• Books

  • Gardens

  • Nurseries

  • Presentations

  • Writings

  • Other

Favorite Books — Garden and Landscape:

  • Landscape Plants for California Gardens: An Illustrated Reference of Plants for California Landscapes, by Robert C. Perry (2010)
  • Reimagining the California Lawn: Water-conserving Plants, Practices, and Designs, by Carol Bornstein, David Fross, and Bart O’Brien (2011)
  • Plant-Driven Design: Creating Gardens That Honor Plants, Place, and Spirit, by Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden (2008)
  • Sunset Western Garden Book, edited by Brenzel (2007 Edition)
  • Sunset Western Landscaping, edited by Brenzel (companion to above; 2006 Edition)
  • Sustainable Landscape for Dummies, by Owen E. Dell (2009)

Favorite Books — California Native Plants:

  • California Native Plants for the Garden, by Carol Bornstein, David Fross, and Bart O’Brien (2005)
  • Care and Maintenance of Southern California Native Plants, by Bart O’Brien, Betsey Landis, and Ellen Mackey (2006)
  • Designing California Native Gardens: The Plant Community Approach to Artful, Ecological Gardens, by Glenn Keator and Alrie Middlebrook (2007)
  • Native Treasures: Gardening with the Plants of California, by M. Nevin Smith (2006)
  • The Southern California Native Flower Garden: A Guide to Size, Bloom, Foliage, Color, and Texture, by Susan Van Atta, ASLA (2009), illustrated by Peter Gaede

Favorite Books — Growing Edibles:

  • Sunset Western Garden Book of Edibles: The Complete A to Z Guide to Growing Your Own Vegetables, Herbs, and Fruits, by Jim McCausland (2010)
  • The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control, edited by Ellis and Bradley (1996)
  • California Master Gardener Handbook, edited by Pittenger, UC Ag. And Natural Resources Pub. 3382 (2002, reprint 2009)
  • Roses Love Garlic: Companion Planting and Other Secrets of Flowers, by Louise Riotte (1975, 1998)
  • Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening, by Louise Riotte (1975, 1998)

Favorite Books — Landscape Specialties:

  • Allergy-Free Gardening: The Revolutionary Guide to Healthy Landscaping, by Thomas Leo Ogren (2000)
  • Designing with Succulents, by Debra Lee Baldwin (2007)
  • Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates, by Robert Kourik (Second edition 2009)
  • Firescaping, by Douglas Kent (2005)
  • Johnson’s Guide to Gardening – Plants for the Arid West: Pruning, Planting & Care, by Eric A. Johnson (1997)

Voices of nature:

  • Bees, Wasps, and Ants: The Indespensible Role of Hymenoptera in Gardens, by Eric Grissell (2010)
  • Bringing Nature Home, by Douglas W. Tallamy (2007)
  • Fire, Chaparral, and Survival in Southern California, by Richard W. Halsey (Second edition 2008)
  • Theodore Payne in His Own Words: A Voice for California Native Plants, by the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants, Inc. (2004)

Also, a couple of goodies when words are needed for inspiration:

  • The Quotable Gardener, edited by Elliott (1999)
  • Emily Dickinson’s Garden: A Celebration of a Poet and Gardener, McDowell (2005)

Favorite Gardens:

Places to buy plants and/or seeds in Southern California or on-line —

  • California native plant sources:
    • Grow Native Nursery Non-profit operated by “Rancho” — two locations: Grow Native Nursery – West at the Veterans’ Garden, West LA, CA; Grow Native Nursery – Claremont at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
    • Las Pilitas* On-line source with nursery locations in Santa Margarita and Escondido, CA; candid observations, wonderful plant photos — critters, too!
    • Matilija Nursery Located in Moorpark, CA, this is a very special primarily wholesale nursery with limited retail hours. “Matilija Bob” offers a wealth of information about native plants as well as non-native irises! Tell him Janis (begarden) sent you!
    • Theodore Payne Foundation Non-profit organization, Sun Valley, CA (Check out their office/bookstore to see art on display and to sign up for lots of great classes!)
    • Some local nurseries are rising to the demand. Check them out, too!
  • Specialty (includes mail-order; some are wholesale growers but are open to the public):
    • Australian Native Plants Nursery* Exceptional source for unusual plants of Australia and South Africa. Independent nursery and grower (limited hours by appointment; semi-annual sales open to public and are advertised on social media), Casitas Springs, CA
    • Barrels and Branches Women-owned destination nursery. Casually elegant weddings and other events, too! Located in the quaint SoCal beach town of Encinitas, CA
    • Jungle Music Specializes in rare cycads and palms
    • Jurassic Garden Specializes in rare cycads and palms
    • Roger’s Gardens Destination nursery, extensive gift shop with home decor and more, located in Corona del Mar, CA
    • Seaside Gardens Destination nursery, beautiful gift shop and gorgeous displays; lovely botanic garden setting, located in Carpenteria, CA 
    • Waterwise Botanicals A wonderful place to learn about growing succulents and many other drought-adapted plants. Great source for hardy garden roses. Check out their annual “Succulent Celebration”! Located in Escondido, CA
  • Edibles:
  • Growers/Wholesalers — Consider asking your retailer or licensed contractor to order from these wholesale nurseries:
    • Matilija Nursery See above listing under native plant sources for more information
    • Monrovia Nursery Company*
    • Moosa Creek Nursery Family run wholesale native plants nursery. Sees retail-quality plants through chain and specialty nurseries/garden centers.
    • Mountain States Wholesale Nursery Out-of-state wholesale grower with great in-state customer service! Wonderful plants for hot, inland climates — valleys, foothills, low- and high-deserts
    • Native Grow Nursery Wholesale, contract-grower of native plants, especially for larger sites and for restoration
    • Native Sons, Inc.* Check out the extensive website of this wholesale grower, and connect on social media to learn about once-a-year open-to-the-public open house!
    • Proven Winners, LLCFor that little part of your garden where you want show-stopping, easy-care, floriferous plants, this grower’s plants are prominently displayed in-season at retail garden centers.
    • San Marcos Growers* Premier wholesale grower located just north of Santa Barbara, CA — top pick of many sustainable garden designers from the S.F. Bay Area and south through Greater LA. Specialties include unique and gorgeous plants for discriminating gardeners as well as tough plants for tough sites.
    • Tree of Life Nursery The Place for native plants in The OC. Wholesale and retail services.

* These sites have extensive photographic collections.

Presentation to Environmental Commission, City of Calabasas, January 5, 2010:

Enduring Beauty in the Garden: Sustainable Practices Download PDF

Presentation to City of Santa Monica design review panel:

Design Contest Submission: 3200 Airport Avenue Demonstration Garden* Download PDF

*Plant List Download PDF

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* Also, check class schedules at these fine organizations in the Greater LA area as well as through your water purveyor:






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