Native Flower Garden Book

by Susan Van Atta, ASLA

The Southern California Native Flower GardenThe native flower garden book intends to help create flower gardens with inspired and memorable colors, textures, and scents, while enhancing the health and comfort of the landscape with less effort, water, energy, and expense.

The book illustrates 164 California native plants, presented in the same light as popular exotic flowering plants readily available at retail nurseries. The small trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, ground covers, and vines described here last a long time and provide brilliant flowers. The nonnative annuals and perennials, so commonly used in flower gardens, require fertilizer, water, and frequent replacement. In sunny Southern California, a colorful flower-filled garden can be so much easier. The plants selected for this book are intended to be the more reliable, widely adapted, relatively available, beautifully flowering, or otherwise attractive native plants for Southern California gardens.

By designing gardens with plants that are adapted to our surroundings, we can have all of the beauty without the fuss of lots of water, chemical fertilizers, amendments, pesticides, herbicides, pruning, and trimming. This approach to landscaping maximizes the health of our gardens and households as well as the communities in which we live. The plants that have evolved here also have advantages for the local wildlife such as songbirds, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Hosting living creatures enriches the garden with beauty, life, and charm as well.