Monday, May 18, 2009

Want to learn more about California native plants?

“Please join Demo-Garden volunteers Brigette and Alicia this summer”

And California history? Then carve out some time in your busy, busy schedule to volunteer at the SacValley CNPS Native Plant Demonstration Garden at Sacramento City Cemetery. If you're not already familiar with the demo garden, see one of my past blog posts here.

Here's a recent update from SacValley CNPS chair, Sabrina Okamura-Johnson:
Notes from the Demo-Garden:

Spring at the Chapter’s native plant demo-garden has been glorious this year. The garden has been ablaze with the brilliant yellows of our Sunset fremontias, gorgeous blues of our Ray Hartman ceanothus, and vibrant pinks of our western redbuds. The fremontia’s are winding down and the Ray Hartman’s and redbuds are now setting seed. But as I write, the second act of Spring is in full swing. Current blooms include: our yellow sulfur buckwheats, golden lupines and bush monkey flowers, blue flax and penstemons, purple wooly blue curls, and the stunningly beautiful creamy-white blossomed California bush anemone.

Many of our native salvias/sages have now started to blossom. In fact at the May meeting, several of the young black-sage cuttings we brought for adoption had cute tiny little blossoms. I am also happy to report that all of the baby black-sages and creeping-sages found homes at the May meeting! Only one of the goldenrods and 3 of the ‘puniest’ baby Douglas iris were not adopted. In addition, thanks to Peggy Berry’s suggestion (that we put out a donation plate) and the generosity of ‘adopting parents’, the garden received $20 in donations for the babies! Be sure and make it to the September meeting so you can adopt demo-garden babies that make through the summer.

As many of you know, Mitchell Alford’s health has declined and she is unable to come out regularly on Saturdays to help supervise and give assignments to the Sheriff’s work party crews (after they muster in the morning) and to meet with volunteers that would like to come by on Saturdays at 10am. So I’m currently looking for folks that can fill her shoes to cover Saturdays at the garden. Please give me a call/email if you might be able to come out even 1 or 2 Saturdays this summer to meet/direct volunteers; and -if you’re up for it- to help supervise the Saturday work crews.

For those of you that can’t make it out to the garden on the weekends, let me know if you are able to swing by during the weekdays. We have several dedicated week-day weeding volunteers who swing by for 30 minutes or an hour to enjoy the garden and weed a plot or two. If this is something you think you might be able to help us with this summer, let me know and I’ll explain how we log your hours and dispose of the weeds that are pulled during the week.

During the upcoming Sundays, volunteers will help us with deadheading, pruning, and general maintenance. We will also be pruning the creeping sage (Salvia Sonomensis), so will be potting up about 25 cuttings for eventual give away at the September meeting, so could use help with this. We also have about 1,000+ baby St. Catherines lace volunteers, that we will be potting up regularly this summer for adoption/give-away at various summer events sponsored by the chapter and/or the Old City Cemetery Committee.

As always, I hope to see you in the garden.

SacValley CNPS Chair,
Native Plant Demo-Garden @ Historic City Cemetery
1000 Broadway, Sacramento CA


The goal of the Native Plant Demonstration Garden is to: enlighten our visitors to the beauty of California native plants; illustrate how they can be used in the home garden; show how to attract wildlife and beneficial insects; and educate about the many medicinal, cultural and edible aspects of plants used by the local Native Americans.


  1. Look at that shrub behind you! Is that ceonothus? And isn't it just like a gardener to see the background versus the content. Sheesh!

  2. I love your ceanothus! I bet it smells great too. Good luck on the demonstration. I love native plants too.

  3. Hi Sabrina, I've been looking for other CA native plant garden blogs and glad to find yours. Is that Ceanothus in the picture Ray Hartman? It is a beauty. When was it in bloom? Ours finished up in April.

  4. Hey, all. This post was a forward from Sabrina that I (Angela) posted on my blog. Not me in the photos, nor my ceanothus. Be sure to check out the CNPS Demo Garden at the Sac. City Cemetery. They can always use volunteers and you will learn more about your favorite native plants.