Bringing back the Natives Garden Tour

 Registration is now open for the free Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, which will take place on Sunday, May 1, 2016, from 10:00–5:00 at various locations throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Participants on the twelfth annual, free, self-guided Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour can choose from thirty showcase native plant gardens. They will have the opportunity to learn how to select and care for California native plants, lower their water bills, design a low maintenance garden, attract butterflies, birds, and bees, and garden without using pesticides. More than forty talks will be offered throughout the day. More than 5,000 people are expected to register for this annual event, which will fill; early registration is suggested to ensure a place. 

The delightful collection of gardens offered this year ranges from five-acre lots in the hills to small gardens in the flats, and from professionally designed gardens to those designed by homeowners. Garden styles run the gamut—from restoration gardens containing local native plants to the horticulturally available suite of natives from throughout California, and to gardens containing a mixture of natives and Mediterranean plants. 

In the “View the Gardens” section of the website are photographs of each garden, and extensive garden descriptions and plant lists. The website also contains a list of nurseries that sell native plants, as well as a list of landscape designers familiar with designing with native plants. Many of these designers offer discount consultations to tour participants. 

A companion feature, the Native Plant Sale Extravaganza, will take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1. This exclusive sale features a number of native plant nurseries which carry large quantities of hard-to-find California natives, and offers native plant fans both a good selection of native plants and a relaxed shopping experience. Knowledgeable staff will be on hand to help shoppers select the right plants for their gardens, and Saturday shoppers will have time to visit more showcase native plant gardens on Sunday, May 1, during the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour. 

In addition, a series of workshops ($35 per person) will be held between April and June. Participants can learn how to remove and replace their lawns, design native plant gardens for color and interest throughout the year, install a drip irrigation system, and garden sustainably (think chickens, rainwater harvesting, and creating pollinator gardens.) Details can be found on the website. 

 What’s special about California native plants? They are adapted to our soil and climate, and they are easy to care for. Native plants are naturally drought tolerant. They attract native birds, butterflies, and other forms of wildlife. And, as the gardens on the Tour show, California native plants are beautiful; these lovely gardens display a sense of place that is uniquely Californian.

Admission to the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour is free, though donations are requested. This tour will fill; register early to ensure a place. Volunteers are needed. Registration will close on April 24 or when the tour is full, which ever comes first. Register or volunteer at http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/.

For more information, contact Kathy@KathyKramerConsulting.net or call (510) 236-9558 between 9 am and 8 pm.

 Bringing Back the Natives Plant Sales

April 30 and May 1: On the weekend of the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, once again, a number of native plant nurseries, including our own Native Here Nursery, will be open on either or both Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, 2016 from 10:00–5:00. Take advantage of this opportunity to shop for unique or hard-to-find native plants that are not normally available in most nurseries.

This shopping extravaganzas will offer native plant fans a good selection of native plants and provide a more relaxed and less crowded shopping experience than one normally finds at native plant sales. Knowledgeable staff will be on hand to help shoppers select the right plants for their gardens. You do not have to register for the Tour in order to shop at these nurseries.

Talks will be given at several of the nurseries, and music will be played at two.  See the website for details:
http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/plant-sale

Bringing Back the Natives Spring Workshops

 Read full descriptions of these workshops and register for them at www.BringingBacktheNatives.net. ($35 per person.)

1. Saturday, April 16, 10:00-3:00, Oakland – FULL: Designing Native Gardens for Color and Interest Throughout the Year, led by Pete Veilleux of East Bay Wilds

2. Saturday, April 16, 10:00 3:00, Orinda/Lafayette/Moraga gardens: Introducing The New California Lawn, led by Michael Thilgen of Four Dimensions Landscape Company

3. Sunday, April 17, 10:00–2:00, Livermore: “How to remove your lawn (and get paid for it, too!) sheet mulching workshop” led by Kathy Kramer of the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour

4. Saturday, April 23, 10:00-3:00, Walnut Creek

Introducing The New California Lawn, led by Michael Thilgen of Four Dimensions Landscape Company

5. Saturday, April 30, 10:00–3:00, Walnut Creek

Gardening with Nature in Mind, led by Judy Adler