New Native Plant Guide!

Rare Palmer's Dudleya with Lavender

Rare bloom­ing Palmer’s Dud­leya with Lavender

Recently my daugh­ter Holly was flip­ping through some arti­cles on the inter­net, and dis­cov­ered a help­ful new web­site, www​.calscape​.org. UC Berke­ley had a brain­storm and teamed up with Cal­i­for­nia Native Plant Soci­ety (CNPS) to help gar­den­ers learn about native plants in Cal­i­for­nia that are drought friendly dur­ing our water short­age. Users will be able to search by their address or zip code to see what native plants grow in their area, and can be grown in your gar­den. You can find plants in cat­e­gories such as trees, shrubs, grasses, suc­cu­lents, annu­als, and much more. Kudos to UC Berke­ley and CNPS for this won­der­ful new tool!

The Monkey Puzzle Tree

A Mon­key Puzzle?

My love affair with trees con­tin­ues. I could have eas­ily built a tour around the trees we saw in Ire­land! My favorite is the Mon­key Puz­zle Tree, pic­tured above. It’s latin name, Arau­caria arau­cana, is derived from the city of Arauco in South­ern Chile, the area it is indige­nous to. This conifer (cone-​bearing) lives 100200 years on aver­age and some have been alive over 800 years, reach­ing heights of over 100 feet. Even the indi­vid­ual leaves can live 15 years.

Mon­key puz­zle trees have been used by the native peo­ple of Chile as a food — they have almond shaped seeds — and for cer­e­mo­nial pur­poses. They will tol­er­ate most well-​drained soils and a cool, mild and humid cli­mate, exactly what this one is get­ting in the Con­nemara area of Ire­land. This beauty resides on the grounds of Bal­ly­nahinch Cas­tle, in the west.

The leaves of the mon­key puz­zle tree

Master Gardeners to the Rescue!

Recently I was made aware of the scope of ser­vices of the Mas­ter Gar­den­ers. These folks are trained thru the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia exten­sions across the state in all aspects of hor­ti­cul­ture. They are charged with doing vol­un­teer work when they grad­u­ate, amount­ing to 50 hours the first year after they com­plete the course, and 25 hours each year after. One of their more won­der­ful ser­vices is their hot line..they can answer all mat­ter of ques­tions. I recently con­tacted them on my poor dead lawn, and I’m in the process of send­ing them pho­tos. I get lots of ques­tions on my web­site that do not per­tain to nurs­eries. Because I am hor­ti­cul­tur­ally chal­lenged, please, gen­tle read­ers, con­tact the Mas­ter Gar­den­ers at mglosangeleshelpline@​ucdavis.​edu or call 6265861988 — you will be glad you did!

One of my beloved succulents...

One of my beloved succulents…

Palisades Park


Sun­set at Pal­isades Park in Santa Monica..a great place to see gor­geous mature trees and dream of plant­ing one!

Readers have questions.…

Hang­ing gourds photo per­mis­sion of Organ​ic​green​roots​.word​press​.com

And I’m hop­ing you have the answers:

  • From Paul: Where can I find the best selec­tion of fuch­sias in the L.A. area?

From Susan: I called the South Coast Fuch­sia Soci­ety and found out the best time to buy fuch­sias is in the Spring. They rec­om­mend Arm­strong Gar­den Cen­ters , a chain of nurs­eries in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, for fuch­sias (www​.arm​strong​gar​den​.com).

  • From Mario (This is an inter­est­ing one): I have a 47 ft sin­gle out­rig­ger sail­ing canoe which I am refur­bish­ing. I am look­ing for black bam­boo in the 68 inch diam­e­ter size for use as mast and booms. Any leads for such resource in the San Diego county area? Thanks.

From Susan: my first call would be to Ralph Evans of Botan­i­cal Partners/​Bamboo Head­quar­ters under San Diego Nurs­eries on my website.

  • From Dana: does any­body know who sells Cal­i­for­nia native and herbal plants? I am a stu­dent of the plan­e­tary her­bol­ogy and would like to find those plants and basi­cally plant them in my garden.

From Susan: You can try Theodore Payne Native Plants /​Sun Val­ley under Los Ange­les Nurs­eries on my website.

  • From Patrick: I like to buy some dragon plant at a nurs­ery near San Diego — I am will­ing to drive. Thank you.

Any answers would be so appre­ci­ated — just go to com­ments at the bot­tom of this page, type your answers, and I will trans­fer them to this page!



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