abutilon

Matilija Nursery for Native Plants

Cal­i­for­nia native plants

I recently toured Matil­ija Nurs­ery with owner Bob Suss­man, who started his grow­ing busi­ness about 16 years ago. Nes­tled among the orchards of Moor­park, this SoCal nurs­ery car­ries a choice vari­ety of native plants, and native and hybridized irises. Bob has pro­vided Socal​nurs​ery​plants​.com with the fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion about native plant growing:

What to do now??? The end of the sum­mer dog days.……

In case you haven’t noticed, this is the most chal­leng­ing and demor­al­iz­ing time for a native gar­den, espe­cially a new native gar­den. The rea­son for this is that a native gar­den, or any gar­den for that mat­ter, always has a com­po­nent of trial and error. Most of us tend to focus on the “error”, what didn’t work and what died? This was indeed the case at a recent con­sul­ta­tion I went to last week where the new gar­den was going through its rough first year.

Most native plants flower intensely in spring but by sum­mer things are going the other way. There are non-​violent solu­tions to all of this and things to do like main­te­nance and planning.

You can start cut­ting back things that “need it”. Things that need it are salvia’s, sphear­al­cea, encelia, grasses and even matil­ija pop­pies but not cean­othus or man­zanita. Clear out leaf lit­ter except under oaks — my pref­er­ence. Weed and spread mulch. That will give every­thing a much neater and cleaner look while keep­ing the ground cooler and plants greener.

Plan­ning! What croaked and what didn’t? What looks good dur­ing the sum­mer heat? Most casu­al­ties occur in the first year. While there are many rea­sons for plant casu­al­ties, it’s gen­er­ally “wrong plant, wrong place”, but you may not know this until the first sum­mer. Then you find out. What to do?

Repeat the suc­cesses and not the fail­ures. Look at those things that did well and plant more of those. Go to the native plant nurs­ery (Matil­ija Nurs­ery) or botan­i­cal gar­den in summer/​fall and see what looks nice and in flower!!!!. Then, plant the plants that are both flow­er­ing and/​or look nice.

Flow­er­ing plants put the focus of your eye on the flow­ers and not the part of the land­scape going to seed or in to dor­mancy. Here’s a par­tial list of what is flow­er­ing now: lessin­gia, ero­gonum grande rubescens ie red buck­wheat (fin­ish­ing now), Cal­i­for­nia fuch­sia, chilop­sis lin­earus (desert wil­low), mala­cotham­nus nutalii (bush mal­low) and abu­tilon palmeri.

Matil­ija Bob will now do con­sults for about $100 per visit depend­ing on where you live and you get a 20% dis­count cer­tifi­cate good for 60 days on nurs­ery plants to boot. Way bet­ter and cheaper than a psychologist!

Go to www​.matil​i​ja​nurs​ery​.com for more arti­cles like the one above.

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