April is all about being at home on our planet – around the country with Earth Day on April 22 and National Arbor Day on April 26th, but also around the state with the third annual California Native Plant Week (http://www.cnps.org/cnps/conservation/nativeplantweek/) which runs this year from Sunday April 14th to Sunday April 21st.
Northern California is home to more native plants and wildflowers than most places on the planet – its language of flowers – so to speak – is rich and colorful year-round really, but if you haven’t noticed it’s particularly talkative just now. Northern California is speaking to us in woodlands, in wildflowers in spring pollinators and spring wildlife exuberant about the new season of growth. They are all feeling – and helping us to feel – right at home where we live.
California Native Plant week was designated such by the state legislature in 2010, and the first formal celebration of the week was in 2011. According to the California Native Plant Society website, the 2010 measure proclaimed the 3rd week of April, each year, as California Native Plant Week and encourages community groups, schools, and citizens to undertake appropriate activities to promote the conservation, restoration, and appreciation of California’s native plants.
“Introduced by Assemblywoman Noreen Evans (D – Napa), resolution (ACR 173) was sponsored by the California Native Plant Society, and supported by horticulturalists, conservation organizations, and professional growers and retailers throughout California.
ACR 173 recognizes the vital historical, artistic, and economic contributions California’s native plants have made to our State, and notes that California native plant landscapes positively affect our watersheds, habitat recovery, reducing wildfire damage.” As any native plant enthusiast can attest, they also have a major positive effects on our individual and cultural outlooks.
Like anything, the more we learn about our native plants, the more at home we feel with them and the more they speak to us. With literally 1000s of plants native to our region, it can seem daunting to know where to start. But around the North State native plant display gardens, native plant nurseries and your local CNPS chapters, with monthly programs, hikes, annual garden tours and flower shows are ready to help.
There are several very good CNPS chapters serving areas of the North State – the Mt. Lassen Chapter serves the Chico and central counties, the Shasta Chapter serves our northern counties and the Sacramento Valley chapter of the CNPS and Redbud chapter serve areas further south and east.
Some Events to Celebrate California Native Plant Week in our region:
April 11 – 13 – Redding: Shasta College and CNPS (Native Plants) Spring Plant Sale 8 am – 5 pm Thurs & Fri, 8 am – 3 pm Saturday. Held at the greenhouse/horticulture area of Shasta College, the event features hardy, drought-tolerant native plants propagated by the Shasta chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Horticulture students, master gardeners and native plant experts will be on hand to answer gardening questions.
April 12 & 13: Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay Spring Plant Sale Fri Night 5 pm – 8 pm MEMBERS ONLY PREVIEW, Saturday 9 am – 2 pm. Spring into the gardening season at Turtle Bay’s Plant Nursery. We encourage visitors to bring a wagon to fill with our popular heirloom vegetables, drought-tolerant plants, California native plants, and hard-to-find perennials, shrubs, and trees. Everything is propagated and grown here in our Nursery and acclimated to Redding’s challenging climatic conditions. Get your garden going and have fun doing it at this unique spring fundraising event. Sale includes a discount for the public, and an even greater (than the everyday 20% off) discount for Turtle Bay members. For more information, go to www.turtlebay.org/nursery or call (530) 242-3178 or 242-3169. FRIDAY IS MEMBER NIGHT with music and wine. (Memberships available at the gate) FREE admission into the Gardens
April 13 – Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society FIELD TRIP: State Park at Sutter Buttes – Peace Valley & Vicinity 8:30am. Meet 8:30 am at west lot Chico Park & Ride (Hwy 99 / 32) or 9:15 am at Arco Gas Station in Live Oak (Hwy 99 & Pennington Rd.). To sign up contact Woody Elliott by email (preferred): firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: (530) 342-6053. For more information see website at mountlassen.cnps.org
April 13 – Chico: Gateway Science Museum hosts Butte & Glenn County Master Gardeners for the 2nd of 3 Sustainability Workshops on Planting Considerations for a Native Plant Pollinator and Phenology Garden 1 – 3 pm. Gateway Science Museum 625 Esplanade, Chico, CA 95929. Workshop #2 Focuses on Unique Features of Native Plants & Their Irrigation.Workshops is free in the gardens. Museum admission is $3 for children/students and $6 for adults. More information: www.gatewayscience.org.
April 13 – Davis: UC Davis Arboretum Guided Tour: Ethnobotanical Plant Walk and Meditation 2 pm, Wyatt Deck, UC Davis Arboretum, UC Davis campus. Learn about traditional uses of California native plants from the Arboretum Ambassadors, and enjoy a guided meditation and tea brewed from native plants. Parking is available for free on weekends in Visitor Lot 5, at Old Davis Road and Arboretum Drive. For more information, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
April 14 – 21: California Native Plant Week
April 14 – Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Fieldtrip: Vernal Pool Venture 9 am meet. We’ll take a relatively short walk on a Millville Plains ranch featuring numerous vernal pools and swales. We’ll see dozens of plants less than four inches tall, including several uncommon plants such as Red Bluff dwarf rush, watershield, and possibly Boggs Lake hedge-hyssop. Plan to get your feet wet and muddy! A plant list will be provided. Meet at Redding City Hall’s south parking lot on Parkview Avenue at 9 AM. Bring water and a snack. No dogs, please. Heavy rain cancels. For more information, call Don Burk at 347-0849. For more info: www.shastacnps.org
April 18 – Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Regular monthly meeting & program Pete Figura, wildlife biologist will give us a presentation and an update on a new plant species found in the Trinity Alps: Antennaria, common name pussytoes, in the Asteraceae family 7 – 9 pm. Pete will talk about the plant’s location, characteristics, and ecology, and where it is in the process of being published. Pete has worked at the Redding office of CDFW for 14 years, and holds a Masters degree in Biology from Humboldt State University. Pete is also a member and past Board officer of Shasta Chapter CNPS. Meet at 7 PM at the Shasta College Health Science & University Programs building in downtown Redding, 1400 Market Street, Community Room 8220 (clock tower building at the north end of the Market Street Promenade; enter on south side of the building). A Board meeting will be held before the regular meeting, at 5:30 PM at Angelo’s Pizza Parlour in the Foundry Square, 1774 California Street, Redding. For more info: www.shastacnps.org
April 20 – Chico: Chico Creek Nature Center ‘Celebrate the Jewel’ festival of Bidwell Park A day of fun and information all about Bidwell Park, the Jewel of Chico. For more information: http://www.bidwellpark.org/page/calendar/event-20130420.php
April 20 – Sacramento: Sacramento Chapter CNPS hosts their Third Annual GARDENS GONE NATIVE GARDEN TOUR 9:30 – 4:00 pm. Home gardens in and around Sacramento and Yolo Counties. The Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society is pleased to announce its third annual garden tour. GGN is a free, self-guided tour featuring 25 home gardens in and around Sacramento and Yolo counties. Gardens are comprised of at least 50% California native plants. Participants will be inspired by a variety of gardens that showcase the beauty, versatility, and hardiness of native plants. A diversity of garden sizes and styles can be viewed, including: small city lots to large semi-rural parcels, professional and homeowner designs, and hundreds of native plant species. Registrations are limited and required. To register for the 2013 Gardens Gone Native tour, please go to the following link for the registration form: http://gardensgonenative.eventbrite.com. Following registration, tour maps, garden addresses, and other tour information will be sent out via email. Please visit SacValley.CNPS.org for updates and further information. For more information, email Susan Fregien, GGN Tour Coordinator at email@example.com.
April 21 – Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society host their Biennial Wildflower Show & Plant SaleNoon to 5 pm. CARD Center, 545 Vallombrosa Avenue, Chico. For more information: http://mountlassen.cnps.org
April 22 – Earth Day
April 26 – National Arbor Day
April 27 – Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society & Friends of the Chico State Herbarium present: Opening the World Through Nature Journaling with John Muir Laws 10 am – 5 pm Selvester’s Cafe at CSU, Chico. In this hands-on, workshop John Muir Laws will teach the skills and techniques to integrate drawing and journaling into the classroom and daily life. – California Native Plant Society has just released the 2nd Edition of its acclaimed Opening the World Through Nature Journaling curriculum – includes expanded materials on the techniques to draw plants and animals – new kid-tested, teacher-approved, standards-based activities – new materials to write poetry in the field. – Come and learn how to make nature sketching and writing a part of your classroom or family experience. Bring your own drawing supplies and sketchbook. $100 registration ($90 for members). Minimum 11 participants, 30 max. For more information: http://mountlassen.cnps.org/
April 27 – Redding: Whole Earth Watershed Festival Redding City Hall, 777 Cypress Avenue, from 10 AM to 4 PM. More info: http://wholeearthandwatershedfestival.org
April 27 – Davis: UC Davis Arboretum Guided Tour: What’s New in the Native Plant Garden? 2pm, Buehler Alumni & Visitors Center, UC Davis campus. Tour the recently renovated pathways and plantings in the Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California Native Plants for examples of native plants that work well in home landscapes. Parking is available for free on weekends in the South District Parking Structure near the Mondavi Center for Performing Arts, at Old Davis Road and Hilgard Lane. For more information, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
April 27 – Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society & Friends of the Chico State Herbarium present: A free Lecture on the Subtle but Essential Relationships Between Species in the SIERRA NEVADA with John Muir Laws 7 pm Holt Hall room 170 at CSU, Chico. Join us for an exciting evening with the author of The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada. John Muir Laws will illustrate some amazing relationships between plants and animals in the Sierra Nevada and some conservation challenges. Don’t miss this great opportunity to enrich your next exploration in the Range of Light! Suggested donation $3.00-$5.00 For more information: http://mountlassen.cnps.org/
April 28 – Davis: UC Davis Arboretum Spring Public Plant Sale 9 am – 1 pm. These sales are open to the public. Members save 10% off their purchases. Become a new member at the sales to receive 10% off your purchases AND an additional $10-off coupon! At this sale you’ll have access to the area’s largest selection of attractive, low-water, easy-care, region-appropriate plants including Arboretum All-Stars. All sales are held at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery, Garrod Drive, UC Davis. Experienced gardeners will be on hand to help you choose the best plants for your garden design and conditions. The event is free; parking is free on the weekends and available in Visitor Lot 5, at Old Davis Road and Arboretum Drive. For more information, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
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In a North State Garden is a weekly Northstate Public Radio and web-based program celebrating the art, craft and science of home gardening in Northern California. It is made possible in part by the Gateway Science Museum – Exploring the Natural History of the North State and on the campus of CSU, Chico. In a North State Garden is conceived, written, photographed and hosted by Jennifer Jewell – all rights reserved jewellgarden.com. In a North State Garden airs on Northstate Public Radio Saturday mornings at 7:34 AM Pacific time and Sunday morning at 8:34 AM Pacific time. Podcasts of past shows are available here.