California Natives

Drought To Deluge

From Dave: A thank you note for writing a succinct description of the California drought to deluge precipitation environment in one of your early books I found in my mother’s gardening library. As the drought continued and my neighbors replaced their yards with AstroTurf, gravel and desert plants, we held the course.   Implemented grey water […]

Drought Tolerant Fast Growing Flowering Tree

Gardening Question from John: Hello Pat!  I bought a house on the top of a hill in Pasadena that has no trees on the west side of the property.  The sun blasts that side of the house in the afternoons and our temperatures can get up to 105 degrees.  Can you suggest a fast growing […]

Planting California Native Plants

Here is the way to plant native plants (Best time to plant: in November) Native plants like best to be planted in plain, native, un-amended soil. Amended soil where garden plants have grown is not the best environment for native plants because native plants are sensitive to fungi and other pathogens that have been brought […]

Combinations with Mexican Sage

Question from Dave: We’re planning on planting Mexican sage in a full sun area in zone 24. Can you suggest a plant with similar hardiness characteristics that has a red flower or a white flower? Answer from Pat: In my opinion the plant that looks best next to Mexican sage (Salvia leucantha) is Copper Canyon […]

Native Plants Suitable For A Green Roof

In this short list are several succulents, and two grasses. Several groundcovers, a few bulbs, and some perennials would also be worthy contestants but all these would require regular maintenance, so they are not included. SUCCULENTS: General Characteristics of Dudleyas— Approximately 40 species native to California and Mexico Members of stonecrop family (Crassulaceae) Can survive […]

Native Plants of the Southern California Coast

Southern California is not a desert. Only the area east of the mountains can correctly be characterized as a desert having plants we know as desert plants. The coastal zones of California, west of the mountains have a Mediterranean climate, which means dry summers with brilliant sunshine and blue skies, and almost all rainfall concentrated […]

Drought-Resistant Gardening

Question: I heard you speak at the Fallbrook Garden Club. I ordered your most current book tonight. Which of your books (or is there a book that isn’t yours that you recommend?) would have the most information on drought-resistant plants for us in Fallbrook who don’t have much water? I assume succulents and cacti are […]

Native Plants Of Southern California’s Coastal Zones

These are plants adapted to Mediterranean climate, drought-resistant plants, that can survive in coastal California zones on natural rainfall in winter alone. Pinus torreyana—Torrey Pine (a source of pine nuts for local native American tribes.) Coreopsis maritima—Sea dahlia. (Cannot abide summer water in gardens.) Encelia californica—California coastal shrub daisy (native to coastal southern California. (E. […]

California Pepper tree

Question from Linda: Hi, Am helping my cousin landscape her yard in San Diego and she says that nothing she’s tried will grow in the ground under the dripline. Any suggestions? Answer from Pat: I am one of those people who happen to love the California pepper tree (Schinus molle), which is actually native to […]

Trees for new home

From Paul: As usual, thanks for your help. Here is my latest plan: Swan Hill Fruitless Olives anchoring the house on both sides and middle in the front. (full sun with sea breeze) Acacia baileyana near street on both sides of driveway. (full sun with sea breeze) Mild slopes in front and side of the […]