The LANPS garden with house in background

Begun in 2010, the creation of the half-acre LANPS garden was inspired by the many mature Coast Live Oaks (Quercus agrifolia) found on the property. Accordingly, a large portion of the garden is an example of “best practices” for gardening in the understory of these magnificent trees, which have a very specific set of cultural requirements.

For example, without exception, the plants in these areas of the garden are to be found growing in the dappled shade of Coast Live Oaks in the wild and require little to no summer irrigation. The “un-oaked” southwestern exposures of the garden borrow from the plant communities of other local habitats such as chaparral, coastal sage scrub and Southern Walnut Savannah.

The LANPS garden

Aside from a few non-local (but California native) plants selected “just because,” all of the plants in the LANPS garden are native to the particular area of Los Angeles in which the garden is located. The use of cultivars is limited and substantial space is reserved for a wide variety of annuals. A few “legacy” non-native plants, such as wisteria, pine and olive, have been “grandfathered” in, but at present, the garden is about 95% California native plants.

As the garden has developed and matured, it has attracted a growing number of resident insect, reptile and bird species. When asked if we grow food in the LANPS garden (a question more frequent than you might imagine) we reply: “Yes. Food for insects and birds.” While we certainly enjoy and appreciate the beauty of California’s native plants on display in the LANPS garden, it really exists for the benefit of the resident Yellow-faced Bumblebees, Western Fence Lizards and Lesser Goldfinches, among others.

A work in progress, the LANPS garden continues to grow as more and more of the property is replanted with Southern California native plants.

The LANPS garden with big oak tree

In the Garden, Month by Month

January · February · March · April · May · June · July · August · September · October · November · December

January

Early blooming Golden Currant (Ribes aureum var. gracillimum)

Spotted Humboldt Lily shoot pushing up through oak duff after the first rain of the season (Lilium humboldtii. ssp. ocellatum)

Shiny, new “leaves of three” on poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum)

Fragrant Pitcher Sage (Lepechenia fragrans)

February

A plant

Reawakening California Fuchsia (Epilobium canum ssp. canum)

Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum), a member of the Mustard family

A plant with white flower next to a rock

Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata)

Wildflower meadow: Arroyo Lupine  (Lupinus succulentus)

Plant with purple flower next to a rock

California Four O’Clock (Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia)

Hoary Ceanothus (Ceanothus crassifolius) in full bloom. A true Southern California native Ceanothus.

March

Plant with purple flower

Fiesta Flower (Pholistoma auritum)

Plant with yellow flowers

Golden Currant (Ribes aureum var. gracillimum)

Plant with white flowers

Redskin Onion (Allium haematochiton)

Plant with purple flower

Longleaf Bush Lupine (Lupinus longifolius)

Plants with orange flowers

First California Poppies of spring (Eschscholzia californica)

Plant with purple flower

Blue Dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum)

Plants with yellow flowers

Bush Poppy (Dendromecon rigida)

Plants with yellow flowers

Foothill Poppies (Eschscholzia caespitosa)

Plant with pink flowers

Tomcat Clover (Trifolium wildenovii)

Plants with magenta flowers

Red Maids (Calandrinia ciliata)

Hairy Ceanothus (Ceanothus oliganthus), another true Southern California ceanothus

Plant

Raindrops on Longleaf Bush Lupine (Lupinus longifolius)

Arroyo Lupine petals after the rain (Lupinus succulentus)

Plant with orange flower

Southern Bush Monkeyflower (Diplacus longiflorus)

Purple Owl’s Clover (Castilleja exserta), a hemiparasite that draws nutrients from surrounding plants

April

Field of yellow flowers

Wildflower Meadow: Tidy Tips (Layia platyglossa)

Plant with white flowers

Fairy Lanterns (Calochortus albus)

Plant with red flowers

Scarlet Bugler (Pentstemon centranthifolius)

Plant with purple flowers

California Bluebell (Phacelia minor)

Plant with yellow flowers

Goldenstars (Bloomeria crocea)

Plant with white flowers

Caterpillar Phacelia (Phacelia cicutaria)

Plant with purple flowers

Chia (Salvia columbariae)

Plant with white flower

Toluaca (Datura wrightii)

Plant with light purple flower

Blue Field Gilia (Gilia capitata)

May

Plant with purple flowers

Showy Penstemon (Penstemon spectabilis)

Plant with purple flowers

Fragrant Pitcher Sage (Lepechinia fragrans)

Plant with purple flowers

Prickly Phlox (Linanthus californicus)

Plant with yellow flowers

Canyon Sunflower (Venegasia carpesioides)

Plant with red flowers

Spotted Humboldt’s Lilies (Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum)

Plant with red flower

Western Columbine (Aquilegia formosa)

Plants in long pots

Walnut seedlings (Juglans californica)

Plant with purple flowers

Chaparral Snapdragon (Antirrhinum multiflorum)

Plants growing

Spotted Humboldt’s Lily seedlings (Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum)

June

Plant with purple flowers

Wooly Blue Curls (Trichostema lanatum)

Plant with white and yellow flower

Cliff Aster (Malacothrix saxatilis)

Plant with light purple flowers

Punch Bowl Godetia (Clarkia bottae)

July

Dried grass

Wildflower Meadow in Summer

Plant with white flowers

Eastern Mojave Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum var. foliolosum)

Plant with red flowers

Climbing Pentstemon (Keckiella cordifolia)

Plant with pink flowers

Chaparral Mallow ‘Casitas’ (Malacothamnus fasciculatus ‘Casitas’)

New plants growing in plastic containers

Hollyleaf Redberry seedlings (Rhamnus illicifolia)

Dried grass

Caterpillar Phacelia (Phacelia cicutaria)

August

New plants growing in plastic containers

Blue Elderberry seedlings (Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea)

plants with purple flowers

California Aster (Corethrogyne filaginafolia)

Green flowers

Longstem Buckwheat (Eriogonum elongatum)

September

Dried red flowers

Eastern Mojave Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum var. foliolusum)

Acorns in a basket

Acorns: Coast Live Oak (Quercus agricola)

Cactus with red flowers

California Fuchsia (Epliobium canum ssp. canum) and Coast Prickly Pear (Opuntia littoralis)

October

Leaves

Coast Live Oak duff (Quercus agricola)

November

Yellow flower

Menzies’ Goldenbush (Isocoma menziesii)

December

Walnuts in in pots

Planting Southern California Walnut seeds (Juglans californica) gathered in the fall

Walnut on soil in pot

A single Southern California Walnut seed (Juglans californica)

Ripe Toyon Berries (Heteromeles arbutifolia)