California Native Plants in Commercial Landscapes

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).

 Pink Yarrow - a hybrid of California Native Achillea millefolium (which is yellow or white)

Pink Yarrow - a hybrid of California Native Achillea millefolium (which is yellow or white)