Archive for September, 2009

CNPS Orange County News – September ’09

September 11, 2009

In this Bulletin:

1.  General Meeting, Thursday, September 17, 2009

2.  Seeking Neighbor-Friendly Native Plants – Survey

3.  Fall Benefit Plant Sale, Saturday, October 24, 2009

1.  GENERAL MEETING, Thursday, September 17, 2009

Duck Club, Riparian View Way, Irvine

(see for directions)

Doors open at 7:00 pm, Main Program at 7:30 pm

Welcome Back!  We have all had a hot and relaxing summer since our last eNewsletter back in June, and we’re ready to kick off the upcoming planting season with two months of programs about native plant gardening.  First, for the month of September:

Replace Your Lawn: The Native Alternative

Speakers: Debbie Evans and Gene Ratcliffe, Tree of Life Nursery

If you want to take the bold and ecologically responsible step of replacing your lawn, consider featuring water-smart and habitat friendly California native plants! Fall is here, so now is a good time to plot the demise of your lawn and the creation of your new native garden.

Two dynamic and engaging speakers from Tree of Life Nursery will combine aspects of the nursery’s popular three-part series—the “Replace Your Lawn” workshops—and will cover the basics of tearing out the lawn, planning a native landscape and choosing plants appropriate for your site and conditions.

For those who already have native gardens, this is a great opportunity to bring along a friend or neighbor who might be leaning in that direction. From neat groundcovers to riotous color to gorgeous shrubs, native plants will be on hand to illustrate their many uses in the garden. Everyone can pick up new ideas! Let’s all start out the year focusing on making “Water-Less” native gardens a reality all over Orange County.

Debbie Evans is a graduate of UC San Diego in Linguistics, and as much as anyone in this state literally grew up with native plants. She now promotes replacing lawns and many other topics as the Marketing Coordinator at Tree of Life Nursery.

Gene Ratcliffe is a graduate of UCLA with a degree in geology, and of Cornell University with a masters in ethnobotany. She is an experienced, articulate and engaging teacher, whom one of her students recently dubbed “an awesome powerhouse of information!”

Gene Ratcliffe teaching at Tree of Life Nursery

Gene Ratcliffe teaching at Tree of Life Nursery


This 2009-2010 growing year we are focusing on water saving plants appropriate for the general public. Help us share your knowledge. What plants do you find neighbor friendly?

  • Evergreen (or spectacular deciduous tree);
  • Easy to grow;
  • Low water use, but also water tolerant;
  • Fits well in small to medium sized yards.

Coffeeberry is a good example. What would you add to the list? Please send your suggestions to Dan Songster ( or tell us at the September Chapter meeting. Your input will be compiled for use in brochures, presentations, and outreach events.  Thank You!


See below for information about our important benefit plant sale for Fall 2009.  Can you volunteer your assistance for part of the day? Please contact Diane Wollenberg for details at


UNSUBSCRIBE INFO: You are receiving this email because you signed up at an event, or through membership. To unsubscribe, please reply to this email, and type “Unsubscribe” in the subject line or body of your message.  For further information contact: California Native Plant Society – Orange County Chapter, P.O. Box 54891, Irvine, CA 92619-4891