Far Out Flora

California Natives



We will never be true California natives, but we’ve been working on getting the backyard more in touch with its endemic friends recently. For about a month or two I envisioned turning the middle yard in to some sort of Urban Homestead (couldn’t resist, click here for the trademark drama), but then rats ate my broccoli and my food growing excitement dwindled. We decided to go native instead. We’ll always grow lettuce, and maybe a cherry tomato or two.  Anyways, at the end of January we ripped apart the middle of the yard to make room for new plants. We’ve been wanting to do something else with the middle ever since we saw vermin scurrying in and out of the giant overgrown clump.

Rippin' it out

The middle garden began way back in the day when Matti started shoving succulent cuttings under a now deceased picnic table we had back there. Surviving dog pee and neglect, it eventually became a dumping ground for stuff we didn’t like that much anymore and extra cuttings. It had also become a snail bunker. Matti’s wielding his new favorite tool the hori-hori.


So it’s not 100% native, but it’s much more native than before! I  planted a bunch of California poppy seeds from Renee’s that have already started to pop up all over the place.

Bowling pin blockade

The bowling pins we picked up at a garage sale were strategically arranged to help deter the neighbor’s puppies from frolicking. We put a Lupinus succulentus in the green container behind the Agave that no one wanted to rip out or move, and I’m loving the Gilia tricolor in front of the pins. It’s already busting out flowers with freaky blue stamens.

Another blockade

More bowling pins and our very first Mimulus puniceus! I’ve been wanting a Monkey Flower of some sort for quite some time and decided this guy was the one.

Dudleya pulverulenta

This Dudleya was hiding under an Echium in a spot where you could barely see it, so I moved it front and center. I’d like to add at least one Clarkia and maybe a couple more Dudleyas and some Lewisias to the middle mix. Here’s a handy list of natives we’re currently loving in our garden, with links to their pretty adult pictures:

Eriogonum ‘The Hub’
Eriogonum grande var. rubescens
Coreopsis gigantea

Keckiella cordifolia
Satureja douglasii
Madia elegans
Gillia capitata
Nemophila menziesii
Eschscholzia ‘Red Chief’
Eschscholzia californica ssp. maritima ‘Coastal Form’

Layia platyglossa

Erysimum franciscanum var. crassifolium

Check out all 274 of Annie’s California Native offerings here. Lots and lots of cool plants to choose from.


  1. Fun times replanting. That’s a good list, it has some of my favorites, though I could never get Nemophila to survive the slugs in my yard.

  2. “Rats Ate My Broccoli” sounds like an album Frank Zappa coulda, shoulda recorded. And Snail Bunker oughta be a band. First hit: “Going Native.”

    On another note, your remodeled garden looks great! I hope it’s enjoying the rain.

  3. Gilia tricolor are one of my favorites…There were fields-full in Henry Coe last April (a potential future hike/backpack trip, perhaps?), underneath huge oaks, which was how I became acquainted with them.
    Natives and succulents are such a perfect combination — may the good growing continue!

  4. Love the look. And really loving those big, gorgeous blue and green pots!

  5. It’s great to watch the garden evolve and see where it leads. The pots are gorgeous, and the bluey green ceramics look great rising out of the senecio/blue fingers. It all looks so lush and happy. Shapes are really starting to pop as the garden matures. Gardens mature fast in SF!

  6. Pingback: Natives Are Nice, Really Nice « Far Out Flora's Blog

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