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Plea for nature

Posted: September 25, 2009 4:07 p.m.
Updated: September 26, 2009 4:55 a.m.
I love Southern California and have made my home here. I think every place on this planet of ours is unique and worth keeping as natural as possible. Natural diversity is good. It has a richness, a novelty and gives us a sense of place.

I love plants and landscaping. Yet, I drive through neighborhoods that are so stereotypical.

I understand we need shelter and homes have to be built, but I don't believe nature need be destroyed in the process. There is a natural plant and animal kingdom out there in this place called California and it should be able to live, too.

When I moved into this tract home neighborhood off the Interstate, there was an area a half a mile away where I'd walk my dog. It was a dirt road that led into a box canyon.

California wild cherries (Prunus ilex), perennial mallow bushes, native sages and buckwheats and annual spring wildflowers grew there. There were no sprinklers, there was no fertilizer. The annuals would do their thing, set seed and die to return again; the perennials were green most, if not all, of the year, with no help from us. The cherries provided food for deer, the buckwheat and sages seed for quail. All was well.

There are a few nurseries/growers that specialize in native California plants and trees and a number of Web sites from which you can learn about them. There are many plants from which to choose. Armed with a little knowledge, you can ask for them at your local nursery. If it doesn't carry them, it will if it gets enough requests. You can also order plants. Fall is the best time for planting.

Isn't it time we start letting nature back in by setting aside areas for native plants in our yards? They need water, too, to get established and will need water at certain times during drought years to keep them looking good, but isn't it time? The native birds, bees and butterflies will be grateful.


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