Warehouses and Industrial Buildings - unlikely acreage for Native PlantsRead More
Annalisa has been cutting flowers from our garden here for 5 years now. We've been surprised by how long many of them last in a vase - the Monkey Flowers a week or more. Some only a couple of days - but those tend to be the wow-flowers like this Island Bush Poppy and the Bush Anemone (both from the Channel Islands). The soft pink Fremont's Bush Mallow grows wild in the hills above Santa Barbara, and Carmel - and now in our garden.
For the past ten years or so, we've been pushing California Natives into our landscapes. I say "pushing" because the "look" of a Native Landscape is different, and commercial maintenance practices were generally not compatible with California Natives (too much water, fertilizer, blowing and shearing). In the past, plants were typically selected to be evergreen, bloom as long as possible, be attractive year-round, and be able to survive highly variable irrigation regimes. Because most of those plants will not survive low or very-low irrigation, especially in The Valley, we all began looking for a new palette.
California Native Plants, because they are adapted to our natural rainfall patterns, require little water, and actually thrive with very little. After specifying Natives and watching them adapt to commercial planting practices and maintenance procedures, I've concluded that irrigation should seek to simply extend the wet season on each end rather than try to maintain soil moisture throughout the dry season. I'll write more about this, but the idea is to start the Winter rainy season sooner (especially if normal rainfall is delayed), and extend that season on into the Spring (especially if rainfall ceases early).