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Swallowtail Butterfly on Monardella odoratissima flower, photo taken Mid-June

The days have become warmer and we are all enjoying longer hours of daylight… including your native plants in the landscape!  You may have noticed your plants pushing out surprising amounts of new growth and rewarding you for your efforts this past fall and winter by producing lots of flowers.  Your Ceanothus and Arctostaphylos have been particularly rewarding, both long-lasting evergreen shrubs finished flowering and now are producing fruit and new growth.  Spring is in the air as you notice birds and butterflies visiting your garden.  Your Salvia’s are going strong with Eriogonum, Monardella and Epilobium getting ready to follow them up with more blooms all summer.  If you sowed wildflower seed last fall, they have finished their show and maybe your poppies are still blooming with your aptly named Farewell-to-Springs, (Clarkia). Spring and early summer is a time to revel in your native garden.  It is also a time to focus on weed control and getting the soil and the plants ready for summer.  Irrigate deeply now to promote rooting into deep cool soils below the surface.  Plant a few more plants as soon as possible and with the with the gracious “June Gloom,” your young plants will have time to establish before the heat of summer sets in.


Thinking of getting rid of your lawn in light of the water crisis?  Start planning out your method of attack to get rid of the lawn as well as planning a design for your newly renovated garden.  Take time this summer to look at landscapes you admire in your neighborhood, clip magazines, go to gardens like Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and get a feel for some of the plants you would like to see in your landscape.  Start executing lawn removal and hardscape installation during these long summer days, make lists of plants you want in your landscape, and get ready for a fun and productive fall planting!

Many people are thinking about water availability as the spring turns to summer this year.  You who have converted lawns into habitat-creating native plant gardens will have the opportunity to relax and enjoy your garden during those long days of summer.  Sure beats watering and mowing the lawn, doesn’t it?

Highlighted Spring into Summer Flowers in this article:

Ceanothus – California Wild Lilac
Arctostaphylos — Manzanita Basics
Wildflower Seed Mixes
Salvia – SAGE
Eriogonum sp.

Other stunning Spring into Summer Flowers:

Encelia californica
Rosa californica and minutifolia
Romneya ‘White Cloud’
Iris douglasiana
Mimulus aurantiacus

Penstemon heterophyllus

Trichostema lanatum
Dendromecon harfordii
Carpenteria californica

Many of the plants listed above are NOT recommended for summer planting.  Start planning spaces for them this summer as you develop plans for your native landscape.  Please refer to our October – Planting Season, Summer Water for Native Plants, and our Creating and Caring for your Native Garden Manual for more information.  Some natives are summer plantable.  For experienced gardeners, and, at mild locations along the coast, many natives can be planted year-round.  Also, take a look at our line of Southwest Plants, for our specialized line of summer-flowering plants that also perform well with summer planting.  Feel free to contact us at the nursery for help.  We will be closed on Saturdays after June 20th, but remember, we will be open Monday-Friday to help you as you consider some options for your landscape.  Stay cool!

Featured Photo Credit: Sarah Bryant, Tree of Life Nursery © 2016