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Landscaping with Natives in San Diego

Articles: Landscaping with Natives in San Diego

An established landscape mixing California natives with plants from other mediterranean climates. Author’s photographs

Throughout California, interest in native plants has experienced peaks and valleys over the years. Unfortunately, each spike in appeal has been followed by a precipitous drop as the landscapes would fail for various reasons. With increasing concern over water supplies, disappearing habitat, and reduced time for maintenance, it appears that natives are once again becoming popular. However, even this movement might ultimately fail unless a realistic horticultural approach is adopted.

California natives have earned a dubious reputation among landscape professionals in Southern California. With significant mortality rates, disease problems, and gardens that look like tumbleweeds in autumn, is it any wonder that these professionals are discouraged, especially when one considers the liabilities involved?

Yet, there is an underlying contradiction here. Should not regional plants be easier? One would expect native plants to flourish: they should grow like weeds—but not look like them. After al...


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Articles: Calochortophilia: A Californian’s Love Affair with a Genus by Katherine Renz

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