As a designer I was excited when the Niguel Botanical Preserve asked me to create a garden of California native plants. I was given a large, undeveloped site where I laid out the pathways and planting areas. It gently slopes to the east, but still gets quite a bit of sun. There were a few existing oaks around the perimeter which helped to give it a bit of maturity. It is a one acre display of the stunning plant diversity for which California is renowned. A grassland, oaks, and all my favorite perennials and groundcovers are part of the collection, even an area devoted to plants of the Channel Islands. It is a work in progress and my laboratory where I observe and experiment with native plants suitable for the garden.
These images begin with the initial grading of the paths in early spring 2011 and then show the placement of plants and their planting by volunteers on Earth Day of the same year. The remaining images are of different plants in their prime. It is amazing the growth that has occurred in just two years.