Enjoy Toyon All Winter

  Winter brings with it the colorful red berries of our native Toyon, also called “Christmas Berry” (Heteromeles arbutifolia). Besides being an attractive, fire-resistant, evergreen shrub (or tree if pruned), Toyon produces clusters of bright red berries that persist all winter, providing perfect holiday decorations for mantels, wreaths, and centerpieces. We have been picking clusters from our yard the past few weeks to use for holiday arrangements, and are sharing them with friends for their decorations. We still have plenty […]

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Yard Consultations ~ Finding the potential of your yard and property

If you want to achieve your goals for enjoying your yard to its fullest potential without having to contract an expensive landscape architect, consider inviting botanist Robin Kobaly into your yard for a personal consultation.

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Notes from Songbird Cottage

White-Crowned Sparrows Bring Winter

We know it’s really chilly outside when we see the White-crowned Sparrows bathing in the bird bath. They never seem to bathe in warm weather. But the colder it gets, the more white-crowns jump into the water and energetically bathe. It’s mind boggling. These pint-sized travelers show up in our yard from their summer homes to the north when fall finally breaks the back on our summer heat. My coastal-grown husband, who withers in the desert heat, literally jumps for joy when […]

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Robin Kobaly


Robin Kobaly with The Power of Plants is your source for information about uses of native plants of the southwestern United States, and water-wise landscaping using native and drought-tolerant plants.

You’ll find useful tips here, as well as information on where you can take classes or obtain books and DVD’s on using native and water-wise plants in your daily life. Your guide, Robin Kobaly, is a professional botanist with thirty years of experience whose passion about plants has guided her entire life. We’re glad you’ve joined us here to explore the fascinating world of plants.

Meet Robin
About the Power of Plants
Water-Wise Landscaping: The DVD

YOU WILL LOVE SEARCHING HERE for the best plants to satisfy your landscape needs for your Southwest yard! CLICK on the image above to take you to the full list of categories to search. Our WATER-WISE PLANT DATA BASE includes hundreds of plants, both native and non-native, that are water-wise, drought-tolerant, available at Southern California nurseries, and that are cold-hardy in our cool desert winters but still stand up to our extreme summer heat.

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