plants will spontaneously combust – they are a serious garden hazard’ © Project SOUND http://physicalism.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/flame.gif http://s169.photobucket.com/user/Ahnacarp/media/woman_screaming.gif.html Origins of the myth? © Project SOUND http://www.utahpeoplespost.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/California-Wildfires_sham-11.jpg The ‘reality’ (for S. CA/sustainable gardening) Vegetation fires need a spark Lightning Sparks from wildfires Open fires that ‘get away’ or aren’t extinguished Downed power lines Tossed matches & cigarettes Sparks from brush-clearing equipment (including chainsaws) Deliberately set (human) Prescribed burns that ‘get away’ Sparks from bullets hitting rocks Fireworks © Project SOUND How many garden fires have you heard of? How many home kitchen fires?
  6. 6. 12/6/2014 6 Dry plants will burn – native or not If you live in a fire-prone area: Plan a ‘defensible zone’ and keep it green (native or non-native) Don’t do mechanized brush clearing in hot, dry times Urban/suburban gardens Consider keeping ‘public’ areas relatively green: areas near streets & sidewalks, alleys Don’t plant trees that spread flames from house to house: Eucalyptus Palms © Project SOUND http://www.napafirewise.org/DS%20Download/defensable-space- live/img/sections/4/zonesmap.jpg Consider the likely spark sources in your neighborhood – if serious problem, plan ahead Conclusion: Myth partly correct Native plants don’t spontaneously combust However, some native plants make great fuel, particularly when dry Fire is not an important threat in many urban/suburban home gardens Consider the real threats in your neighborhood. If you need to: Choose plants that are evergreen – and keep them so Consider preventive pruning and watering during high risk times © Project SOUND http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/nancy-wenningers- garden?gid=148&idx=35 © Project SOUND Myth 4 : ‘Native plants are hallucinogenic, poisonous or otherwise downright dangerous’ http://www.insidethemagic.net/2013/09/first-timers-face-fears-for-halloween-horror-nights-2013-as-universal-studios-hollywood-debuts-more-of-the-walking-dead/ The ‘reality’ (for S. CA/sustainable gardening) Some plants (native or not) have thorns, prickles, sharp edges, etc. Some plants (native or otherwise) are poisonous – they are often the basis for effective medicines © Project SOUND http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/22/Nerium_oleander_Ouarzazate_wild2.jpg http://www.gardeningwithtomleroy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Delphinium-Larkspur-Mix2.jpg Rose Oleander Larkspur/Delphinium
  7. 7. 12/6/2014 7 The ‘reality’ (for S. CA/sustainable gardening) Some plants (native or not) can cause skin or other allergic reactions in sensitive people And yes, some plants are hallucinogenic – and can kill you if don’t take the correct dose © Project SOUND ©2002 Charles E. Jones http://www.saguaro-juniper.com/i_and_i/flowers/datura/datura.html Bottom line: need to consider the properties of any plant before you choose it © Project SOUND Whether it’s native or not – really makes no difference Conclusion: myth equally correct for native and non-native plants Myth 5 : ‘Everyone should plant native plants in most of their garden’ © Project SOUND Where did the myth originate? Native plant enthusiasts Native plant nurseries (who of course want to sell more plants © Project SOUND
  8. 8. 12/6/2014 8 The reality: native plants do poorly in some situations There are urban areas where many native plants don’t survive (or do so only with substantial maintenance). Such areas can include parking strips, traffic circles, and parking lots: in short, areas with limited soil area and lots of environmental stress. © Project SOUND http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3f/PuenteHillsMall.jpg Characteristics of sites that may be challenging or unsuitable for native plants Significant compaction and other physical disturbances as a result of continuing animal, pedestrian, and vehicular traffic Alkaline pH due to leaching of lime from surrounding concrete Lack of adequate water in summer months Increased heat load from asphalt/ concrete reflectance and absorption High air pollution exposure © Project SOUND http://forestry.usu.edu/images/uploads/MikeTrees/LargeTrees0011Sandy7-25-03.jpg http://bluegreenbldg.org/wp- content/uploads/2011/01/EmeryvilleDoyleHollisPark20110206_29.jpg Site considerations should always dictate plant selection. For sites with limited, alkaline, and/or poorly drained soils, choose species from environments with similar soils. Consider especially those species that tolerate clay soils. For sites exposed to increased heat load, choose species adapted to hot, dry climates that can also tolerate cool, wet winters. © Project SOUND http://www.tn.gov/agriculture/images/forestry/Urbanforests.jpg Myth 5 : ‘Everyone should plant native plants in most of their garden’ © Project SOUND
  9. 9. 12/6/2014 9 Myths about gardening with California native plants © Project SOUND Myth 6 : ‘Always double-dig/rototill and amend the soil prior to planting’ © Project SOUND http://www.creswelldoescher.com/urbanfarm/Urbanfarm%20Blog/EEF5817A-1429-43FB-BAFE- 554D7584C7F5_files/rototilling.png Where did the myth originate? Agriculture: ‘plow the fields’ before planting Emphasis on high productivity Climates with cold, heavy, damp soils (think PA; Great Britain) Some plants (often those from very different climates than ours) have special needs The horticulture industry: selling products – Big $$$$$$$$ © Project SOUND http://www.mylifeinthedirt.com/garden-soil-amendments/my-7-most-important-organic-soil- amendments/ http://www.growbiointensive.org/Self_Teaching_2.html The ‘reality’ (for sustainable gardening) Some plants do need ‘special growth medium’ (if you choose to grow them): Vegetable garden plants: high productivity requires high nutrient levels, friable soils Acid-loving plants (including some N. CA natives) If the medium is very different from your native soil it’s often easiest to containerize: Raised beds Containers Planters © Project SOUND http://www.planetnatural.com/vegetable-gardening-guru/
  10. 10. 12/6/2014 10 The ‘reality’ (for sustainable gardening) Best in the long run to choose plants suitable for your soil conditions, rather than the other way around. Most locally-native California natives don’t need a lot of soil prep if well-chosen Goal: sustainability not high productivity Downsides to moving soil: Brings up buried weed seeds Disrupts soil structure and soil ecosystem (yes, there’s a whole ecosystem down there) © Project SOUND Sub-Myth: ‘Add sand to soils to improve drainage’ Reality: add sand to clay soil and you get concrete Better options: Choose plants that like clays Add some micro-topography to increase drainage Container garden for plants requiring ‘excellent drainage’ © Project SOUND http://tpprod.blob.core.windows.net/sys-master- tpprodcontainer/hf9/h61/8820825980958/H0247_220112_00_PP_300Wx300H http://images.lowes.com/product/converted/764661/764661156505lg.jpg Sub-myth: ‘You have ‘terrible soil’ - you need to add some mycorrhyzae’ The myth: all plants need mycorrhyzae to grow well The reality: Mycorrhyzae are often site/plant specific – ‘generics’ won’t help Your soil likely already has some natural species Many plants from dry, alkali places (like ours) don’t have mycorrhyzal partners © Project SOUND http://giantveggiegardener.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/myco_tomato2plantsedit.jpg http://www.microfarms.com/store/gel.jpg Myth 6 : ‘Always double-dig/rototill and amend the soil prior to planting’ © Project SOUND http://www.creswelldoescher.com/urbanfarm/Urbanfarm%20Blog/EEF5817A-1429-43FB-BAFE- 554D7584C7F5_files/rototilling.png
  11. 11. 12/6/2014 11 Myth 7 : ‘California native plants need less water than their non-native counterparts’ © Project SOUND Alternate myth 7: ‘Native plants need no supplemental water – plant & ignore’ © Project SOUND Alternate myth 7 : ‘Puppies need no supplemental water – bring home & ignore’ © Project SOUND That sounds like puppy endangerment to me! http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/16000000/Cute-Puppies-puppies-16094619-1280-800.jpg Where did the myth originate? Northern California native plant nurseries/gardeners The Water districts and others that promote ‘water-wise’ gardening The ‘we live in a desert’ myth © Project SOUND http://cnps-yerbabuena.org/img/events/gardenTour2013/85H/3.jpg http://www.wallpaperup.com/uploads/wallpapers/2013/07/14/118600/27998005797a415cd483dd09abd53aee.jpg
  12. 12. 12/6/2014 12 In western L.A. County we do not (and probably never will) ‘live in a desert’ © Project SOUND http://www.exploringnature.org/graphics/ecology/biome_pyramid_poster72.jpg We do not (and hopefully never will) ‘live in a desert’ © Project SOUND http://ml816.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/world-biome-map.gif http://www.english-online.at/geography/deserts/deserts.htm • breezes from the ocean • mountain ranges to east • temperature moderation by ocean • vegetation http://blog.petmeds.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/socal_elevation.jpg Sunset Climate Zones ZONE 11. Medium to High Desert of California and Southern Nevada Growing season: early April to late Oct. Summers are sizzling, with 110 days above 90 degrees F/32 degrees C. Balancing this is a 3 1/2-month winter, with 85 nights below freezing and lows from 11 degrees to 0 degrees F/-12 degrees to -18 degrees C. Scant rainfall comes in winter. © Project SOUND ZONE 13. Low or Subtropical Desert Growing season: mid-Feb. through Nov., interrupted by nearly 3 months of incandescent, growth-stopping summer heat. Most frosts are light (record lows run from 19 degrees to 13 degrees F/-17 degrees to -11 degrees C); scant rain comes in summer and winter. http://img1.sunset.timeinc.net/sites/default/ files/image/climate-zones/wgbmap- cadesert-w-m.jpg In western L.A. County we do not (and probably never will) ‘live in a desert’ CA Desert Precipitation: Generally < 5 inches Rain + snow  Precipitation pattern: winter/spring except Sonoran Soils: mostly very well-drained; alkali Temperatures: Winter: lows 0-20° F Summer: highs usually > 100 Our mediterranean climate Precipitation: Generally 10-14 inches (up to 20+ in wet years Rain  Precipitation pattern: winter/spring Soils: variable, including poorly draining clays Temperatures: Winter: lows in 40’s Summer: mostly 80’s-low 90’s © Project SOUND
  13. 13. 12/6/2014 13 The reality: using CA/Baja Desert plants in local gardens can present a challenge Mojave Desert plants Dry conditions for the most part (3 to 10 inches) except for desert riparian Need summer dry Need well-drained Sonoran Desert plants Very dry conditions (2 to 6 inches ) but variable Summer monsoons Great Basin Desert plants Many need colder winters Some need summer monsoons © Project SOUND http://www.mbgnet.net/sets/desert/desert.gif Of course, as more plants are replaced with hardscape, the more desert-like we become – that’s why we need plants The ‘reality’ (for S. CA sustainable gardening) California native plants are as water-wise as their native habitat: desert to rain-forest Know where a plant hails from – then follow the rain patterns for that geographical place © Project SOUND http://www.dwfestival.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/desert-botanical-garden-3.jpg http://www.laspilitas.com/images/grid24_24/3213/s/images/plants/242/Diplacus_aurantiacus-1.jpg © Project SOUND How to we know what plants will be most water-efficient for our area? Consequences of water-wise choices © Project SOUND http://www.about-garden.com/images_data/3169-ceanothus- impressus-victoria-blueblos-2.jpg
  14. 14. 12/6/2014 14 Compromise: some green/some not © Project SOUND Most of us need some green Aesthetics Necessity – curb appeal; covenants/regulations; etc. Using a combination of evergreen and seasonally dormant plants: Can be done with CA native plants Makes Water Zone gardening a necessity What will our future climate be like? © Project SOUND My recommendations for plant choices At least 1 tree Several evergreen shrubs as evergreen backdrop: S. CA chaparral species best Evergreen; provide height, habitat, interest Hardy: take drought, heat, water Plants from Zone-spanner list: tolerances from water zone 1-2 to 2-3 Zone 1 to 1-2: many of the local natives – may have more tolerance to wet years than we think! © Project SOUND The time to prepare is now: climate change is here © Project SOUND Myth 8 : ‘Never use drip irrigation or overhead watering with native plants’
  15. 15. 12/6/2014 15 Origins of the myth? Native plant nurseries – particularly those from Central and Northern CA (where over-watering is more of a problem) Gardener’s experiences, particularly with older technologies – killing plants by over- or under-watering © Project SOUND http://farm1.static.flickr.com/66/217778727_06dd962495.jpg The ‘reality’ (for S. CA sustainable gardening) Most gardens need some supplemental water, at least in drought years and while they are becoming established Whether ‘no overhead water’ is an option depends on the garden Rain water is overhead water – what makes it different (in S. CA) is that it comes in the cold months Overhead watering: done prudently: Only when needed, based on soil conditions, Water Zone requirements In conditions that mimic natural ‘wet days’ – cool days; late afternoon/early morning © Project SOUND http://img.hgtv.com/HGTV/2008/11/26/gby1707_2d_hose-trickling-water_s4x3_lg.jpg The ‘reality’ (for S. CA sustainable gardening) Drip irrigation (or buried soaker hoses) can be a godsend in some situations: Water Zone 3 areas (vegetable garden; tropical ornamentals; etc.) Pots on a patio Newly planted gardens – provide supplemental water until established This type of irrigation requires regular monitoring and maintenance: Water only when the soil indicates a need Check for breaks/malfunctions Reposition as root systems develop In many cases, view as a temporary measure © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Myth 8 : ‘Never use drip irrigation or overhead watering with native plants’ S. CA is drier – use these with caution
  16. 16. 12/6/2014 16 Myth 9 : ‘California native plants are difficult to grow’ or ‘California natives are easy to grow’ © Project SOUND Sub-myth 9 : ‘Native plants are not as tough/vigorous as exotic plants’ © Project SOUND http://kathrynanddavid.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/potato-fungus-07-adj.jpg Origins of the myth? Gardeners experiences with native plants (particularly those new to gardening with native plants) Horticulture industry (growers, sellers & designers) – who have cherry-picked the easiest to grow & install plants from around the world Native plant enthusiasts/ nurseries, who want to promote native plant gardening © Project SOUND http://www.junglemusic.net/The%20Queen%20Palm.html Queen palm – way over-used in S. CA gardens The ‘reality’ (for S. CA/sustainable gardening) We think that tropical plants are ‘vigorous’ because we water and feed them all the time (we baby them) Tropical plants with too little water (i.e., drought) are just as dead as native plants with too much water. © Project SOUND http://1.bp.blogspot.com/- 5QvgyRIzAKs/UYmvg2F0z2I/AAAAAAAAD94/hoEsqReG_vc/s1600/P1018112.JPG Current U.S. Drought Monitor http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/RegionalDroughtMonitor.aspx?west 80% of CA in ‘extreme’ or ‘exceptional’ drought
  17. 17. 12/6/2014 17 Which looks more like S. California? © Project SOUND http://www.noratobin.com/wp-content/uploads/rainforest-rainforest- 32472978-1024-768.jpg http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-- hV0oSj7_Ak/UDl7dfwfgOI/AAAAAAAAGCM/SGELjxtGd0o/s1600/Plants-for-tropical-gardens+3.jpg The ‘reality’ (for S. CA sustainable gardening) Many local native plants need less water, fertilizers, etc. than traditional garden plants; that can take some getting used to. © Project SOUND http://washington.uwex.edu/agriculture/horticulture/master-gardener/ Conclusion: both myths are partly correct California natives are no more difficult to grow than any other plant with proper selection, installation and maintenance. You do need to choose plants appropriate for your conditions: plant choice and placement is more important than in a conventional garden And you do need to know more about each plant group to know how to maintain them © Project SOUND http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c3/Gardening.jpg Most gardening services currently do not employ persons with native plant experience We need to encourage the development of training opportunities for local ‘gardeners’ - to turn the ‘mow & blow guys’ into the true gardeners of the future © Project SOUND http://www.lucygardens.com/images/gardening-coloring-page-8.gif Some native plant gardeners would like to use a landscape service
  18. 18. 12/6/2014 18 Myth 10 : ‘Natives belong here so they won't need any care’ © Project SOUND http://realmoneynoscams.com/how-to-sell-snake-oil-in-five-easy-steps/ ‘Common sense’: if they grow here naturally then they’ll just grow Wishful thinking © Project SOUND Origins of the myth? The ‘reality’ (for S. CA/sustainable gardening) You likely want your garden plants to look a bit more garden-like than the same plants in the wild; gardens are transitions between the wild and the tamed Your garden and the wilds are different in some important ways: No/few animals to do the pruning Extra heat from urban hardscape Other (supplemental irrigation, etc.) You are trying to create an ecosystem (mature garden) much faster than Mother Nature does – and that has consequences for maintenance © Project SOUND The maintenance is different… More weeding (in the beginning) Yearly mulch renewal – where appropriate Summer pruning (chaparral shrubs) Fall/winter pruning © Project SOUND http://www.yellcrew.com/how-to-mow-a-lawn-with-a-rotary-mower/how- to-mow-your-lawn/ The first few years (of any garden) require more work. Once the garden is established, many native plants require less maintenance than conventional garden plants
  19. 19. 12/6/2014 19 Sub-myth 10 : ‘Native plants generate less garden waste’ The waste is certainly different The waste (clippings/prunings) tends to be concentrated at certain times of the year Much of the ‘waste’ can be used? Use as mulch or compost Use for garden crafts Use for edibles © Project SOUND But do native plants actually generate less waste? http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tZSsTT2LIxE/UW- CtrvpfVI/AAAAAAAAAZw/2g94RlO5Hws/s1600/Bag+grass+clippings.jpg Garden/Garden — A Comparison in Santa Monica In 2004, the city of Santa Monica constructed two 1,900-square- feet demonstration gardens on two adjacent front yards. The “Traditional Garden” incorporates commonly used exotic species/lawn. The sustainable “Native Garden” uses exclusively native California plants. © Project SOUND http://www.asla.org/sustainablelandscapes/gardengarden.html Garden/Garden — A Comparison in Santa Monica © Project SOUND http://www.asla.org/sustainablelandscapes/gardengarden.html Maintenance is required – but the tasks and timing are different. Established native plant gardens likely require less maintenance © Project SOUND Conclusion: myth partly correct
  20. 20. 12/6/2014 20 Myth 11 : ‘Leaves should always be raked up’ © Project SOUND Origins of the myth? Concern about fire danger Concern about spreading leaf- attacking diseases, particularly fungal diseases Appearance: ‘fallen leaves look untidy’ © Project SOUND https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=270 Rose black spot The ‘reality’ (sustainable gardening) Gardens that are drier have less disease than those that are watered more regularly Diseased leaves (from native and non-native plants) should be raked up and disposed of. Leaf litter provides food for lots of soil critters and returns soil nutrients (more in February, 2015) Leaf raking is an important task in very formal gardens (remember the formal Japanese gardens) © Project SOUND Myth 11 : ‘Leaves should always be raked up’ © Project SOUND Conclusion: myth partly correct; situational
  21. 21. 12/6/2014 21 Myths about garden design related to California native plants © Project SOUND Myth 12 : ‘Native plants are not as showy or ornamental as exotic plants’ © Project SOUND Alternate myth 12 : ‘California native plants look scrawny, scraggly, and ratty’ In truth, there are also plenty of non-native plants that look pretty bad © Project SOUND http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/wp-content/gallery/bbtn/turner/turner-1.jpg http://www.estately.com/listings/info/21122-new-hampshire-avenue Alternate myth 12: ‘Plant a native landscape and you will be scorned by your neighbors’ © Project SOUND http://www.julieorrdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/Morrow-0951.jpg http://unleadedwriting.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/SCREAM-7622556-300x226.jpg
  22. 22. 12/6/2014 22 Origins of the myth? Observation of native plants in the dormant season The horticultural industry, including traditional designers © Project SOUND http://room42.wikispaces.com/file/view/chaparral_lanscape.jpg/30500677/572x342/ chaparral_lanscape.jpg http://st.houzz.com/simgs/42f1504a001890aa_4-5055/traditional-landscape.jpg Beauty is in the eye of the beholder The reality: many showy CA native plants Why else would people around the world go to great lengths to grow them? © Project SOUND The ‘reality’ (for S. CA/sustainable gardening) You are likely to get to know more of your neighbors Some will like the flowers Many will like the butterflies and birds Some will just be curious © Project SOUND The importance of signage: what you’re doing is different, so think ‘educate’ © Project SOUND California Native Plant Society has a great new sign http://store.cnps.org/collections/frontpage/products/native-plant-garden-sign
  23. 23. 12/6/2014 23 The ‘reality’ (S. CA sustainable gardening) Some CA natives are pretty year- round (evergreen and other) ; others are seasonal stars You can choose the mix that’s right for your garden © Project SOUND http://www.gardenideaspicture.us/2013/08/native-garden-ideas.html The dormant season has magical beauty © Project SOUND We need to cultivate our taste for the subtle beauties of life California natives: plants for the sophisticated palate © Project SOUND http://www.miceshots.com/usr/65/ITP_-_040513f-IMG_0268.jpg http://bethelinn.com/site/dining-choices/nik_0242 http://images.tdaxp.com/china/20060523/CIMG2300.JPG © Project SOUND Myth 12 : busted – CA has some of the prettiest plants around
  24. 24. 12/6/2014 24 Myth 13 : ‘California native plants/gardens are too expensive’ © Project SOUND http://www.laspilitas.com/stores/escondido The ‘reality’ (for S. CA/ sustainable gardening) Good non-native plants really aren’t that cheap any more, even at the big box stores – $15-$40+ for shrubs, trees Native plants can be obtained inexpensively Plant sales & featured plants End of season (May/June) Grow your own from seed Many of the more expensive natives are long-lived Long-term costs of natives are often less than non-natives © Project SOUND http://www.growswitch.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Home- Depot-Garden-Centers-stop-neonics.jpg http://mytutorlist.blogspot.com/2010/06/gardening-adventures-with-cheap-plants.html Garden/Garden — A Comparison in Santa Monica © Project SOUND http://www.asla.org/sustainablelandscapes/gardengarden.html The native garden cost $16,700 to install compared $12,400 for the traditional garden. Conclusion: Myth 13 mostly busted Native plants can be obtained at prices comparable to non- natives You need to figure total costs over the life of the plant(s) for a true comparison © Project SOUND
  25. 25. 12/6/2014 25 Myth 14 : ‘Native plants grow too slowly’ © Project SOUND The myth’s origins? Observation of native plants and non-native, tropical plants and annuals (by just about everyone) The horticultural trade Cultural: need for instant gratification; ‘time is money’ © Project SOUND http://www.metro.us/local/shofuso-japanese-garden-gets-a-traditional-style-makeover/tmWmhn--- c7x5dLWrpWHA/phl_garden-614x443.jpg http://cohesion.rice.edu/NaturalSciences/Arboretum/emplibrary/HPIM1195.JPG http://www.rushindustries.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/Garden%20Butterfly%20Mat%20Instant%20Flower%20Garden.jpeg Instant Butterfly Garden!!!!! ‘Slow Gardening’ movement Gardens develop like nature, taking their time The ‘reality’ (for S. CA/ sustainable gardening) Many locally native shrubs and sub-shrubs grow remarkably fast (even in the past two record drought years) © Project SOUND 2012 2013 2014 The ‘reality’ (for S. CA/ sustainable gardening) Larger shrubs/trees take longer to establish (2-4) years – hence the saying ‘first they sleep, then they creep and then they leap!’ 5-8 years for large hedgerow; 2- 4 years for smaller hedge © Project SOUND 2008 2012 2014
  26. 26. 12/6/2014 26 Espalier wall © Project SOUND One year Two years Three years Plants grow at their own speed, whether native or non-native The ‘reality’ (for S. CA/ sustainable gardening) Slow growth = long life (seems to be a basic principle of life) Some things are worth waiting for We all should be planting water- wise trees right now © Project SOUND Sub-myth 14 : ‘Bigger is better – buy the 5- or 15-gallon instead of the 1-gallon’ Most large plants have their own growth schedule (pre-programmed growth rate) Some reasons not to buy large: $$$$ Cost $$$$ Exposure to bad habits in the nursery setting (too much water, fertilizer, etc.) Smaller sizes develop better root systems – they have room to grow naturally (in the ground) when young Younger plants are more adaptable; become better acclimated to your microclimate © Project SOUND http://m1.i.pbase.com/o4/62/480162/1/91715821.svXuslMD.DSCF3269.jpg Reality: in several years the 1-gallon will likely outperform the larger size native shrub/tree Myth 15 : ‘All California native plants require full sun’ © Project SOUND http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/jean-halfords-garden?gid=175&idx=3
  27. 27. 12/6/2014 27 Origins of the myth? Many people think Coastal Sage Scrub or Chaparral when they think ‘native’ Many local native plant gardens feature these plants This is what ‘drought tolerant’ plants are ‘supposed to like’, right © Project SOUND http://www.gardenideaspicture.us/2013/08/native-garden-ideas.html http://img1.myhomeideas.timeinc.net/sites/default/files/image/legacy/designassistant/0606_sunset_outdoorroom4_l.jpg We need to plant shade trees: how can I use native plants? © Project SOUND http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/wp-content/gallery/2010/bairdharper/harper-106.jpg The ‘reality’ (for S. CA/sustainable gardening) Several local Native Plant Communities feature many plants that thrive in shade: Southern Oak Woodland (dry shade) Yellow Pine and Mixed Evergreen Forest (medium moisture shade) Riparian Forest Even the sunnier communities have plants that like a little shade Those that grow in canyons Those that grow on North-facing slopes © Project SOUND Gardens with a little shade are so much more interesting © Project SOUND http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/wp-content/gallery/bbtn/habets/habets-9.jpg
  28. 28. 12/6/2014 28 They are cooler and often more water-wise © Project SOUND http://chanceofrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Emily-Green-Garden-34.jpg You can grow natives under existing trees – even oaks, eucalyptus and citrus © Project SOUND Don’t rip out a good ‘heritage’ shade tree just because it’s not native Conclusion: myth busted Not all shade is dense shade; many native plants do very well in part-shade There are plenty of native choices available for dry shade, moist shade and everything in between Review last month’s talk (container plants for shade) and the Aug. 2010 talk (woodland wonders) Look at the ‘Dry Shade’ plant list. © Project SOUND http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/nancy-wenningers-garden?gid=148&idx=35 © Project SOUND Design a little shade in your garden – for health and beauty
  29. 29. 12/6/2014 29 Myth 16 : ‘Nursery tags are an accurate indicator of final plant size’ © Project SOUND http://paintingtruth.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f5b5ed56970b014e881c535a970d-800wi Many factors affect final plant size Plant’s genetic makeup Soil structure Soil nutrients Water Light Other plants Pruning Gophers Dog pee Etc. © Project SOUND Add 10-20% to largest size on plant label – it’s better to choose a plant that’s a little too small than too big Myth 17 : ‘You can’t plant native and non- native plants together’ © Project SOUND http://the-gist.org/2012/09/allelopathy-when-plants-attack/ Origins of the myth? Native plant enthusiasts – who think native plants are the only thing anyone would ever want to plant Native plant nurseries, who want to sell you their plants The idea that CA native plants are somehow different from other plants in their basic biology © Project SOUND
  30. 30. 12/6/2014 30 The ‘reality’ (for sustainable gardening) There’s no law – biological or otherwise – that says that native and non-native plants can’t be grown together The plants do need to be compatible (light; soil; water requirements; etc.) © Project SOUND http://www.tierraseca.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/atherton_new.jpg http://marvistamom.com/wp-content/uploads/3930-keeshen-001.jpg http://www.garden-view.com/NewsletterIMG/califnatives.jpg Conclusion: myth busted Combine or not – the choice is yours, as long as plants have compatible requirements Some needs cannot be filled by native plants alone If choosing non-native species, be sure they are life-friendly: Not invasive, disease-prone Provide added value: food etc. Provide habitat Some good plants to combine with CA natives: Mediterranean plants, herbs Citrus, olives, dry climate fruits Plants from surrounding states © Project SOUND Myth 18 : ‘Native plants cannot be used formally’ or ‘MUST be naturalistically arranged’ © Project SOUND http://www.westadamsheritage.org/read/548 Sub-myth: ‘Native yards and gardens look like the forest, or are too wild and messy’ © Project SOUND http://www.laspilitas.com/garden/examples/small-los-angeles-native-garden.htm http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/gardens.aspx Garden featuring CSS plants Garden featuring Coastal Prairie plants
  31. 31. 12/6/2014 31 Origins of the myth? Many current native plant gardens are naturalistic: Designed by homeowners – designers are late to the table in terms of using CA natives They’ve been designed by nature lovers – having a garden that looks like nature is fabulous! © Project SOUND http://www.katherine-greenberg.com/resources/wholegarden.jpg.opt776x518o0,0s776x518.jpg http://www.atwatervillagenow.com/2012/04/12/for-garden-lovers-atwater-village- garden-in-weekend-long-tour/ http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/jennifer-becker-and-dean-mayers- garden?gid=176&idx=9 Origins of the myth? Many public gardens with native plants have a naturalistic appearance because they’ve been designed to teach people about native plants or about nature © Project SOUND Garden of Dreams – CSUDH Designed to introduce children to a locally native ecosystem - in a ‘safe’ , discovery garden environment. Maintained more naturally to give kids a sense the seasons, experience wildlife, etc. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Formal garden - traditional © Project SOUND http://www.houzz.com/photos/1292178/Formal-Garden-Design-traditional-landscape-chicago This was the type of garden that classy/wealthy folks had; a source of inspiration and something to aspire to It was also a style for much wetter places than S. CA The formal-informal continuum: contemporary © Project SOUND http://caplants.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/gardena1.jpg http://www.trbimg.com/img-51423a6d/turbine/la-lh-spring-garden-tours-2013- 20130314-001/600/600x399 http://www.lastormwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/0402-Native- Garden-600x383.jpg http://www.nutrisespas.org/inspirational-designs-to-create-fascinating- outdoor-spaces/
  32. 32. 12/6/2014 32 The ‘reality’ (for sustainable gardening) You can use native plants in very formal plantings (after all, our natives are so used in English gardens) IF Plants are chosen carefully for their formal appearance (this is true whether plants are native or not) – shape, density, growth speed and habit, evergreen (at least backbone plants) You are willing to take the time to maintain the plants/garden; regular pruning, sweeping, etc. You spend a little water (usually) © Project SOUND http://nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Marnee1.jpg © Project SOUND No reason to use non-native plants http://www.ygpshow.com/images/AspenCreek_Formal_l.jpg Apparently no one told European gardeners that native plants cannot be used formally  Native American plants are used frequently in formal European gardens. They are also used in American gardens such as the Centennial Flower Garden in Denver, which is a replica of the gardens of Versailles. ‘On a recent trip to the Netherlands to look at gardens, I was repeatedly surprised how well and how often Europeans use our native plants.’ © Project SOUND Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) hedge http://habhero.org/an-unsung-hero-of-the-winter-dry-garden/ Secrets to making a garden look more formal: Use formal hardscape and/or planting design Limit plant choices Mass plantings/ repetition Plan contrasts carefully © Project SOUND http://www.archdaily.com/158403/fran-and-ray-stark-sculpture-garden-j-paul- getty-center-olin/ http://www.wildsidegardentour.com/school-guide http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/wp-content/gallery/bbtn/turner/turner-1.jpg
  33. 33. 12/6/2014 33 Sub-myth 18: ‘Native plants can’t be massed (or any other design principle)’ Why not ????????? © Project SOUND http://edenmakersblog.com/?p=953#sthash.hjqJb7UV.dpbs http://www.gardenista.com/posts/dry-garden-roundup-best-drought-tolerant-low-water-designs- from-the-gardenista-gallery © Project SOUND http://rwa.watersavingplants.com/GWTours.php?index=4 Conclusion: myth 18 busted You can use native plants to create a formal garden. It may take extra planning and maintenance, but the choice is yours. © Project SOUND Centennial Gardens, Denver – modeled after Versaille gardens Myth busted: native plants are not an excuse for ignoring the principles of good design © Project SOUND
  34. 34. 12/6/2014 34 Myth 19 : ‘I’m just one person. Why garden responsibly when my neighbors don’t?’ © Project SOUND http://cmsimg.visaliatimesdelta.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=J4&Date=20140305&Category=NEWS01&ArtNo=303050011&Ref=AR&MaxW=640& Border=0&Visalia-City-Council-plans-vote-more-stringent-water-use-rules The myth origins? The chronic nay-sayers The horticulture industry Discouraged water-wise and life-friendly gardeners © Project SOUND The ‘reality’ (for S. CA/sustainable gardening) We’ve all seen it: build it (habitat) and they will come Habitat destruction & climate change make gardens even more important: home, school, church and business landscapes © Project SOUND The ‘reality’ (for S. CA/sustainable gardening) Giving up doesn’t get the job done We need to work smarter – using all the ‘tricks’ of marketing © Project SOUND
  35. 35. 12/6/2014 35 And here’s where the magic comes in… © Project SOUND Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead © Project SOUND http://www.matilijanursery.com/articles/full-living-color-all-year-just-about/ © Project SOUND Keep on truckin’ – blue skies ahead 2014: Bringing Nature Home - Lessons from Gardening Traditions Worldwide © Project SOUND
  36. 36. 12/6/2014 36 2015: Sustainable Living with California Native Plants © Project SOUND

×