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The Native Gardener’s Paintbox: Green

Articles: The Native Gardener’s Paintbox: Green

A shade garden of green foliage, with Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium), wild ginger (Asarum caudatum) and yerba buena (Satureja douglasii). Author’s photographs

Throughout the seasons the green, gray and colored leaves of living plants form the background and fabric of a garden.
Penelope Hobhouse, Color in Your Garden, 1985

The promise of exuberant wildflowers, the golden explosion of flannel bush, and the profusion of true-blue ceanothus—these and other colorful spring blossoms are eagerly anticipated by California botanists and native plant gardeners alike. A bountiful rainy season amply rewards us with this painterly kaleidoscope, which continues—albeit less dramatically—through summer and on into fall and winter.

Sugar bush (Rhus ovata) offers excellent green foliage

There is a danger, though, in planning a native garden solely for this spring floral pinnacle, since individual plants are rarely in bloom for more than a month or two. What do they look like the other ten or eleven months of the year, and how does this affec...

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

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