Harvesting Your Native Garden

Part of my appreciation of our native desert plants comes from the indispensable gifts that these plants have provided for millennia to humans, wildlife, birds, insects, soils, and the whole ecosystem. Indigenous peoples have long valued and used native desert plants for food, medicine, healing, shelter, clothing, utensils, and ceremony. I would like to share some of these uses that we can incorporate into our lives today, but this comes with a responsibility to reciprocate thoughtful care and stewardship for these tenacious but […]

Plant of the Month – Jan. 2018

Coffeeberry Frangula californica   Plant Form: Evergreen Shrub Water Use: Low Mature Size: 5-12 ft. tall and wide Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun Bloom Time: Spring – Summer (May-July) Native to: California, southwest Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, northern Baja (below 7000 feet) Hardiness: Cold hardy to 10°F Coffeeberry is touted as looking “trimmed without trimming”, although this tidy evergreen does take pruning well. This long-lived California native, also known as California Buckthorn, grows naturally in a wide range of habitats, with many available varieties, so […]

Plant of the Month: Dec. 2012

Toyon, Christmas Berry Heteromeles arbutifolia   Plant Form: Evergreen shrub/tree Water Use: Low Mature Size: 8-10’ (to 25’) tall & 8-10’ wide Exposure: Full Sun, Part sun Bloom Time: June – August Native to: Southern California Hardiness: Cold Hardy to 0° F   Toyon, also called Christmas Berry and California Holly, is an evergreen shrub or small tree from California’s chaparral communities. This very adaptable, dense shrub is valued for its holly-like foliage, clusters of white flowers in summer, and […]