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  Native Plant Extravaganza Sat. Feb. 11, selecting native plants, and more!
February 4, 2023

From Kathy Kramer:

Dear Friend of the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour and Green Home Features Showcase,

Now is a great time to plant California natives! To help you along, the first Native Plant Extravaganza of the year takes place next week-end, on Saturday, Feb. 11. 

See below for participating nurseries, best plants to include in your garden, virtual and in-person Tour information, and how you can help the Tour. 

Native Plant Extravaganza 10:00–4:00 on Sat. Feb. 11

Shop in-person at East Bay Wilds (2777 Foothill, Oakland—see their plant inventory here); The Watershed Nursery (601 Canal Blvd., Richmond—see their plant inventory here); or Annie’s Annuals (740 Market Ave., Richmond—see their native plant inventory here).


Shop on-line on either Saturday or Sunday, Feb. 11 & 12 

at Green Thumb Works—see their plant inventory here, and…

Talks in the nurseries on Saturday, Feb. 11
Annie’s Annuals and Perennials, 740 Market Ave. Richmond

10:00 “Low-Water High Biodiversity Gardens”
 Imagine a beautiful garden that requires little to no water or maintenance – and what if it also supported birds, butterflies, and bees, too? Come learn how to make that vision a reality by creating a biodiverse habitat garden that will not only look beautiful but will help the planet as well! Talk by Ann-Marie Benz, California Native Plant Society.
East Bay Wilds, 2777 Foothill Blvd., Oakland 

12:00 “Container gardening with native plants”
 East Bay Wilds owner Pete Veilleux will talk about natives that do well in containers (including natives for bonsai), discuss watering, soil, and light requirements, feature various containers he has in the nursery, demonstrate how to plant in a container, and answer questions.
A percentage of your purchases will go to support the Tour.

What plants to include in my garden?
When choosing new plants, be sure and include our own, local keystone species in your garden!—these are the best plants for wildlife. Below are lists of the best plants to buy for sunny and shady areas, and brief videos that describe these plants. 
Best plants for sunny areas:  Oak, holly leaf cherry, California lilac (Ceanothus), lupine, manzanitas, sages, sunflowers, beach strawberry, buckwheats, asters, coyote brush, and penstemon 
Best plants for shady areas: currant, huckleberry, wild rose, thimbleberry, ocean spray, woodland strawberry, goldenrod, aster, honeysuckle.
Want to learn more about gardening for wildlife? Check out the Doug Tallamy section on the Tour’s website to learn what plants you might want to include in your garden. If you haven’t yet heard Doug speak, then, oh! do so now!  He’s so inspiring. This fabulous talk changed the way I garden; I hope you’ll give yourself a treat and watch it!
Upcoming events:
Virtual Tour - Saturday and Sunday, April 15 and 16, 2023; Details TBA.
In-Person Tour (Registration will open in late February) - Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7, 2023
More than fifty beautiful bird- and butterfly-friendly gardens will be open at various locations throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties over the course of the first week-end in May. In addition to the native plant gardens, about fifteen with green home features will be showcased. 
Can you help the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour?
Can you help support the Tour?  You can do so with your credit card or PayPal here, or mail a check to: 
Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour
1718 Hillcrest Road, San Pablo  CA  94806
Honor a friend, colleague, or loved one by making a donation in their name; your gift will be listed on the Sponsor’s page.  To do this just make a donation on-line, and then e-mail Kathy@KathyKramerConsulting.net with the name of the person you are honoring (or mail a check and note with the name of the honoree) to the address above.
Tour Sponsors Needed
We are looking for Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour and Green Home Features Showcase Sponsors, and would be grateful if you would forward this e-mail on to organizations or individuals that might be interested in supporting our work.  This year more than 15 green homes will be sharing information about their heat pumps, induction ranges, solar panels, and more. (Look for the Green Home Features! tag.) We need funders interested in electrification; can you help make an introduction, or a donation to support this effort?
Volunteer!  We need:
Someone familiar with WordPress to create a section on the Tour’s website where we will upload photographs of butterflies, moths, spiders and other insects and the plants they live and reproduce on. (We have the photos and text, but need the computer brain and brawn.) 
A handful of people who know how to make videos to video a garden over the course of a year, starting about now.  These videos would be shown in spring of 2024. 
If you can help with either of these tasks, would you e-mail at Kathy@KathyKramerConsulting.net
Discounted Memberships in the California Native Plant Society Available Now!
As a special benefit, Tour registrants can take out an Individual Membership with CNPS for just $30—that’s 40% off the regular price!  Please note, you must use this link to receive the discount.  (You will be credited with the discount at the Checkout/Payment screen, so just be brave and carry on.) This offer is only for new members, and it ends June 30, 2023.
Wrapping up
YouTube – Check out the Tour’s YouTube channel, which contains 150 videos on gardening with California native plants, as well as videos on green home features such as heat pumps, induction stoves, solar panels, and more. Subscribe to be notified when new videos are uploaded. 
Facebook – Visit and "Like" us on Facebook (I’d love to “see” you there.) The most recent post features a garden that will be open on the upcoming Tour.
Kathy Kramer
Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour Coordinator
(510) 236-9558
Visit the Garden Tour on Facebook

I hope you enjoy this article as much as I have:
The Chickadees Guide to Gardening: In Your Garden, Choose Plants That Help the Environment