White Sage is Wild

When I first began gardening with California native plants thirty years ago, I was often unsuccessful. I planted my new native plants in flat planters next to my grass lawn. I overwatered and wondered why the plants weren’t surviving. Even poppy seeds didn’t grow.

But one of the plants that survived my beginning native plant gardener skills was California white sage.

White Sage (Salvia apiana) in autumn. Photo by E. Wallace

My new white sage withstood being over-watered in clay soil. And it lived for years as I learned and experimented with growing native plants in my cultivated back yard.

It can be a challenge to install native plants in a home landscape. Having a grassy yard is the American dream, but lawns can be dead zones for wildlife. As I have learned more about the importance of native plants to birds, butterflies, and bees, I have re-landscaped almost my entire lawn with natives and removed most of the grass. And the native plants are beautiful.

Native plants in a home landscape. E. Wallace

On Wednesday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m., I will be giving a presentation about gardening with California native plants in the increasing heat and drought. Please join me at the Norman P. Murray Center in Mission Viejo as I tell the story about native plants that are thriving and native plants that are struggling in the changing climate.

Also that evening, I will have more details about the upcoming A Sage in Every Garden campaign in which the OC chapter of the California Native Plant Society will be giving away 2,000 free four-inch white sage plants to Orange County homeowners.

I hope to see you there.

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