Tom Butt
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April 27, 2023

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

The season’s last Native Plant Extravaganza will take place this Saturday, from 10-4. Join us for free talks in the nurseries; shop during this special event and a percentage of your purchases will go to support the Tour!  Learn how to propagate natives, create sanctuary gardens for native bees and other pollinators, select native shrubs, and choose native plants by community. Talk titles, times and locations are below.

Going on the in-person Tour? Garden addresses and maps will be e-mailed today.  Haven’t registered yet?  Now is the time!  Not sure if you registered?  Register again here.

You’ll want to get the garden addresses, maps, and ticket page early to be sure you can access the materials, and to have time to do your planning in advance of the Tour. Register now if you haven’t already.

Already registered?
  We have you. (Look for the addresses and maps e-mail that will be sent today. If you don’t see it, check your spam box.  Still can’t find it?  Register again.)

Can you help promote the Tour?
  Might you be willing to forward this e-mail on to your friends, neighbors and colleagues? Or, text you can 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.


The next 
Native Plant Extravaganza takes place this Saturday, April 25, from 10:00-4:00.  A percentage of the purchases made during the Extravaganza will go to support the Tour.

See below for participating nurseries, a description of the free native plant gardening talks, and the best plants to include in your garden. 

Shop in-person this Saturday, April 29, 

Oaktown Native Plant Nursery
 - 702 Channing Way, Berkeley— plant inventory here)

2:00 Come learn how to propagate native plants! 
Oaktown plant propagation aces Adder and Violet will show you some of the techniques used to make more plants from plants! They will review propagation of plants from cuttings, divisions, and seeds, and discuss the materials you can use at home to make starts from a favorite native plant.

East Bay Wilds (2777 Foothill, Oakland—plant inventory here)

12:00 “How to choose shrubs for your native plant garden: California lilac, manzanitas, sages, toyons, and more”
 Pete Veilleux will talk about native shrubs that do well in home gardens, provide structure and beauty throughout the year, and are the best plants for wildlife.

The Watershed Nursery (601 Canal Blvd., Richmond—plant inventory here)
11:00 “Creating Community: Expert advice on how to choose the best companion plants for your personal garden” by Stew Winchester, legendary instructor of horticulture and field identification of native plants (focusing on California plant communities and the environments that shape them).

Annie’s Annuals (740 Market Ave., Richmond—native plant inventory here).
11:00 Learn from the folks who make bees their business every day. Join Sarah Caso and Amanda Niemela, from the UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab, for their talk about how to create sanctuary gardens for bees and other native pollinators. 

This talk will include information on the native bees of California, pollinator ecology, and how to design gardens to best support pollinator populations. The Urban Bee Lab has been studying CA native bees since 1987 and was founded by UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus, Dr. Gordon Frankie. After the talk, Dr. Gordon Frankie, will also be on hand for a Q&A.

Shop on-line on either Saturday or Sunday, March 25 or 26

at Green Thumb Works—see Green Thumb Works’ plant inventory here. Shop online with Green Thumb on the weekend of March 25 and 26, and a percentage of your online purchases will go to support the Tour.

Missed the online Tour?  Watch it on YouTube.  The agenda is here, if you’d like to find specific presentations:

Saturday, April 15

Sunday, April 16


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.

Would you like to learn more about gardening for wildlife? If you haven’t yet heard Doug speak, then, oh! I hope you’ll 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!


We need your support; would you chip in to ensure the Tour can continue?

If you enjoy the Tour, please make a donation now; we rely upon contributions from people like you to keep going. 
You can help ensure this year’s tour runs in the black by making a donation:

with your credit card or PayPal here
through Venmo @BringingBacktheNatives
or by mailing a check to:

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


Can you help out?  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

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. 

Someone who can make a video on monarch butterflies,
 like this one (plus additional information on the life cycle, nectar plants, and good gardening practices. 

If you can help please email


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 more than 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. 

Facebook – Visit and "Like" us on Facebook. Recent posts have featured gardens you can visit on the in-person Tours. 
I hope to see you at the Extravaganza this Saturday, or on the 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 

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, and take advantage of the opportunity to visit any of 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. 

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:

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