In the Garden

 Why Garden with Natives: Beauty and Biodiversity
You can have it all with California native plants in the garden. Whether your interest is habitat gardening for birds, butterflies and other pollinators, or creating a beautiful garden that uses less water and doesn't need pesticides and lots of fertilizer, gardening with California native plants is the way to go.


Nursery and Plant Sales You will find a good selection of California native plants for Marin gardens at the Marin Chapter's Plant Sales. These are held several times a year at the nonprofit Home Ground Nursery in Novato, where the Marin Chapter of CNPS has collaborated in creating a native plant demonstration garden. Most plants sold at plant sales are propagated by volunteers. Volunteering at the nursery or for a plant sale is a great way to learn more about native plants for the garden.

Native Garden Photo Gallery See for yourself the beauty of gardens that use California native plants in a variety of settings.

How To In many ways gardening with natives is simpler than gardening with exotics that often come from far distant places. For example, soil amendments and fertilizer play a much smaller role in gardening with natives. But selecting the appropriate native plant for a particular garden spot and following certain gardening techniques and practices can maximize gardening success. Here are tips to make your native garden experience more satisfying.

School Garden Program In cooperation with Home Ground Nursery we provide assistance to schools in creating native plant gardens. What better way to create an appreciation for native plants as they bring birds, butterflies, and other pollinators into a child's educational experience.

Gardening Resources

  • Native Plant Nurseries:  It's true you can't just go to a big box store and expect to find native plants. But a growing number of nurseries in the Bay Area specialize in or carry California native plants.
  • Internet Resources: Links to the native gardening resources on the web or by email; for example, websites to help you select plants and find them in local nurseries and email groups devoted to native plant gardening.
  • Gardening Books: A profusion of books devoted to gardening with California natives has accompanied the growing popularity of native gardening.
  • Botanical and Display Gardens: A number of public gardens and garden tours feature native gardens.