edf8269c6e7a7623381fc2780fad0a58

The debate between which plants should prevail in gardens, native plants or introduced plants, is a contentious one.

rvanderhoff

Advocates of our native flora will point out such qualities as water conservation, wildlife opportunities, their limited need for fertilizer and reduced maintenance needs. Traditionalists, favoring exotic plants, speak of their year-round good looks, the large diversity of choices, easy availability and the important security of gardening with plants they are already familiar with.

The vast majority of our local landscapes employ an array of well known introduced, non-native plants, such as delphiniums, penstemons, solanums, ranunculus, salvias, clematis, violas, orchids, poppies, lilies, sweet peas, bleeding hearts and maybe even dichondra. Traditionalists love these familiar and colorful plants. A quick walk around the block would likely uncover most if not all of these well-known stalwarts of our gardens. What most local gardeners may not know is that all of these plants are native to Orange County; maybe not the same species or hybrid growing in your garden, but a native version of the same plant. Deep blue delphiniums and bright yellow violas growing wild in Orange County? Yes. Climbing clematis? Yes. Golden ranunculus?

natives4

Yes. Six foot tall orange lilies? Yes, lots of them. Remember, I’m not talking about these plants growing in cultivation or being planted; I’m referring to completely native plants, wild and indigenous. Right here in Orange County, on our hillsides and canyons grow fragrant pink sweet peas, exotic nodding peonies, elusive orchids, stunning purple penstemons, huge yellow bleeding hearts, a wide variety of salvias, several poppies and even a rare but beautiful spreading dichondra.

Yes, it is possible to incorporate a few local native plants into your garden, while not venturing too far from the popular, familiar plants you’'re already accustomed to. Perhaps the gap between the advocates of native plants and those of introduced plants isn’t as wide as we think it is. If you’re a traditionalistand you can’t imagine a garden without your familiar plants, this weekend would be a excellent time to take a slow casual walk at Crystal Cove State Park, the Laguna Coast Wilderness or any one of the many trails in The Cleveland National Forest. Delphiniums, ranunculus, violas, sweet peas and many other familiar garden friends might greet you there.

 

Ron Vanderhoff is the Nursery Manager at Roger’s Gardens, Corona del Mar.

Questions from Readers March 26.

My roses are growing like crazy. I’m so excited. There are lots of big buds, but they are being attacked by a zillion aphids. What should I spray with? I don’t want to damage the flowers.

Elizabeth, Newport Beach

Answer:

Aphids are incredibly common at this time of time of year Elizabeth. I wouldn’'t worry too much. In fact, if you did nothing I’ll bet the aphids disappear in two or three weeks and the roses are no worse off. If you just can’t bear to see them, you can knock most of them off with a brisk stream of plain water. If that still doesn'’t satisfy you then use a spray bottle of Insecticidal Soap to kill them. Whatever you do, don’t go get the heavy chemicals and especially not a dose of systemic insecticide.

Aphids don’t really do much harm, but these chemicals sure can.

Assembly_7-24-10_4

Plant Care Reminders

Plum Monthly Plant Care
Edibles Steve Brigham

Plum - Japanese (Prunus salicina) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
French Lavendar Monthly Plant Care
Shrubs Julie Bawden-Davis

Lavender - French (Lavandula dentata) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Home Grown Tomatoes

18440 Ron Vanderhoff
Home Grown Tomatoes
Vine Ripened Pleasures

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) -…

3628 Steve Brigham
Asparagus Monthly Plant Care
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Blackberry - California Blackberry…

3563 Steve Brigham
Blackberry Monthly Plant Care
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Gardening Articles

Rose Slugs

No Need to Panic Over a Few Summer Pests

Summer is upon us. Not only are temperatures rising, but so is the likelihood of a few garden pests.
Expert Bios Debra Lee Baldwin

Debra Lee Baldwin - Southwest

Region: Southwest

Cool Tools & Great Garden Gadgets

46814
Velcro plant support
The items listed have been tested, used and abused by the writer.

Native Pollinators can help with Fruit and Vegetable Yields

4109
Mason Bees
If you’re like many home gardeners, over the past couple of years you may have added some…

How to Start Seeds When Living in Cold Climates

18855
Cucumber Seedlings
Growing plants by starting them from seeds is one way to economically garden.

Plant Recommendations

Lavandula stoechas
Plant Recommendations Lois J. de Vries

Perennials - Mid-Atlantic

 Lois J. de Vries' Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Perennials for Mid-Atlantic.
Graptopetalum paraguay
Plant Recommendations Christiane Holmquist

Ghost Plant - A Work Horse In My Drought Tolerant Garden

I like to surround myself with plant “work horses” in my garden. My house sits on a little ridge overlooking the town of Ramona,

Beautiful California Perennials -…

18486 Greg Rubin
Erigereron 'Wayne Rodderik'
Greg Rubin's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Beautiful California Perennials.

Carnivorous Plants - Southern California

12460 Taylor Murphy
Taylor Murphy
Taylor Murphy's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Carnivorous Plants for Southern…

Trees for Coastal Southern California -…

6836 Sisso Doyle
Metrosiderous collina 'Spring Fire'
Sisso Doyle's Top Plant Recommendations: Favorite Trees for Coastal Southern California.

Featured Plant Care

Edible Sage Monthly Plant Care

Sage - Common Edible (Salvia officinalis) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

in Herbs
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Crape Myrtle Monthly Plant Care

Lagerstroemia spp. (Crape Myrtle) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

in Trees
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Sweet Potato Monthly Plant Care

Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

in Edibles
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Latest Articles

Edit Your Tagged Photos!

How to Edit or Remove A Plant "Tag" In Your Garden Photos

Instead of 'Tagging' your friends on Facebook, now you can 'Tag' your Plants in your…

Popular Articles

Baseball Field Maintenance

Baseball Field Maintenance - A General Guide for Fields of All Levels

in Lawn
More great baseball field resources can be found here (including a pdf version of this…
Queen Palm Care & Use

The Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) Care & Use

in Trees
Jungle Music Palms and Cycads is a family owned and operated business established in 1977
Microgreens

What are Microgreens and How to Grow Them

in Edibles
Microgreens are tiny leafed vegetables that are grown from seed and require very little…
Kahili Ginger Plant Care

Hedychium gardnerianum (Kahili Ginger) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

User Guides (Slide)

Popular Recommendations (Slide)