By Imaan Deen
What started out as a fun gardening project between former college roommates has turned into a beautiful initiative to both strengthen the native ecosystem and beautify California home gardens.
Eric Wilson of TreePeople, a non profit based in Los Angeles, tells the story of how he and his college roommate set out to renovate his front yard. Pondering through different options, Wilson found that using plants native to his California area not only saves money on watering but also supports the lifestyle of the flora and fauna who are also native to the area; providing them with the actual plants they grew up and evolved around.
Taking up the mantle from Dave Roberts of the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, Wilson promotes the Native Garden Kit Program, a simplified way TreePeople has created for any Southern California home to take part in this environmental beautification.
Each Native Garden Kit comes with 10 one-gallon native plants and step by step instructions for how to plant and care for each one. At $120 a kit, nurseries from Camarillo and nearby California deserts assemble a collection of plants that will double in size with little to no watering after the first month – perfect for California!
TreePeople offers four different varieties of native plants to choose from. Wilson’s personal favorite is the “Pollinator’s Paradise” which aids in providing for our native pollinators. There are two intended for different sun levels: the “Sunshine Superbloom” for full sun and the “Splendid Silhouettes” for partial sun reaching your garden.”Year Round Radiance,” the most colorful choice, is also great for full sun.
You are now able to order any of these kits for pickup at a TreePeople site in October and November, the perfect time to catch a little winter rain and avoid the intense summer heat during the native plants’ initial planting stage.
Wilson recommends mulch as the only necessary external factor for planting, which can be acquired for free thanks to LA Sanitation and Environment which provides free quality mulch at various Los Angeles locations.
Native Garden Kit participants are eligible for instant rebates starting at a $50 flat rate and $3 per square foot of your renovated native garden. That means that a 250-square-foot garden can earn you up to $750!
If you are interested, visit the TreePeople site at www.treepeople.org/native-garden-kit/. There, you will find your installation guide, link to pre order, and link to determine your rebate eligibility.
The Native Plant Kit Program has the potential to rehabilitate the ecosystem we SoCal residents love so much, while decorating our yards in our own distinctive, unique way