Useful Nonnative Plants

Topics

Acmon Blue Butterflies

Acmon Blue Butterflies

The Acmon Blue Butterflies (Plebejus or Icaricia acmon) are fairly common and more widespread than some of the other gossamer wings (Lycaenidae). The Acmon Blue has a much longer flight period than many other blues; it visits gardens and can be seen in open fields and...
An Ode to Elderberries

An Ode to Elderberries

Elderberries and Other Native Fruits of Summer California native plants provided a rich and varied diet for the native peoples; this is a flora of plentitude, and I really like to partake of it. I recently picked and cleaned the fruits of Lemonade Berry (Rhus...
Birds and Berries

Birds and Berries

All through the rainy season many birds rely on fruits as a major part of their diet. These birds often travel in flocks, like the Cedar Waxwings and American Robins. Sometimes the flocks are mixed; several different species will travel together, and all are “on the...
Butterfly Gardening with Nonnative Nectar Plants

Butterfly Gardening with Nonnative Nectar Plants

One great way to get a butterfly garden started is to plant a really good nectar providing species; and then observe the butterflies that come into your garden to feed. This will be a good indication of which butterfly species are already present in the general area....
California’s Native Cornucopia: Plentiful Food for the Birds!

California’s Native Cornucopia: Plentiful Food for the Birds!

It’s a bit artificial to create a listing like this which is defined by the months of the year; as we all know, nature does not follow the human calendar. Day lengths are set and reliable, but local weather is not, and neither are the conditions within micro...
Collecting Seeds

Collecting Seeds

As a propagator, I often try different approaches to germinating seeds of certain species. Sometimes I get such a definitely positive response to one pre-treatment method, that it becomes the one I’ll always use—like soaking toyon seeds for just one hour before...
Creating a Meadow Garden

Creating a Meadow Garden

The days are still warm and we’re all hoping, once again, that this will be an El Niño year with ample rainfall and a good snow pack in the Sierras. The days are noticeably shorter, and the evenings are much cooler. The shorter day length is a cue to many native...
Creating a Personal Ecosphere

Creating a Personal Ecosphere

While out walking the trails and open spaces in various parts of Marin County, I’m often astonished at how certain native plants can grow and adapt very nicely to a variety of exposures, habitats, and communities. Coffeeberries, for example, grows in shady California...
Directions to Home Ground for May 14 Launch

Directions to Home Ground for May 14 Launch

We’re excited to invite you to visit Home Ground Habitats nursery on May 14, 2022! Our launch day tour is FREE, but all guests must REGISTER. Date & Time: May 14, 2022, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Location: Home Ground is located at 1875 Indian Valley Road in...
Dreaming of California Truffles

Dreaming of California Truffles

I’m quick when it comes to spotting potentially edible foods in the wild; partly from lots of reading about California flora, and how the native peoples provided for themselves; and partly from an all-consuming curiosity that’s been with me since childhood. I like to...
Fall is for Planting AND Propagating

Fall is for Planting AND Propagating

At the end of the dry season my garden is just that; at a glance many of the native plants look dry and dead but once you look more closely, there’s always a bit of green within the brown. Plants are dormant, but definitely not dead; seeds are abundant, as are all the...
Fall Season Event at Home Ground Habitats

Fall Season Event at Home Ground Habitats

A short recap of the October 15, 2022 Fall Season Event at Home Ground Habitats Nursery. Select participants got to tour the nursery, and purchase various seeds and seedlings. Several participants got very excited about seeing a Gulf Fritillary Butterfly as well as...
Fecundity

Fecundity

I’ve always had a fascination with fecundity; a desire to make more of something, especially when an  abundance of possibilities is so obvious.  Plants offer so many opportunities to be fruitful. Now, with plenty of space at our new nursery, and access to...
Fruit Eaters

Fruit Eaters

I was lucky enough to be outside at just the right time about a week ago when I noticed a lot of activity around a Toyon – the most spectacular Toyon I’ve ever seen, and it lives on the top side of the meadow next to my house and garden. This Toyon (Heteromeles...
Gardening in Harmony with Nature

Gardening in Harmony with Nature

The Natural World has been my touchstone; a certain intimacy with the land and other creatures that always rings honest and true. When I think about why I like to garden it always comes back to my desire to be a participant with nature. I came to California as a...
Growing Milkweed From Seed

Growing Milkweed From Seed

Milkweed for the Monarch Butterflies Asclepias fascicularis Milkweeds provide important resources for many beneficial creatures, including Monarch butterflies. The fine leaves of this native milkweed gives it’s a soft, wispy look. The plant isn’t long-lived, but...
Helping Seeds Sprout

Helping Seeds Sprout

Some seeds have built-in mechanisms that prevent germination until ideal conditions are met. Even when perfect conditions are met, some of the ‘seed bank’ of a species will not germinate. They will wait, often camouflaged in the duff, as an insurance policy against a...
Home Ground Habitats Virtual Tour

Home Ground Habitats Virtual Tour

Thank you to everyone who attended our Launch Tour on May 14, 2022. You can also enjoy this VIRTUAL TOUR of our gardens and nursery below. Home Ground Habitats is located in the ‘horse country’ area of Marin at 1875 Indian Valley Road Novato. From 101 take the De Long...
Home Ground Launch Day May 14, 2022

Home Ground Launch Day May 14, 2022

Home Ground Habitats Nursery Tour Register now for our Launch Day Tour Date & Time: May 14, 2022 from 10 AM to 4 PM This outdoor event features: Garden Tour Walks Plant and Seed Sale (Cash/Check ONLY) Short Talks and Demonstrations Nursery visitation by...
How Does a Seed Form?

How Does a Seed Form?

The flowers of a plant are designed for the purpose of making seeds. If a flower is pollinated, then fertilization can take place, and a seed develops in the ovary of the plant. This is sexual reproduction, and ensures genetic diversity. As the fertilized seed...