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California Native Plant Society

Santa Clara Valley Chapter

Basics of Gardening for Habitat

Understanding the Basics of Gardening for Habitat

What Brings Bees, Butterflies, Moths and Birds to our Garden

What is Gardening for Habitat? Learn why it's important:Melanie Cross's Garden

anise swallowtailReady to get started? Here are some simple steps to transform your garden into a welcoming place for birds, butterflies, bees and other wildlife:

  • How can you restore nature in your garden? Dennis Mudd shares his insights
  • Need more information about pollinator plants and bees? Juanita Salisbury answers your questions in this talk
  • Seeking butterfly resources? The Xerces Society is a great resource as well as the Bay Area Wildlife resource website. 
  • Looking for more native seeds? Check out the great selection at Larner's Seeds. Various mixes are also available from Pacific Coast Seeds

Getting Started with Native Plants in your GardenDSC06538 tidytips moth

  • Need help getting started with a native plant garden? Tips are available in this video
  • When should you plant, water, prune, or leave things alone? Helen Popper shares a month-by-month guide for California gardeners.
  • What planting methods and soil will ensure success? Haven Kiers from UC Davis shares some research. 
  • Want to find more California Native plants specific to your area, and the butterflies that use them as host plants? Then check out the wonderful CNPS Calscape website, which includes descriptions and planting information about every California native plant and links to native plant nurseries all over the state. For a user guide to using this amazing resource, watch this talk.
  • Check out the great resources on our website and the numerous talks on native plant gardening and native plant science on our YouTube channel.
  • Need Plants? Find nurseries, seed stores and plant sales using our list of local retailers.
  • Looking for a list of great books for gardening with native plants and for wildlife? Go to our resource page for books.

Activities for Native Plant Gardeners

Melanie Cross's GardenWant to do more? 

  • Join us on a chapter field trip. See what's coming up here or on our Meetup page.
  • Discover flora and fauna in your region and across the globe, and even post your own observations on the iNaturalist app.
  •  Attend the chapter's annual Growing Natives Garden tour
  • Want to see most of California’s native habitats in one location? Check out the Regional Botanic Garden in Tilden Park. 
  • Visit other public gardens with native plants. Here's is a list to get you started.
  • The CNPS state website also has excellent resources and information to get you started with native plant science or gardening, like Bloom! California
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Upcoming Events

Fri May 31 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Friday Edgewood Restoration
Sat Jun 01 @ 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Fri Jun 07 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Friday Edgewood Restoration
Sat Jun 08 @ 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Tue Jun 11 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
Forty Years of Change in a Serpentine Grassland, a talk by Lauren Hallett
Tue Jun 11 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Conservation Committee
Fri Jun 14 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Friday Edgewood Restoration
Sat Jun 15 @ 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Sun Jun 16 @10:00AM - 12:30PM
Plant ID & Beach Adventure at Wilder Ranch State Park & Fern Grotto Beach (Santa Cruz County)
Tue Jun 18 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Drought-Tolerant Gardening for Native Bees, a talk by John Kehoe