f4fe29ee93b6b0e374ca37ed5d4ccaf9

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

Featured Plant Care

Rosemary Monthly Plant Care

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) - Monthly Plant Care Reminders

in Herbs
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Zigzag Wattle Plant Care - photo courtesy Brian Walter via Wikipedia Commons

Zigzag Wattle (Acacia merinthophora) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

Cherry - Sweet (Prunus avium) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

Iris germanica - (Bearded German Iris) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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…
Seed Starting

10 Easy Cut Flowers to Direct Sow

in Seeds
A cut-flower garden or "cutting garden" allows you to bring the beauty of your garden…

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)