Join us in the new year for our Replace Your Lawn (RYL) series. All workshops are free and begin at 9:30 am unless otherwise noted.

Photo: Sarah Bryant, Tree of Life Nursery ©

Saturday January 7
RYL I: Creating and Caring for Your Native Garden
Now that you have killed your grass, and you are working on your design, what are you supposed to do? Tree of Life Nursery owner, Mike Evans will share from our booklet, “Creating and Caring for your Native Garden,” that you can download here: icon Creating and Caring for your Native Garden. Bringing his over 35 years of experience with these plants, as well as just as many years of site-prep, initial irrigation techniques and working with tricky landscape situations, Mike will teach you how to create a thriving and enjoyable native garden. As he has mentioned to us for years and years: “Maintenance is what you do for your car, you CARE for your plants!”

Photo: Bob Camp

Special Event – Talk at Caspers Park with Tree of Life’s Laura Camp!
Saturday January 7 – 10:00 AM
Nature’s Example Inspires California Native Gardens

Caspers Park exemplifies a rare natural beauty and a diversity of habitats. In Southern California, we need look no further for inspiration in designing native plant landscapes. Our primary ideas will come from Coastal Sage Scrub, one of the most diverse ecosystems anywhere, but also extend to oak woodlands, grassland meadows, riparian and a sprinkling of chaparral. Come learn about basic design elements and best use of our local native California plants in our gardens. A short tour of Tree of Life Nursery will follow the talk.

Laura Camp is General Manager at Tree of Life Nursery, Caspers’ neighbor and native plant grower. She is an active member of the California Native Plant Society, the current Vice President of the Orange County Chapter, and the immediate past President of the board of the state organization. Laura has been photographing wild areas, gardens and plants since the turn of the century.She and her husband Bob are avid hikers and proudly claim membership to the “hiked every trail mile in Caspers” club. Their website,, features Bob’s writing, Laura’s pictures, and 37 trip guides for Caspers plus many other hikes.

Saturday January 14
RYL II: Kill Your Lawn
The first step in transitioning to a more sustainable garden is removing your water hungry lawn. However, killing your lawn can be more involved than you would expect (depending on the type of grass you have) and the methods to get rid of a lawn are quite varied.  Avoid unnecessary labor and learn several successful methods for lawn removal, depending on your turf type, budget, and timeline. Join Tree of Life’s Sam Manning as he gives this practical, easy-to-follow talk about how to remove your lawn to make way for a fresh and more sustainable landscape.

Saturday January 21
RYL III: Design Basics – My Avant Garden
You’ve removed your lawn – now what?  We make it easy to take the next step!  Learn how to create a My Avant Garden pre-planned native garden. This new 5 step program created by My Avant Garden and Tree of Life Nursery will help take the guesswork out of designing your native garden!  We’ll show you how to read the detailed installation plan provided with the kit, give insight into the plant selection for each garden, offer guidance on nurturing your garden through the important establishment phase and introduce you to capturing rainwater for a truly resilient California native garden.

My Avant Gardens are designed to replace thirsty front yards with beautiful, low-water gardens.  All the information and guidance you need for success has been assembled into one convenient package.

Photo: Sarah Bryant, Tree of Life Nursery ©

RYL IV: Plant Selection – Inland Gardens
*OUR PLANNED EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED AND THE NURSERY CLOSED DUE TO ROAD CLOSURE.* Have you ever used the word ‘only’ in the same sentence as ‘90 degrees’ or found yourself convinced that gardening where you live is a sort of purification process akin to hot yoga? If so, then you are probably an inland gardener and you rightfully impress other horticulturists with your enthusiasm in the face of great heat! Join native plant expert Abby Harned for an inland plant selection talk that will help you choose plants that will succeed and thrive in your inland garden.

RYL V: Plant Selection – Intermediate Gardens
Designer Josh Link of Ecotone Studios will be giving a talk on native plants for intermediate gardens. You may find yourself wondering ‘What is  intermediate gardening? Do I fall into this category?’ This is a tricky question because microclimates abound making mileage hard to go by.  Assuming you don’t spend more than a couple of days at a time near 100 in the summer but also don’t describe your general weather as having a coastal influence you probably fit into this intermediate category. In other words you aren’t constantly cool but you aren’t altogether melting either. If this sounds like your garden, then this talk is for you! Join us and learn about California natives that will bring your intermediate garden to life!

Photo: Laura Camp, Tree of Life Nursery ©

RYL VI: Plant Selection – Coastal Gardens
If you find yourself in August barely breaking a sweat and feeling a cooling breeze laced with the faintest hint of salt you have probably landed yourself a highly coveted Coastal Garden!  Native plant choices that will flourish and enliven your garden are seemingly endless. Join us as Designer in Residence Rob Moore highlights a variety of natives that will thrive in your coastal yard!

Featured photo: Sarah Bryant, Tree of Life Nursery © 2016

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