California Natives


We will never be true California natives, but we’ve been working on getting the backyard more in touch with its endemic friends recently. For about a month or two I envisioned turning the middle yard in to some sort of Urban Homestead (couldn’t resist, click here for the trademark drama), but then rats ate my broccoli and my food growing excitement dwindled. We decided to go native instead. We’ll always grow lettuce, and maybe a cherry tomato or two.  Anyways, at the end of January we ripped apart the middle of the yard to make room for new plants. We’ve been wanting to do something else with the middle ever since we saw vermin scurrying in and out of the giant overgrown clump.

Rippin’ it out

The middle garden began way back in the day when Matti started shoving succulent cuttings under a now deceased picnic table we had back there. Surviving dog pee and neglect, it eventually became a dumping ground for stuff we didn’t like that much anymore and extra cuttings. It had also become a snail bunker. Matti’s wielding his new favorite tool the hori-hori.


So it’s not 100% native, but it’s much more native than before! I  planted a bunch of California poppy seeds from Renee’s that have already started to pop up all over the place.

Bowling pin blockade

The bowling pins we picked up at a garage sale were strategically arranged to help deter the neighbor’s puppies from frolicking. We put a Lupinus succulentus in the green container behind the Agave that no one wanted to rip out or move, and I’m loving the Gilia tricolor in front of the pins. It’s already busting out flowers with freaky blue stamens.

Another blockade

More bowling pins and our very first Mimulus puniceus! I’ve been wanting a Monkey Flower of some sort for quite some time and decided this guy was the one.

Dudleya pulverulenta

This Dudleya was hiding under an Echium in a spot where you could barely see it, so I moved it front and center. I’d like to add at least one Clarkia and maybe a couple more Dudleyas and some Lewisias to the middle mix. Here’s a handy list of natives we’re currently loving in our garden, with links to their pretty adult pictures:

Eriogonum ‘The Hub’
Eriogonum grande var. rubescens
Coreopsis gigantea

Keckiella cordifolia
Satureja douglasii
Madia elegans
Gillia capitata
Nemophila menziesii
Eschscholzia ‘Red Chief’
Eschscholzia californica ssp. maritima ‘Coastal Form’

Layia platyglossa

Erysimum franciscanum var. crassifolium

Check out all 274 of Annie’s California Native offerings here. Lots and lots of cool plants to choose from.

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