When you plant California native plants in your garden, you are helping to restore natural ecosystems that are fast disappearing. If everyone planted 50-70% of their gardens in native plants, that could restore our fast declining bird and insect populations.
California is a biodiversity hot-spot in terms of native plants, so we have many different choices for beauty as well as ecosystem benefits.
Calscape and Bay Area Garden Planner
Discover local plants and recreate the Bay Area’s unique plant communities in your own garden with Calscape’s Bay Area Garden Planner! After four questions about your site and gardening priorities, you will end up with a personalized plant list that offers natural beauty, reduce water use, and support wildlife, along with gorgeous native garden designs that bring the list to life.
Combining data and expert input from ecologists, designers, and horticulturalists, the Calscape Bay Area Garden Planner also takes into consideration biodiversity benefits, genetic considerations, flammability, and appropriate climate.
Outside of the Bay Area, Calscape.org is a great place to find the plants that are native to your site—type in a zip code and a list of natives will be displayed, and each plant has descriptions of growth requirements, insects and birds that it supports, and nurseries that carry them.
CNPS-EB’s Native Here Nursery is a great resource for very local natives. The non-profit nursery is dedicated to growing plants for restoration of park lands and gardening projects. The plants are “locally native,” grown from seed and cuttings collected in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
As Doug Tallamy, a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware says, “If American’s replanted half of their lawns with native plants, shrubs and trees, we would have more wildlife habitat than all the national parks combined.”