I’ve decided to take the Native Plant Challenge issued over on Garden Smackdown. Andrew Keys (@oakleafgreen … do follow, you won’t be sorry) created a roll call of all the natives in his garden to help bring awareness to these wonderful plants. Now I’m a big fan of natives, but I’m no purist. I completely believe that managed water usage is the way to go in California and drought tolerant landscapes are very important. And there was a time that I would preach, “Natives, Natives, Natives.” But after watching several natives in my own yard wither and die in the heavy clay soil after a year or two, I realized there are other choices. Yes, there are natives that will thrive in clay soil, but they aren’t the ones I want in my front yard. The ones I want get annoyed with having their feet stay wet and suffer greatly during our occasional winter rains. So, I’ve compromised. The plants I choose for the front yard are drought tolerant, but happy in my clay. Some are natives but many are exotics. I’m still one of native plant’s biggest fans, but I’m no longer a radical. As I look over my rather small list, I realize that I need to refocus my efforts in my search for compatible native plants. This is good news, however, because I still have space to fill.
Here is a list of natives that seem to survive quite happily in my heavy clay soil:
Erigeron glaucus “Wayne Roderick”
In the yard they mingle quite happily with my exotic grasses, gallardia, succulents, thyme and oregano.
Edited to close comments. Getting too much spam on this particular post.