Blog module icon

MMWD Blog: Think Blue Marin

Welcome to our blog! Written by staff at MMWD, “Think Blue Marin” explores all things water in south and central Marin—water supplies, conservation, new projects, watershed management, and more.

Need Help?
For tips on subscribing, searching, and commenting, please visit our blog FAQ page.

View All Posts

Dec 14

Getting Started with California Natives

Posted on December 14, 2016 at 8:59 AM by Ann Vallee

by Keith Bancroft, Water Conservation Specialist Supervisor

In addition to their natural beauty, incorporating native plants into your own garden offers many benefits for both you and our environment—they provide water-conserving, drought-tolerant and sustainable garden design choices.
- California Native Plant Society

Now may seem like an odd time to think about working in the garden—it’s cold, it’s raining, it gets dark at, what, noon? It seems like a better time to huddle up inside on the couch and binge watch your way through the last two seasons of Veep.

However, now is the perfect time of year to get off the couch, get outside, and plant California natives in your landscape. Why? Because most natives do their active growing in the cooler fall and winter months, and planting now allows the plants to grow with the seasonal rains and establish a robust root system before the onset of the hot dry summer months.

If you’ve been thinking about using natives in your landscape but aren’t sure how to get started, the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) offers the perfect resource on their “Native Plant Gardening: Getting Started” web page. 

CNPS advises to choose natives that are “as local as possible” and that are suited to the area where you want to plant them: “Note that for successful native plant landscaping and nature restoration, it’s important to grow plants that are native to your location AND placed in spots with the right soil, sun and water conditions. Before you finalize which native plants to grow and exactly where to place them, please review the Calscape plant descriptions to make sure you place them in spots with the conditions they require.”

California fuchsia
California fuchsia in Harvey’s Garden, Tiburon
An excellent place to view a local garden full of California natives is Harvey’s Garden at Blackie’s Pasture, Tiburon. Amazingly, the garden has over 2,500 native plants as well as plant ID tags throughout so you know just what it is you’re looking at. Drop by for a visit and some inspiration for your own garden!


Leave your comment

You may log in before leaving your comment,
or submit anonymously