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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Life-Friendly Fall Pruning: Remember the Birds


Garden of Dreams near Child Development Center - 11/12/14. 
Some plants are still un-pruned to provide food for the birds.


Late fall and early winter are important pruning times in Southern California gardens.  Many California native plants, particularly those from drier low elevations, are dormant from late summer until the winter rains.  That’s why fall has traditionally been a major pruning season.  To get a better sense of the seasons in S. California gardens see: http://mother-natures-backyard.blogspot.com/2014/09/seasons-in-southern-california-garden.html.


If you garden in S. California, you’ve no doubt noticed that different birds visit your garden in fall and winter.   California is an important stop for birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway – a giant bird ‘freeway’ in the sky.  Some birds just stop to refuel; others spend the winter in our delightful wild-lands and gardens.  Either way, these birds – along with resident birds and insects – require food in fall and winter.

The past two years have been particularly hard on California wildlife.  Even with decreased water use, our gardens are still wetter and more productive than the drought stressed wild-lands.  That’s why we’ve seen more wildlife than ever in our gardens this year.   A recent visit to the 'Garden of Dreams' on campus demonstrated this dramatically.  There were at least 75 birds, of all sizes and at least 5 species, busily eating in that one little garden!
 
Goldfinch eating Annual sunflower (Helianthus anuus) seeds

 

From native pollinators and butterflies to large animals like deer, creatures are desperate for food and water - and so they come to our gardens.  As wild-lands suffer from climatic extremes, our gardens play an increasingly important role in providing food, shelter and water.  In all years – but particularly in years when food is scarce – we need to manage our fall pruning responsibly.  That's why the 'Garden of Dreams', 'Heritage Creek Preserve' and the 'Earth Sciences Garden'  will look a little more raggedy this month.  We're doing it to save the birds!
 
For more see:  
 

 

Monday, November 10, 2014


California wood mint (Stachys bullata) can be seen at Mother Nature's Backyard garden (above) and
at the Garden of Dreams (CSU Dominguez Hills)



One of the plants that’s blooming right now in the Garden of Dreams is the California woodmint, Stachys bullata.  This isn’t its peak season, but the flowers keep our hummingbirds and the few remaining butterflies happy.


California wood mint is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae), a large family that includes culinary mints and the Salvias.   Plants in this family often have aromatic foliage and are used for cooking and potpourri.  Within the Mint Family, the wood mints (hedge nettles), genus Stachys, make up one of the larger genera.  Stachys species can be found on most continents and many are used in traditional herbal medicine.


For more on this interesting plant see: http://mother-natures-backyard.blogspot.com/2014/11/plant-of-month-december-california-wood.html


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall Native Plant Sale - November 7 & 8



 
Fall Native Plant Sale

 

When:     Friday 11/7  - noon-4:30 p.m.

Saturday 11/8 -   11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

 

Where: Biology Dept. Greenhouse                   (behind NSM building)

 

 What: CA native plants suitable for home gardens, including trees, shrubs, flowers (see below for list)

 

Prices: $2.00 - $7.00 donations (good deal)

                Proceeds support native plant

propagation/restoration on         campus

__________________________________________________________________________________

 

For directions to the greenhouse: http://nativeplantscsudh.blogspot.com/p/map.html 

 
To download a pdf of the list of plants for sale: http://www.slideshare.net/cvadheim/plant-list-for-sales-csudh



_______________________________________________________________________________ 

Last minute update: we've got Amole/Soap plant for sale



Perennial bulb.   Carefully remove plant from pot.  Plant in large pot (at least 12” x 12”) or in the ground in full sun/light shade.   Water if needed in winter-spring.  Pink ‘lily’ blooms after two years; spring/summer, fragrant.   1-2+ ft tall & wide.   Basal leaves.    Let the plant dry out after the last flower fades.   Spreads slowly with new plants; may reseed on bare ground. Bulb can be used to make a mild soap.  Young shoots edible raw or cooked. 
 
 
______________________________________________________________________________
 

Plant List – CSUDH Fall 2014 Plant Sale

CSUDH-Project SOUND Propagation Lab

 

#
 
Common Name
Scientific Name
Notes
 
1 gallon shrubs/trees and woody vines - $7.00
6
 
Marsh Baccharis
Baccharis douglasii
Insect pollinator/butterfly habitat
 
15+
 
Coyote Bush
Baccharis pilularis
Insect pollinator/butterfly habitat
 
20+
 
Mule Fat
Baccharis salicifolia
Insect pollinator/butterfly habitat
 
8
 
*Rabbitbush
Ericameria nauseosa
Excellent insect plant; yellow dye
 
6
 
Saw-tooth Goldenbush
Hazardia squarrosa
Insect pollinator/butterfly habitat
 
6
 
Island Mallow
Lavatera assurgentiflora
Hibiscus flower; edible leaves
 
4
 
Laurel Sumac
Malosma laurina
Bird habitat plant
 
4
 
Prunus ilicifolia
Catalina cherry
Nice tree/hedge plant; fruits
 
10+
 
Coast Live Oak
Quercus agrifolia
Insect pollinator/butterfly habitat
 
1 gallon perennials/sub-shrubs/herbaceous groundcover - $ 7.00
4
 
Yarrow
Achillea millefolia
Attract beneficial insects; medicinal
 
6
 
Narrowleaf Milkweed
Asclepias fascicularis
Monarch  butterfly habitat
 
3
 
Coastal Dune Buckwheat
Eriogonum parvifolium
Insect pollinator/butterfly habitat
El Segundo Blue butterfly
 
6
 
Coastal Gumplant
Grindelia hirsutula
Insect pollinator/butterfly habitat
 
10+
 
Sweetscent
Pluchea odorata
Insect pollinator/butterfly habitat
 
4
 
Canaigre Dock
Rumex hymenosepalus
Roots make orange dye; rare
 
2
 
Blue-eyed Grass
Sisyrinchium bellum
Seeds for birds
 
8
 
*Banana Yucca
Yucca baccata
Edible flowers, fruits; rare
 
1 gallon grasses/sedges/rushes - $ 7.00
 
 
Common Spikerush
Eleocharis palustris
 
 
 
Common Scouring Rush
Equisetum hyemale
 
 
 
* Lamp Rush
Juncus effusis
 
 
 
 
California Rush
Juncus patens
 
 
 
Basket Rush
Juncus textilis
 
 
 
Iris-leaf Rush
Juncus xiphioides
 
 
 
Small Cattail
Typha angustifolia
 
 
Small pots: shrubs/ perennials /biennials- $ 4.00
8
 
Yarrow
Achillea millefolia
Attract beneficial insects; medicinal
(for more see above)
 
4
 
Narrowleaf Milkweed
Asclepias fascicularis
Monarch  butterfly habitat
(for more see above)
 
10+
 
Coyote Bush
Baccharis pilularis
Insect pollinator/butterfly habitat
(for more see above)
 
15+
 
Mule Fat
Baccharis salicifolia
Insect pollinator/butterfly habitat
(for more see above)
 
15+
 
Wavyleaf soap plant
Chlorogalum pomeridianum
Bulb with little orchid-like flowers; roots for soap
 
2
 
Ashyleaf buckwheat
Eriogonum cinereum
Good insect plant
 
10+
 
* Rosy Buckwheat
Eriogonum latifolium/grande var. rubescens
Insect pollinator/butterfly habitat
Lovely bright pink flowers
 
10+
 
Dune Buckwheat
Eriogonum parvifolium
Insect pollinator/butterfly habitat
(for more see above)
 
5
 
Coastal Gumplant
Grindelia hirsutula
Insect pollinator/butterfly habitat
(for more see above)
 
15
 
Wild mint
Mentha arvensis
Good for cooking spice, tea
 
10+
 
Hooker’s Primrose
Oenothera elata ssp. hookeri
Pretty yellow flowers pollinated by large moths
 
 
 
Blue-eyed Grass
Sisyrinchium bellum
Good for birds
(for more see above)
 
6
 
*Banana Yucca
Yucca baccata
Edible flowers, fruits
(for more see above)
 
Small pots: grasses/sedges/rushes - $4.00
6
 
Dune sedge
Carex pansa
Evergreen; lawn substitute
 
 
 
Berkeley Sedge
Carex tumulticola
Evergreen; good for shade; lawn substitute
 
15+
 
Creeping wildrye
Leymus triticoides
Good for mowed lawn or left un-mowed
 
 
 
Iris-leaf Rush
Juncus xiphioides
(for more see above)
 
 
 
Small Cattail
Typha angustifolia
 
 

 

* CA native, but not native to South Bay