Saturday, October 31, 2009

Benefits of Native Plants

Silene serpentinicola was added to the CNPS Inventory (List 1B.2) in 2005.
Photo by S. Carothers.

Benefits of Native Plants

Native vegetation evolved to live with the local climate, soil types, and animals. This long process brings us several gardening advantages.

  • Save Water:
    Once established, many native plants need minimal irrigation beyond normal rainfall.
  • Low Maintenance:
    Low maintenance landscaping methods are a natural fit with native plants that are already adapted to the local environment. Look forward to using less water, little to no fertilizer, little to no pesticides, less pruning, and less of your time.
  • Pesticide Freedom:
    Native plants have developed their own defenses against many pests and diseases. Since most pesticides kill indiscriminately, beneficial insects become secondary targets in the fight against pests. Reducing or eliminating pesticide use lets natural pest control take over and keeps garden toxins out of our creeks and watersheds.
  • Wildlife Viewing:
    Native plants, birds, butterflies, beneficial insects, and interesting critters are “made for each other.” Research shows that native wildlife prefers native plants.
  • Support Local Ecology:
    As development replaces natural habitats, planting gardens, parks, and roadsides with California natives can provide a “bridge” to nearby remaining wildlands.

Beautiful natural landscapes in California, including the scenic National Parks here, display authentic California flora. Your garden can too.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Know Your Native Plants: Perserve this precious, sacred environment.

White Sage grows wild on the hilltops of Pinecrest. We are lucky, because this plant can be choosy about where it likes to grow, is difficult to propagate and takes several years to mature. Please respect White Sage and all the native plants. Do not remove or damage these plants for the sake of an extra tent site or parking spot. Let's keep Pinecrest's native plants alive!

White Sage can be a slow growing, difficult to establish plant that can take up to three years to reach a mature size. The plant above is a three year old pictured in spring. The body of the plant gets to be two to three feet tall and can spread eight feet or more. The flower wands will add two to five feet to the height and will have tiny insignificant looking white flowers that are dotted with lavender. At least they are insignificant to us, to the bees they are heaven, which it is why it is sometimes referred to as bee sage. White Sage has highly aromatic, waxy gray leaves that are used for incense.

Native Americans have used white sage for centuries and continue to use it today. White sage has been used traditionally to purify the mind, body and spirit before praying. Native Americans also used white sage in ceremonies of birth and death. Sacred objects such as pipes and eagle feathers were passed through the smoking of burning white sage in order to purify them.

When clearing the land of dry brush and weeds for fire safety, be mindful of the plants that should never be removed: native american plants such as the white sage.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October Weekend, At the Lookout. (Pinecrest)

Everybody makes their trailer their own through a combination of personal nick-nacks, candles, cozy-comforters, easy to move chairs, photos, art and every quirky specialty item that "doesn't quite fit at home". Every trailer also needs some kind of instrument lurking in a corner, or at least a ka-zoo tucked away in the kitchen drawer.
Weekends are for resting, cooking, cocktails, bird watching, raking leaves, moving rocks, painting, planting, watching the sun set and the moon rise, slowing down, and enjoying the company of loved ones.

Friday, October 16, 2009

DWELL Magazine re-evaluates "Trailer Parks"

For decades, trailer parks have been increasingly marginalized to a strict set of stereotypes. They might gleam as well-manicured retirement communities to some, but in their most iconic state they are perceived as the province of the unfortunate. The question of whether design can save or even improve trailer parks is preempted almost immediately by “Why bother?”

The latter question is easier to answer. Allan Wallis, author of Wheel Estate: The Rise and Decline of Mobile Homes and an authority on regional housing, calls trailer parks an undervalued, endangered resource. “Hundreds of thousands of living spaces” have been zoned out of existence, Wallis says, warning that “we are losing a certain niche in the housing market that the market left on its own would not really replace.” Trailer parks, he explains, put workforce housing where communities desperately need it. Drive these inhabitants to suburbia’s outer rings, and freeways get clogged while households become severely strained by car and gas payments. Wallis welcomes innovative design: Trailer parks could use a face-lift. “You need to create a visually attractive package,” he says. “I would ask the designers of the iPod, ‘Could you do that for a mobile home?’”

For the rest of the story go to: