Dear Gardening Club,

180px-Verbena_lilacina_03 It doesn’t seem that April is bringing any showers, however, the native flowers are blooming in the Topanga canyons.  As California continues along this drought, I encourage you to look at Theodore Payne for native flowers for your garden.  One of my favorites is the Lilac Verbena (, which has amazed me, as I have watered it about 3-4 times in the 5 months that I’ve had it and it continues to put out blooms.  This is in comparison with the fairy duster(, which, although alive, continues to look like a stick stuck in the ground.180px-Calliandra_californica1

Another reason to plant native flowers and bushes is that I strive towards the “lazy gardening” method (I’m still struggling with my inner OCD) and these plants are suited for our environment.  This means they don’t need careful mulching, watering, adding of nutrients, adjusting the pH, disease management–you can stick them into the ground and forget about them.  I tend to balance edible high-maintenance crops (since I can tend to them while I am harvesting) with California natives for landscaping (plants that I tend to every few months).

This week is the topic of GMO.  This topic is *not* sanctioned by the UC Master Gardeners, so nothing I say will be endorsed by them. They’re quite smart to stay in the sidelines, but I feel that there are certain basic facts which would be useful for us to know as we navigate the quagmire known as the internet, especially as parents. It’s always good to have a framework that you can later fill in the details.

See you this Thursday (THURSDAY) at Garden Club.  9:30AM as usual!