4028dd4b998f5269e7691e6d3c7444a2
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

I’m convinced - gardeners love the outdoors, love nature and love the earth more than most people.

rvanderhoff

That’s why they garden, to be closer to nature.

So when it’s time to make decisions about the sorts of plants to place into their gardens these folks are increasingly weighing things like water needs and climate suitability. Gardeners are asking good questions and they’re reading the fine print    on fertilizer labels, soil amendments and pest controls. Indeed, gardeners are in touch with nature and they want their gardens to contribute to the health of the planet, purifying our air and water, supporting pollinators, birds and wildlife and cooling the environment.

When it comes to being a good citizen of this planet, gardeners really do want to ‘do the right thing’. But, often gardening can become complicated and confusing. So many plants and so many technical details. Gardeners sometimes just don’t know what the “right” thing is.

Creating Cal Friendly Garden

Next Saturday morning, Feb. 5, please join me at The Newport Coast Community Center for a one hour presentation titled Creating a California Friendly Garden. During the program I will use my own home garden as a way to illustrate a wide variety of California Friendly techniques and design ideas. This illustrated presentation will review the steps that I took in my own small suburban garden, from removing the lawn, changing the irrigation and preparing the soil; to the design, the plant communities created, my planting techniques and much more.

The story of the transformation of my typical suburban garden into a California Friendly version is one that I hope will inspire you in your own garden and perhaps give you some ideas toward what ‘the right thing’ might be. In most ways, my story may be very similar to your own. Three years ago I moved to a new house with a landscape already in place. The house was thirty years old and the landscape was typical – one that you’ll see in almost any suburban neighborhood; one that you may even have yourself. It was a collection of lawns, shrubs, trees and a few flowers and potted plants. The standard irrigation system was run by a timer and, of course, a gardener visited once each week for a rather predictable routine.

Having just bought the house, I was out of money. Since I work 60 hours a week and am seldom home, even on my non-work days, I was also out of time. No money and no time. Sound familiar?

During the presentation, I’ll share my story of how I went about installing a low water, low maintenance and low resource garden. I dealt with the lawn, the irrigation, the soil, the green waste, the runoff, the boring plants and lots more. Some successes, a few failures. I ended up with a garden of diversity, filled with interesting plants, succulents, native plants, tropical’s, potted plants, lots of birds and butterflies and even vegetables and fruits. It’s now a California Friendly garden, of modest water use, resource efficient, light maintenance and inexpensive.

Join horticulturist Wendy Proud and myself at The Newport Coast Community Center, 6401 San Joaquin Hills Drive, at the intersection of Newport Coast Drive. The event is free, open to the public and part of our year-long California Friendly gardening program that in future months will include visits to local home gardens, environmental nature centers, native plant gardens and even a University of California horticultural research facility here in Orange County.

If you’re not sure what a California Friendly garden is, it is a garden that “fits” Southern California. It is a garden that does not rely on excessive artificial support, like copious amounts of water, nutrition or even a gardener’s time and energy. In turn, a California Friendly garden is one that works with the environment around it; not polluting, contributing excessive waste or spreading invasive plants.

If you already have a California Friendly garden you should enter it in The California Friendly Gardening Contest, now in its fifth year. The contest recognizes and rewards those Orange County gardens that are not only beautiful, but are sustainable, resource efficient and appropriate for our climate. Entry is simple and free and winners receive cash prizes. The contest is organized and supported by a coalition of public agencies, environmental groups and green industry businesses in an effort to encourage beautiful, but low resource and sustainable gardens. To enter or learn more, visit www.calfriendlygardencontest.com.

Questions from Readers January 29.

Question:

One of my small potted bougainvilleas lost all of its leaves recently, while two others not far away still have theirs. They’re watered the same and get the same care. What’s up?

Sheryl, Fountain Valley

Answer:

Bougainvilleas are tropical plants and have a low tolerance to cold weather. The cold nights of December have caused it to defoliate, a fairly common occurrence with bougainvillea. Individual plants will react differently, sometimes due to slight difference in the microclimates around the plants. Just be patient, don’t overwater and it will leaf back out in a month or two.

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


Articles about Natives on the Mulch (Click for Full List)

Valley Oak
Natives Ron Vanderhoff

A Rare Tree and an Old, Long Lost Friend is Re-Found - Valley Oaks (Quercus lobata)

There are several rare plants in Orange County.
Native Plant Society Meeting
Natives Ron Vanderhoff

An Invitation to My Garden

In about an hour I am visiting a friend’s garden in Newport Beach.

How to Sow Wildflowers, like Poppies - and Succeed

8816 Ron Vanderhoff
California Poppy Seeds
So you want to sow some wildflowers; like a modern day Johnny Appleseed, traveling about,…

Matilija Poppy a California Plant Icon

39767 Ron Vanderhoff
Matilija Poppy
As most gardeners know, the California Poppy is the official state flower of California. 

My Native Plant Garden, err Laboratory

3919 Ron Vanderhoff
Srctostaphylos 'Howard Mcminn'
It’s a few minutes before 7 o’clock in the morning, the neighbors are asleep and I’m…

Native or Introduced, a Gardener's Debate

2779 Ron Vanderhoff
Eschscholzia californica 'White Linen'
The debate between which plants should prevail in gardens, native plants or introduced…

Now is the Ideal Time to add Native Plants to your Garden

3362 Ron Vanderhoff
Sisyrinchium bellum
Tomorrow morning I'll set off early in the morning. Soon, I'll be rolling down Laguna…

Orange Counties Wild Orchid - Epipactis gigantea

21904 Ron Vanderhoff
Epipactis gigantea
I’ve been gardening in Orange County for a long time and I’ve been hiking and exploring…

Plant a Native Wildflower Garden

13141 Ron Vanderhoff
Phacelia campanularia
Spring used to mean wildflowers. I remember, as a young boy, exploring the hills around…

Sage Advice for California Gardeners

27493 Ron Vanderhoff
Salvia clevelandii 'Winidred Gilman'
Southern Europe is well known as the lavender center of the world.

Featured Plant Care

Plum Monthly Plant Care

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

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

Sago Palms Plant Care - southern California

in Trees
Cycads are one of the oldest living plant families. They have been around for thousands…
Avocado Monthly Plant Care

Avocado - Haas (Persea americana 'Haas') - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

Pear - Asian (Pyrus pyrifolia) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

Latest Articles

New Plants Added to Database

Do You Have Any Plants You'd Like Me To Add For You?

Our website has so much information being added and updated that I decided to post an…
Six things for your indoor plants during winter

Do These Six Things to Keep Indoor Plants Healthy During Winter

Winter has hit southern California along with the rest of the U.S. No polar vortex here,…
Gardening Professionals and Clubs

Gardening Pros & Clubs: Using the Great Features on the Mulch

We'd like to help connect gardening professional and home gardeners. We've designed a…
Star Jasmine Monthly Plant Care

Jasmine - Star (Trachelospermum jasminoides) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

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)