Climate Action Corner: California Natives - The Keys to Beautiful Drought Tolerant Curb Appeal



California Natives—The Keys to Beautiful Drought Tolerant Curb Appeal



When most of us think about drought tolerant landscaping, you may think dry, colorless and boring.


Since we here at CAC believe in adding beauty to the world, we assure you that Native Planting not only offers plenty of logical reasons for planting but also adds some fabulous Curb Appeal to your home or listing.


With the drought upon us, it has never been more important to conserve this natural resource, not just for now, but for the foreseeable future. So read on for five compelling reasons to make the change. The approaching Autumn and Winter months are perfect times to plant.

Ceanothous at the SF Native Plant Garden



FIVE Great Reasons to Switch to Native Plants


1. Less effort and resources, meaning lower maintenance

Native plants and trees take less care and energy and ultimately will be healthier than planting exotic plants. They also require fertilizer treatments, translating into less time, energy and money being spent on maintenance.


2. Connect with nature

In addition to providing vital habitat for birds, many other species of wildlife benefits as well. The colorful array of butterflies and moths, including the iconic monarch, the swallowtails, tortoiseshells, and beautiful blues, are all dependent on very specific native plant species. Native plants provide nectar for pollinators including hummingbirds, native bees, bats as well as butterflies and moths. They also provide protective shelter for many mammals. The native nuts, seeds, and fruits produced by these plants offer essential foods for all forms of wildlife.


3. Beauty

It may surprise you that many native plants offer beautiful showy flowers, produce abundant colorful fruits and seeds, and brilliant seasonal changes in colors from the pale, thin greens of early spring, to the vibrant yellows and reds of autumn.


4. Help the Climate

Landscaping with native plants can combat climate change. In addition to the reduced noise and carbon pollution from lawn mower exhaust, many native plants, especially long-living trees like oaks and maples, are effective at storing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, as well as adding protective shade for your home.


5. Conserve Water

Because native plants are adapted to local environmental conditions, they require far less water, saving time, money, and perhaps the most valuable natural resource especially now, water. Perhaps this should be the #1 reason to switch to natives!


Right now is a great time to convert those especially thirsty lawns to gardens planted with natives. EBMUD will reward you with rebates if you do! And if you plant your approved project between now and April, you may get an extra rebate, from 75 cents to $1.50/sq. ft. of area converted. Learn more here: https://www.ebmud.com/water/conservation-and-rebates/rebates/lawn-conversion-rebate/


So, what do you say? Make a project of it or add to your garden little by little. Whatever the choice, Native Plants are a great choice for any garden or landscape.


Join us for our next Firsty Thursday Green Home Happy Hour on Thursday, October 7th at 4:30 pm. We’ll keep this conversation going, sharing some of our favorite Native plants and resources. Have questions? We’ll try to provide the answers, and have some fun in the process! Register here, for our monthly gatherings: bit.ly/Firsty-Thursdays


RESOURCES:

For more information or a list of plant choices visit The California Native Plant Society https://www.cnps.org/gardening/prepping-and-planting/planting-california-natives


You can also find great resources on the EBMUD site. You’ll find a list of native plant nurseries, as well as planting guides and also a guide to 100 water-wise plants, and the link to a rebate application:

https://www.ebmud.com/water/conservation-and-rebates/watersmart-gardener/watersmart-plants/


These water-wise tips for planting California natives brought to you by your Climate Action Committee. Special thanks to Janine Hunt for providing much of this content!


The Climate Action Committee serves as a Bridge AOR resource, educating and facilitating activities in support of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction for a sustainable low-carbon future.