California Native Plant Society

Native Plant Gardening: Getting Started


  • Starting a Native Plant Garden
    Before planning your native garden, there are a number of important questions to address about your particular site and location. Taking the time to evaluate your site conditions by working through these questions can help you avoid planting natives that won’t thrive in your particular soil or climate conditions. Walk around your site as you go through the questions, and be sure to record the answers to use in your search for the right plants for your garden.
  • Have Space, Dirt, Water - Now What?
    By Nancy Heuler, MLA
    Creating a home garden with California native plants can be fun and rewarding, while bringing wildlife and an authentic sense of place to your garden. Also, including certain drought-adapted plant communities can result in water savings and lawn replacement has become a growing trend throughout the state. But once the lawn is gone, then what? Here is a crash course in garden design. The same principles can be used with any design, but with locally adapted California natives, we pay special attention to appropriate soils, watering regimes and plant communities.
  • Watershed Gardening
    By Susan Krzywicki
    Extending the concept of native plant gardening by combining watershed concepts starts to improve the sustainable nature of our efforts. We like to think that each garden becomes a watershed unto itself. This means we look to our own property limits: all the rain that lands on that piece of land soaks into that land itself. No runoff.


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