Favorite Natives: Buckwheat for Bees & Butterflies

Favorite Natives: Buckwheat for Bees & Butterflies

Wherever you live, if you want to attract bees to pollinate your garden or you want to add more butterfly plants to your yard, you can’t find a better plant than buckwheat — or the many varieties available today. I just returned from a favorite walk, which winds through a neighborhood of large lots, most edged with large stands of native plants. The bees were busy [Read more…]

Favorite Natives: Nevin’s Barberry for Summer Color

Favorite Natives: Nevin’s Barberry for Summer Color

My husband and I have landscaped two homes now with California natives and other drought-tolerant plants. We even won a local award in a Western waterwise landscape contest sponsored by our area’s water district. So while we’re not experts I thought I would share our favorite California native plants – especially ones that have done well in inland Southern California. [Read more…]

High Water Bills? Maybe it’s Lawn Removal Time

High Water Bills? Maybe it’s Lawn Removal Time

It’s the time of year of high water bills – and perhaps time to think about replacing plants that need too much water, or maybe even taking out some of your thirsty grass.

I recently came back from the Midwest where drought conditions have prompted many folks to let their lawns go dormant. When I came back I was struck by the irony of how we here in SoCA keep watering our grass during the many months of no rain while our friends in other places let theirs go dormant.

We’ve removed nearly all of our lawn [Read more…]

Great Hikes: Caroline Park’s Lush Natives       (Redlands CA)

Great Hikes: Caroline Park’s Lush Natives (Redlands CA)

I just did a walk up to Caroline Park and luckily had my camera to capture the flowering natives, birds and bunnies. Caroline Park is a native plant park set aside in Redlands CA by Olivia Phelps (of the Phelps-Dodge family) in 1929 to honor her sister Caroline. While the many flowering plants in spring to early summer make it an especially beautiful walk, there’s always something blooming [Read more…]

Favorite Plants for Attracting Birds/Butterflies (California/Southwest)

Favorite Plants for Attracting Birds/Butterflies (California/Southwest)

In a follow-up to my post (Favorite Plants for Attracting Birds/Butterflies (Midwest/East)  here are some favorites from two of our homes, both landscaped with natives and other wildlife-attracting plants. (See Our Conversion to Low Water Landscaping). I also asked two friends in Arizona, for their favorites: [Read more…]

Landscaped Yard Ushers in Butterflies and Birds

Landscaped Yard Ushers in Butterflies and Birds

In an earlier article Going Native: Even Small Amounts Bring Benefits I gave Susan Damon’s yard in St. Paul, Minnesota as an example. Recently I asked her more questions and wanted to share what she and her husband Paul have experienced with their landscaping, along with some photos.
Going Native: Even Small Amounts Bring Benefits

Going Native: Even Small Amounts Bring Benefits

Even small patches of natives bring pleasant surprises. (See below for Midwest resources and click here for a previous article about  favorite Midwest native plants)One of my best walks here in Redlands CA takes me by some mature sections of chaparral and sage scrub that some owners left on their adjoining properties. I love the number of birds, raptors and other critters that are drawn to the native habitat – here are some photos from my last two walks. [Read more…]