Aug 15, 2022

Woollyblue Curse

While it may not be a bad idea to adjust your expectations downward when it comes to planting Woolly Bluecurls in your garden, you don’t necessarily have to resign yourself to watching helplessly as it withers and dies each summer after an all-too-brief flowering

Nov 24, 2021

Cultivar Mentality

Given the growing number and popularity of native cultivars, a conscientious native gardener might be forgiven for asking: what is the larger environmental impact of cloning an individual plant on an industrial scale, ad infinitum? Globally speaking, is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Mar 8, 2021

A Honey Bee Speaks

“What makes you think ‘native’ bees are so great? First of all, they don’t even live in hives, like normal bees. Did you know that some of those so-called ‘bees’ actually live in the ground for God’s sake? I ask you – what kind of a bee lives in the ground? By itself?”

Feb 23, 2021

Oak Woke

If your gardening activities are calibrated to support local wildlife, there is very little you could do that will have a more positive impact on wildlife than preserving and promoting the health of a mature Coast Live Oak, each one of which attracts and supports a vast web of living things.

Feb 9, 2021

If You Weed it, They Will Come

Humans may be the planet’s “preeminent weedy species,” but as stalwart California native gardeners, we have the power to liberate our small plots of land from the curse of anthropogenic weeds

Feb 4, 2021

Exotic Native

The Glorious Spotted Humboldt Lily

The bright orange, maroon-spotted, lavishly petaled Spotted Humboldt Lily is almost preposterously flamboyant, looking like something you’d find growing in a tropical jungle that somehow lost its way and ended up in the relatively stark landscape of Southern California’s mountain ranges.

Jul 29, 2020

In Praise of Poison Oak

Planting a Pariah

It isn’t difficult to understand why people hate poison oak. So why have I actually planted, of my own free will, this shrub in my own backyard, where, three years later, it continues to thrive? Toxicodendron diversilobum, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…