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Shopping For Natives

This is a long way from East Hollywood...

Spent the day doing shopping for tomorrow’s Cahuenga Library Fall Planting event, buying native plants and seeds, taking me all sorts of places.

The first place was a nursery off in Moorpark, in Ventura County, some 55 miles away, past suburban shopping centers, tract homes and citrus orchards, to a hidden-away plant seller called Matilija Nursery. We bought our plants for Big Sunday here, and not only were their prices excellent ($6 for a 1-gallon potted plant vs. $10 elsewhere), but they even cut me a further discount (being that it was for a community event). When I returned, Bob Sussman, the owner, remembered me and my library planting project. Even though they were officially closing at 2 p.m. they stayed open while I shopped.

The young natives grow up here at Moorpark's Matilija Nursery.

I ended up buying around 9 Irises, 3 Hummingbird sages, 4 Cleveland sages, 4 Blue-Eyed grasses, 2 Brandegee’s sages, 2 Coffeeberry plants, 2 Penstemons and 2 Yucca plants. It only cost just a little over $100 from the neighborhood council account. I also bought three plants of my own: one each of Hummingbird sage, Cleveland sage and Coffeeberry, which cost me only around $13. If you’re planning to buy native plants, especially in large quantities, I highly recommend Matilija Nursery; they have the best prices and quantities around.

Afterward I rushed down the 118 and 210 freeways to Sun Valley and arrived at the Theodore Payne Foundation‘s nursery store right before closing time. I ended up buying five packets of California Poppy seeds.

After that, I rushed back to East Hollywood where I hoped to drop the plants off at the Library right before closing so I can store the plants behind the locked gate and save a trip transporting them over tomorrow morning. Just my luck, I saw the Library staff on their way out, keys in hand. I was able to successfully drop off the plants. Take a look at these babies:
After the Library closed, I headed over to our neighborhood nursery – Sunset Nursery, by Sunset and Fountain, where I bought 2 White sages and a flat tray of 64 young Blue Festuca grasses, where I kept them at home overnight. Sunset Nursery has a small but respectable native plant selection; I bought quite a few of them here for the Big Sunday planting. The prices were full retail though.

I’m quite excited about tomorrow. If we have a lot of volunteers, great. If we don’t have enough, no big deal, things can be planted later. There’s not as much pressure and preparation as Big Sunday.

If I told myself a year ago that I’d be all into this native plant gardening stuff, I would have thought I was crazy…Now look at me!

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