The Importance of Native Plants
Native plants have evolved to be the most efficient and beneficial plants for our area. They are the best suited species for interacting with the local climate, soil types, and animals. There are many benefits to gardening with native plants such as less water usage, lower maintenance, natural pesticide defense, and native wildlife attraction. Native plants can also be just as beautiful as invasive species.
The Dangers of Non-native and Invasive Species
Some invasive species look pretty, but if they escape from your garden they may become serious wildland weeds that can cause extensive damage to our natural ecology and biodiversity. How does this occur? While our native species evolved, different pests and animals evolved with them to help cultivate and control their populations. Non-native species on the other hand have left their natural counterparts behind and are free to spread and take over massive quantities of land. These new plants can choke out our beautiful natives by stealing resources and changing the composition of the soil.
How do I know what to plant?
There are lots of resources out there for any gardener looking to create a beautiful all native garden:
Native Plant Tours
Spring Native Garden Tour - May 5th 2013
Bringing Back the Natives hosts an annual Spring Native Garden Tour every year in May. Various gardens in the Bay Area will be open for self tours and registered participants are welcome to browse these gardens and are encouraged to attend various talks that will be going on throughout the day. This is a free event, registration required. For more information or to register visit: www.bringingbackthenatives.net
NEW this year - Fall Native Garden Events!
For the 1st time Bringing Back The Natives is hosting a series of events this Fall including various Select Tours. Tour topics range from how to remove/replace your current lawn, how to install a grey water system, garden design techniques, and so much more. All Select Tours are $30 per ticket. A full list of tours and more details can be found at www.bringingbackthenative.net
Open Garden Day - Oct 7th 2012
Also for the first time this Fall 3 private gardens will be open for viewing. These include Al Kyte's forty year old garden in Moraga, Elizabeth O'Shea and Richard Howard's beautiful garden in Orinda, and, Kathy Kramer's garden in San Pablo, where you can not only purchase native plants and grafted fruit trees, but also lunch and baked goods, all supplied by students from the East Bay Waldorf School. This is a free event, registration required. For more information and to register visit www.bringingbackthenatives.net
Native Plant Sale Extravaganza! - Oct 7th 2012 and May 4th& 5th 2013
There will be native plants sales occurring at various nurseries throughout the Bay Area. Take advantage of this opportunity to purchase a great selection of hard-to-find natives and talk to experts about creating your own native garden. For a full list of participating locations check out www.bringingbackthenatives.net
Water-Efficient Landscape Rebate Program
Contra Costa Water District is offering rebates to customers who replace their front lawns and other publicly visible lawns with water efficient landscaping. For more information on this program and how you can participate vist: www.ccwater.com.
Bay Friendly Landscape Professional Resources
Check out the City's page on Professional Native Landscaping Best Pracitices for information on native plants, certifications and other useful resources.