Tom Butt
  E-Mail Forum – 2023  
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  On-line garden tour April 15 & 16; in-person tour May 6 & 7; Native Plant Extravaganza April 29 + more
April 7, 2023

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

The free, online 
Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour takes place in just nine days!   If you haven’t registered for the Saturday and Sunday, April 15 and 16 event, now is the time. 

Already registered?
  We have you.  We’d be grateful if you would forward this e-mail on to your friends, neighbors and colleagues. Text you could use to post on your social networks is at the bottom of this e-mail.  If you can distribute them, the Tour flier is here



Online Tour
— Sat. and Sun. April 15 and 16, 10:00-3:00, free, though  donations are requested. Doug Tallamy is kicking off this online event!  His inspiring talk “Restoring the little things that run the world: Why is matters, and what you can do” will be followed by, among others, tours of seven private native plant gardens, including a tour of my own native plant garden and green home, a presentation on a pollinator pathway that was created in a Berkeley neighborhood, a talk on gardening for monarch butterflies (hint: this goes beyond just planting milkweed) and many more. See the agenda here, and register here

Inperson Garden and Green Home Tour— Sat. and Sun. May 6 and 7, 10:00-5:00
55 beautiful Alameda and Contra Costa native plant gardens—20 of them with green home features—will be open on this self-drive event; choose the gardens and homes you’d like to see, and go at your own pace. Register here.
Registration is required; one registration covers you for both the online and the in-person Tour. 

The next Native Plant Extravaganza takes place Saturday, April 29, from 10:00-4:00.  See the website for participating nurseries, free native plant gardening talks, and the best plants to include in your garden. (Details on talks are coming soon.) 
A percentage of the purchases made during the Extravaganza will go to support the Tour. 

Check out our new keystone species webpage to find the “must-have” plants for your garden! Together we can bring back the butterflies, bees and birds by growing the native plants that feed them.  Why garden with native plants?  Because life depends on it.

Can you help the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour?
If you enjoy the Tour, please make a donation now; we rely upon contributions from people like you to keep goingYou can help ensure the tour continues to run by making a donation with your credit card or PayPal here, or by mailing a check to:

Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour
1718 Hillcrest Road, San Pablo  CA  94806

Can you volunteer?  We need: 
Someone who can store boxes of Tour materials for a year (or more). If you can offer a rodent-free, dry place and could help the Tour by storing boxes please e-mail

Greeters and Garden Assistants for the week-end of the Tour (info on volunteering is
 here). Preview the gardens that are open this year, choose three you would most like to be assigned to, then register here, and complete the volunteer section of the form. (Hint, if you would like to see Bayside gardens on Sat. May 6, then volunteer on Sunday, May 7. If you’d like to see the Inland gardens, then volunteer at a Bayside garden on May 6.) 

Electrification enthusiasts to be stationed inside and outside the green homes on Saturday and Sunday May 6 and 7
 to talk about induction stoves, heat pumps, electrification—and also folks not so knowledgeable about electrification who will just be stationed in the homes to ensure all goes smoothly.  If you can help us open these green homes on the weekend of the Tour, please register here, and fill out the volunteer section of the form.  Let us know you would like to be assigned to a green home. 

A handful of people who know how to make videos
 to video a specific garden over the course of a year, starting about now.  We are also seeking someone who can make a video on monarch butterflies.  These videos would be shown in spring of 2024. If you can make a video for the Tour, please e-mail   

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. If you do NOT see the discounted price at the final Checkout screen, enter BBNG23 in the Discount Code box.
) 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 100 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. 

Visit and follow us on Facebook to see featured gardens, read about native plants (and more!).

In the Garden
In my own garden, manzanita, California lilac, lupine, monkeyflower, bee plant, blue eyed grass, yellow-eyed grass, buttercups, and miner’s lettuce are in flower.  The oak in front of our house, with all its new growth, is glorious.  It’s a beautiful time of year in the native plant garden. 

I’ll close by wishing you happy spring gardening!


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 
Would you post this to your social media accounts? 
Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour and Green Home Features Showcase 
Join the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour and Green Home Features Showcase this spring.  Two days of online inspiration on April 15 and 16 will be followed by the opportunity to visit more than fifty beautiful bird- and butterfly-friendly gardens that will be open at various locations throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties on Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7. 

Online garden tour
Saturday and Sunday, April 15 and 16
Keynote by Doug Tallamy

In-person Garden Tour
Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7

Learn how to:
Select and care for California native plants
Attract birds, bees, and butterflies to your garden
Garden without pesticides (and protect your children and pets!)
Lower your water bill

To register, and for more information, visit: