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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Take a Child Outdoors for Earth Day

If you read this blog, you probably like being out-of-doors.  Chances are, your love of the natural world began early – when someone took you outside and shared their love of gardens, parks or wild places.  Childhood exposure to nature awakens something deep – our sense of connection with the earth and its creatures. 

A true sense of belonging - to a ecosystem greater than family or neighborhood - begins when we are young.  So does the feeling of serenity that many of us experience when out in nature.   Nature completes us, making us whole, centered, compassionate and more human.

So make a pledge this Earth Day: take a child outdoors in the next month.  It can be any child – your child/grandchild, niece or nephew, student, neighbor or some other child you know.  You don’t have to go far: your garden, a nearby park or natural area will do.  The place needn’t be large or fancy; it just needs to be outdoors.

Point out some interesting plants.  Watch birds or insects as they go about their day.   Explore the creatures that live in the soil or fallen leaves.  Watch clouds go by, rain fall or the sun shine.  Notice the patterns of the land.  Share a sense of wonder – of belonging to something bigger than ourselves.   Listen to the sound of the earth singing.

Earth Day reminds us each year to take time for the important things in life.   So, take a child outside for Earth Day.  It’s essential - they are the earth’s future.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mulches : Beautiful, Water-wise and More

CSUDH students and faculty apply mulch to 'Garden of Dreams' native plant garden
The CSUDH Ecology Club and students in BIO 310/311 (Plant Physiology & Lab) classes recently applied a new layer of mulch to the ‘Garden of Dreams’ native plant garden on campus (above).  You can see how much better the garden looks in the pictures below.
'Garden of Dreams' - before new mulch

'Garden of Dreams' - after new mulch

 In addition to their aesthetic appeal, mulches help keep the soils cool in summer, help conserve water,  keep garden vegetables clean and pest-free and much more.  In short, mulches are a good idea.  But you need to know how to apply them, when to apply them and which mulch to choose.  You can read all about mulches at:

Monday, January 13, 2014

What's Blooming? Visit the new 'Blooming Now on Campus' page

California bush sunflower (Encelia californica) blooming now in Heritage Creek Preserve

Ever wonder where to see blooming native plants?  Want to know what's blooming before you visit campus?    See our new page 'Blooming Now on Campus'  to see what's blooming where.  You can even download the list with handy thumbnail photos - and learn more about the plants with our helpful links.   The page will be updated approximately every two weeks.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Celebrate the end of finals - make Holiday Potpourri with native plant trimmings

   When: Friday, 12/13/13  -  11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
   Where: Near the Biology Dept. Greenhouse  (behind NSM building)
What: Celebrate the end of finals by making potpourri w/ native plant trimmings. 

Easy – fun – creative way to scent your home for the holidays


Price:  FREE – all supplies and instruction provided



Monday, November 25, 2013

Need a Plant to Attract Hummingbirds?

Epilobium canum (California Fuschia) - a good hummingbird plant
We have helpful lists of California native plants appropriate for western L.A. County gardens - including one covering 'hummingbird plants'.  See our new page - Plant Lists: Native Plants for Western L.A. County (on left).   We will also continue to add plant pictures and information sheets to the 'Gallery of Native Plants' page (left).

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Planning a New Garden? Re-thinking Your Old Garden?

Planning a new garden can be a daunting task.  There are so many things to think about – and so many good ideas.   It’s hard to know where to begin.   Fortunately, our sister blog, Mother Nature’s Backyard, has something that can help.   Their series ‘Planning Your New California Garden’, which began in July 2013, takes you step by step through the garden design process.   See the first posting at: