We were lucky enough to get a tour up at our local Shagri-La formerly known as the Taft Gardens. Home to literally thousands of native Californian, South African and Australian blooms set on hundreds of manicured acres. Why South African and Australian you ask? Why would plants from places thousands of miles and a hemisphere away thrive in our environs? You can thank the “Mediterranean climate” for our lovely weather and the unique set of circumstances that allows our “chaparral” to thrive. Only 3% of the world’s land surface has this combination of hot dry summers and wet mild winters. The Mediterranean of course, Southern California, some of Chile, southwest Australia and South Africa. What we call chaparral they might call maquis, garrigue, fynbos or matorral.
After some time off the newly rechristened Conservation Endowment Fund Botanical Garden is now accepting reservations again, check here for details, you have to call ahead to save a spot. Also I snuck in a new mystery plant, I figured it out pretty quickly. This pic is from the site, mine stunk (what a shock!). Love finding brand new wildflowers each year, this one was meandering along the ground inconspicuously on the Ventura River Preserve right on the side of the trail.
Finally, Antonio down at Nopalito by Lassen’s in Ventura is having a very special class tomorrow about using native plants for food and medicine. Check here for details, he assures me it is tomorrow (Thursday) I will try to find a time for you.