By Jan Martin on 7/3/2010 3:05 PM

I don't have a lawn to kill, but I am trying to clear a slope of Osteospermum fruticosum (Freeway Daisies) to turn the area into a habitat for native birds, insects, and other wildlife, so Jim and I visited the Tree of Life Nursery to attend Part I of their "Replace Your Lawn" series of classes.

This was our second visit to the nursery, and although we were impressed by the size of the place before, we were amazed at all the things we had not seen on our prior visit. The hour long introduction to the series consisted of a walking tour of the nursery grounds, with commentary from nursery owner Mike Evans, and staff members Patty and Junior.

We saw a large number of beautiful, California native trees that would grow too large to be suitable for our small yard, but it was a great experience to see them growing as they should in their natural, native surroundings. The oaks and sycamore were especially impressive.

We saw the propagation area and the nurseries where the plants grow from seeds or cuttings into seedlings. The huge, hay-bale construction barn even houses a few surf boards!

I got a lot of ideas, and came home with two new plants: a Keckiella cordifolia (I've been wanting one for awhile now), and a non-native, but drought tolerant Antigonon leptopus. Both are still small plants, but should grow fast after this winter.

I decided to wait until Fall to plant the rest of the slope. That will give Jim and I time to clear all the old plant matter, and will be the perfect time for new plants to go in. It will also give me time to plan which plants I want to try; on the slope, and in future projects.

And that means future trips to Tree of Life Nursery!


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