Should you replace your lawn with a landscape of plants native to Santa Clarita—or at least Southern California? For me, the answer is an unqualified yes, but that’s because I’m weird and do things like make ink out of the husks of our native walnut, fantasize about stumbling across the new species of sunflower discovered in the SCV, and rejoice in encounters with small indigenous annuals like claspingleaf wild cabbage. These days, though, it’s not just weirdoes like me who have reason to be thinking about our native flora.
Saturday, September 20, 10am-4pm, Westwood
Their Autumn Garden Party includes a talk about "Reimagining the California Lawn" by Carol Bornstein (10:30am this Saturday, the 20th), which I suspect just might be based on a recent book of the same name which she co-authored. It will be a timely, trendy talk. If you go, heckle her for not pushing natives only.
Is there anything more unusual or emasculating than a native flower arranging contest? Oh well, small price to pay for a chance at free plants or discounts from Matilija Nursery. It's out in the boonies and a mostly-one-man-operation that does an interesting side business in non-native irises, but I like it. They have wholesale quantities of many LA and Ventura County native plant staples, the species likely to be the foundation of your native landscape. Plants aren't "over-grown"--they're well rooted but might not have the most luxuriant top-growth--which can be unnerving, but the prices are the best around. It's really economical if you show up for a promotion or buy big sizes, like 5- and 15-gallon plants, which are almost always more pricey elsewhere.
Be sure to browse the inventory online and show up with a list of what you want. This will make Bob Sussman (the man behind Matilija) like you instantly. It really isn't a place where you can show up and browse rows of cute little 4" dudleyas of 18 species like you'd do at Grow Native or Theodore Payne. It's a native plant nursery that, once discovered, will make you feel like you're in the know and a serious buyer more than a dabbler. But I'm sure dabblers are welcome, too.
Theodore Payne Foundation Nursery
Fall Plant Sale
October 10/11, 17/18, 8:30-4:30, Sun Valley
LA-Santa Monica Mountains CNPS Chapter
Into the Garden: Native Plant Sale 2014