California Native Gardens

As a garden designer I strive to use the right plants for the right places. The Central Valley in California is hot and dry in the summer. Natives and Mediterranean plants are the way to go!
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CA native front yard

Drought tolerant front yard makeover

Stylomecon heterophylla "Wind Poppy" - Seldom seen in cultivation, this rare CA native makes a statement in the garden with its gorgeous glowing orange flowers. Good drainage please!

Are you aware of the connection between native plants and insects?

Southern Wild

How to Design a Garden for Native Bees

Native Plants for Pollinators

Since most California natives bloom in spring, combine them with plants that flower at other times. Blanc added butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), coral fountain (Russelia equisetiformis), and Mexican lobelia (Lobelia laxiflora) for summer color.


Photo of the Mary Wattis Brown Garden featuring California natives. The pink-blossomed tree is a redbud, and of course, you see our always appreciated CA poppies. (Note: lots of water-wise articles and resources on this link.)

Want to start your own Native Plant Garden? Start here by visiting the California Native Plant Society webstore and buy a copy of this book! Great reference for all level off gardeners.

Pacific Horticulture Society

Long blooming, drought and deer tolerant and clay friendly? Then don’t pass over our California native Clarkias because they’re “just annuals.” Why? Because they self-sow reliably, so you’ll have new volunteers every year, brand new plants that never look aged or sad. Exceptionally exuberant, “Ruby Chalice Clarkia” quickly reaches 30” x 30”, displaying a profusion of 2” cherry centered lavender-pink blooms beginning in May and lasting till midsummer and even Fall (with some water).

Flowering Western Redbud tree (Cercis occidentalis) in Southern California, drought tolerant native plant garden

Red Ribbons, Claria elegans, from Jane Gate's guide to native plant ID in SoCal.

Knock-out and goof-proof duo. You just can’t beat the alchemy between the radiant Poppy, Eschscholzia californica ‘Apricot Chiffon.’ and the luminous, almost turquoise Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Blue Springs’

Fremontodendron - Flannel Bush (from the San Marcos Growers California Native Plant Page)

Ceanothus Concha has many colors, shades, and tones. Some years the plants are more reddish purple, some years bright blue, some years larg...

"Add Year-Round Color Using California Native Plants"

CA Poppy!

Limnanthes douglasii, or Meadow Foam

Native grasses planted in urban landscapes are low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and can filter polluted runoff.

From the Sacramento Bee. Ideas for "The New Front Yard"! "You’ve heard the drought warnings and emergency declarations. You see your utility bill. You know you’ve got to do something to save water." (in the picture, a CA native toyon)

All about Southern California wildflowers! (and the doggie)

one of my new favorites!The warm apricot flower of the native California Spheralcia

California Native Plant Society - Sacramento Valley Chapter - Friday walks are for seed and data collecting, plant identification, photography, and fun! Our destination changes each week depending on th...

Great article "Myths about California Natives" (Pic: Cornus stolonifera, Red Stem Dogwood)

Low growing CA native plants