Favorite So. California Native Plants

Favorite So. California Native Plants

We had a garden club meeting in my town (Redlands CA) and were lucky to have as our speaker Bart O’Brien from the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) in Claremont. He presented a wonderful talk about California native plants. More importantly, he shared his favorites for our area. These feature good survival rates [Read more...]

Find a Native Plant Sale Near You

Find a Native Plant Sale Near You

Readers outside Southern California – please google ‘native plant society’ and your state -there should be a website and a list of plant sales.

Fall through winter are the best times to plant natives because the roots have time to get established before the heat begins. Lucky for us consumers in Southern California, a bunch of upcoming plant sales make it easy to find a large selection of natives. [Read more...]

Favorite Natives: Salvias (Sages) for Aroma, Wildlife and Spectacular Flowers

Favorite Natives: Salvias (Sages) for Aroma, Wildlife and Spectacular Flowers

Native California salvias (commonly called sages) make my favorite list for many reasons: their spectacular show of flowers spring through summer, their aroma that permeates the air, especially after rainfall. Also, the sages in our landscaping offer great wildlife habitat. I have photos of butterflies, hummingbirds and a variety of bees taking the nectar, while a variety of birds [Read more...]

Saving Wildlife: Keep Cats Indoors (and Other Suggestions)

Saving Wildlife: Keep Cats Indoors (and Other Suggestions)

First a full disclosure: I have had both an indoor cat, and an outdoor cat who used to bring me ‘goodies’.

Yesterday I came across a half-eaten bird kill caused by a cat I’ve seen stalking our bird-friendly property. It made me think of some research The Secret Life of Roaming Cats I heard on NPR in August. Working with the National Geographic Society, University of Georgia researchers strapped small video cameras on 55 cats as they roamed [Read more...]

Finding Nature in Cabo San Lucas

Finding Nature in Cabo San Lucas

We recently stayed at a timeshare (Hacienda del Mar) in Cabo with friends — and discovered a bountiful nature scene following the heavy rains that hit the area the last few weeks. The answer: in addition to the rich marine life among the rocks, go find the native plants, which we found next door to the resort, nestled around the golf course. The photos below tell the story about what I’ll remember most:

What a Plant Knows: Do They Smell or See?

What a Plant Knows: Do They Smell or See?

This is part two following my last write-up What a Plant Knows: Do they Feel or Hear?, which discussed whether plants feel or hear (In a nutshell, they’re pretty deaf but they do react to touch – think venus flytrap, the plant that traps insects that walk onto it). I recently finished What a Plant Knows by Daniel Chamovitz, a plant scientist who comes from a family of physicians. He decided to go another route and became a plant scientist, but has been surprised to see many similarities between the plant world and the animal world – prompting the angle of his book.

So, do plants see and smell? [Read more...]