Nuts About Natives

Maybe you’re a native-plant fanatic, enjoying the Red Fairy Dusters and California Lilacs that bloom annually in your yard…or perhaps you religiously tend to an ocean-friendly garden, ensuring its “organic-ness” by composting  and growing vegetables that make your neighbors green with envy…or maybe you’re new to the idea of planting native plants and gardening but are interested in learning more about creating a sustainable environment and curious about the possibility of saving water and related costs in light of California’s ongoing drought.

Whichever end of the gardening spectrum you find yourself on, April offers you the opportunity to view close to 100 Southern California gardens for inspiration and fun with two garden tours bookending this first full month of spring.

The 11th Annual Theodore Payne Foundation Native Plant Garden Tour opens the month with a two-day tour on Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6, 2014. The tour will feature 42 gardens, all of which contain at least 50% native plants. Each garden is a labor or love that represents the vision of its owner to create a place in harmony with Southern California’s climate, soil, natural vegetation and native wildlife. The gardens are located throughout Los Angeles County – from Lakewood to Westwood, from the San Fernando Valley to the San Gabriel Valley. Tickets for this two-day event are $30 and proceeds benefit the Theodore Payne Foundation.

The Mar Vista Community Council closes out the month of April with its 6th Annual Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase on Saturday, April 26, 2014. This FREE event will highlight 45 gardens in sustainable garden clusters of three or more gardens that are just a short walk from each other.  The tour will feature intimate views of drought-resistant and native landscapes as well as edible gardens. Sustainability features on the tour include composting, water capture practices and xeriscapes. This tour places special emphasis on the critical need for ocean friendly gardens and habitats that support much-needed pollinators such as honey bees and monarch butterflies. 

So whether you’re a life-long gardening guru or just learning how to get your hands dirty with Mother Earth, there’s something for you this April that will ultimately have you nuts about natives!

*Photo courtesy Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase

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