Fire Safe Landscapes with California Native Plants

Our community has been hit hard by the Sonoma County Fires and we at the Habitat Corridor Project are devastated to see such loss in our community.  We are working hard to produce some open source plans and information to help create safe landscapes.  California native plants are vital in this rebuilding effort.  Stay tuned for typical residential, large scale residential, and industrial landscapes that are fire resistant and biodiversity rich.

There is hope, we will rebuild – but let’s do it right.

 

With Love,

 

April Owens

Executive Director

The Perennial Meadow at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts

SEBASTOPOL CENTER FOR THE ARTS- CONCEPTS

It is finally in!  After a long wait for our sheet mulching to work we’ve finally added phase one and phase two plantings.  Just need to give these little plants some time and let them grow over a hopefully wet winter.  There will be additional plantings as we go along and plants become available.

 

Plants along strip in front of building:

Arctostaphylos ‘Sunset’ (Manzanita)

Baccharis pilularis ‘Twin Peaks’ (Dwarf Coyote Bush)

Calamagrostis foliosa (Feather Reed Grass)

Ceanothus ‘Joyce Coulter’ (California Lilac)

Zauschneria ‘Wayne’s Silver’ (California Fuchsia)

Plants in the Meadow:

Atriplex lentiformis (Salt Bush)

Festuca california (California Fescue)

Juncus patens (Blue Rush)

Monardella villosa ‘Russian River’ (Coyote Mint)

Salvia ‘Winnifred Gillman’

Salvia darcyii (Red Sage)

Sporabolus airoides (Alkali Sacation)

Zauschneria sp. Many Varieties (California Fuchsia)

 

Hedgerow Shrubs:

Ceanothus ‘Julia Phelps’ (California Lilac)

Myrica californica (Cal. Wax Myrtle)

Rhamnus ‘Mound San Bruno’ (Coffeeberry)

 

 

 

The Perennial Meadow at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts

Fall is the perfect time for planting most California natives.  This week we put in the second phase planting at our largest demonstration garden to date.  A beautiful perennial meadow of that will be a buzzing lively habitat garden in a few months.  Even as I was watering the plants in a few lovely butterflies and bees showed up to see what was new.

The plants are beautiful and come from California Flora Nursery in Fulton, California.

Meadow:

Sporobolis airoides – Alkaki Sacation Grass 2-3′ wide big wonderful seed heads

Festuca californica – California Fescue 2-3′ Wide beautiful perennial meadow grass

Monardella villosa – Coyote Mint  tucked between the grasses this is a super habitat plant

 

Hedgerow:

Rhamnus californica ‘Mound San Bruno’  – our favorite cultivar of Coffeeberry with beautiful dark green leaves and a tidy form growing to about 4′ tall and wide

Myrica californica – Wax Myrtle  a great light green large shrub to about 9′

Ceanothus ‘Blue Jeans’ – California Lilac  the name says it all for this sometimes short lived but fast growing and very floriferous evergreen shrub

 

Enjoy Sebastopol!  Your gift from us at the Habitat Corridor Project.

Hats for Habitat

We are awaiting our first run of great trucker hats!  They will be here by the end of October.  Email april@habitatcorridorproject.org to reserve yours!  $35.00  custom made by Headsweats – perfect for workouts, gardening, hiking or anything in between.  WE created these hats to help raise awareness about California native plants.  Our first hat is the iconic California native poppy.  Stay tuned for 3 more custom designs – they are all wonderful!

Launching our new logo!

We are so excited to launch our new logo designed by the wonderful Jean Obek of Obek Design.  Please buy a shirt to support us!  Each shirt = 1 California native plant installed in one of our projects throughout California.  Good right?

Go to Bonfire.com and search for The Habitat Corridor Project.  We will have multiple campaigns so if you miss the first please check back for more!

 

Bringing Mother Nature Home – Notes from Spring 2017 from Habitat Designer and Co-founder Nancy Bauer

 Siberian Candyflower

For so many of us, wildlife habitat gardening is not so much a gardening style as a reverence for Mother Nature—her creatures, her beauty, wisdom and design. I love to hike in our local wild places as often and wherever I can, to be in nature, to soak up the beauty and silence as well as to see our native plants through the seasons. Spring is especially wonderful for that lush window of wildflower bloom. In mid-May I was hiking Pomo Canyon on the Sonoma coast, enjoying the tail end of the spring bloom. Large drifts of cream cups, checkerbloom and the deep purple brodiaeas spread out along the trail and into the meadows.  In one wet area I always look for the pink-striped Siberian candyflower and, with so much rain last winter, I found it in abundance!  One of my favorite native shrubs, creambush (Holodiscus) was just beginning to bloom along the trail and in my own garden the long creamy flower clusters now cover the bushes.

 

Many of the plants I love to see in my favorite wild places are ones I grow in my garden.  This spring I watched male and female pipevine swallowtails search for each other, periodically returning to the thick layers of pipevine where the female lays her eggs on the heart-shaped leaves.  Our California pipevine is the only caterpillar food plant for this beautiful butterfly species. I am watching now for quail babies: the covey of quail that live among the hedgerows —coffeeberry, elderberry, spice bush, salt bush, sages— have gone quiet in the past week or so.   So I wait with great anticipation.  I often check the birdbaths to see who has shown up— the bushtits gathering in groups to quickly bathe or the California towhees, taking turns for long, leisurely sessions in the water. Depending on the season, there will be western bluebirds, hermit thrush, song sparrows, and many others.

 

What brings them here—the butterflies, moths, bees and other beneficial insects, the songbirds and lizards and other creatures— are the plants that offer nectar, seeds, cover, and the insects that almost all of the bird species depend on to feed their young.  Our native plants are the ones that are the most dependable sources of all of these many nutrients and, for some insects, the only source.  Who will come to the habitat garden, what will happen, which plants will be favorite sources of nectar —or seeds or insects—is the mystery.  But spending time watching, walking the garden, touching my plants: this is how I bring the wild home.

 

— Nancy Bauer