Monday, January 31, 2005

Pruning Fruit Trees and Roses and others

Native plants and wildlife gardens are my specialty, but I've been gardening for decades with non-natives as well as natives. I even cared for the formal rose garden at Knott's Berry Farm for a few years. Over the years I've pruned many fruit trees. At times I've done restorative pruning of roses, fruit trees and other plants compromised by improper pruning or many years of neglect. My advantages as a pruner include being tall with very long arms, good tools and skills and seasoned judgment.

I love to prune! One can make a significant difference quickly with skillful pruning. The growth response -- triggering greater beauty, abundant growth and fruitfulness -- is gratifying. Putting a neglected or hacked specimen back on the road to health and beauty with corrective pruning is particularly satisfying. There are good reasons for every skillful cut and I'm happy to serve as a mentor to clients who are interested.

I've studied the proper pruning of all sorts of plants, native or non-native, food plants, everything from ferns and grasses to shade trees.

In the wild, "pruning" is accomplished by such factors as animal grazing, browsing, trampling, gathering of nest building materials -- or fire. Aboriginal peoples everywhere thoughtfully participated in these processes also. Without pruning influences many plants fail to reach their potential beauty. Some native plants are short lived and don't achieve a normal conformation without pruning -- as I've said to many clients, in urban areas the gardener must "be the deer"!

Oxalis - Gopher Connection confirmed

Today (31 January 2005) I personally confirmed my theory that gophers are significant dispersal vectors for the bermuda buttercup, a serious invasive exotic weed, put forward in the article Oxalis -- Bermuda Buttercup Dispersed by Gophers.

I was working in a Saratoga garden infested with both Oxalis pes-caprae -- bermuda buttercups -- and botta pocket gophers. In a couple of places there were unnaturally dense aggregations of Oxalis about a foot in diameter. Digging them the shovel went in easily, as through gopher tunnelling. In each case bulbs and roots were packed tightly in a mass without soil around them -- they obviously had been packed into a chamber of the gopher tunnels.

I believe when the animals spread the weed by bringing it with them as a portion of their food cache to their newly dug burrow systems, thus spreading the weed.

A few years ago before I ever saw this yard, it had been rototilled. No doubt cultivation helps spread Oxalis around also; many orchards are infested. I stopped to talk to a neighbor and showed him the little bulblets that form along the roots later in the season, some close to the surface of the ground -- they seem to begin to form when the plant is flowering or more readily on stressed specimens, especially those trodden upon. Thus it really pays to go after this weed early in the season. The later in the season one pulls it up or cultivates soil it occupies, the more little bulblets one tends to leave behind or spread around! Pulling it up earlier puts one more firmly on the road to eradication.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

How to Enjoy "Ants of the San Francisco Bay Area"

Native ants were much more in evidence back in the late 50s and early 60s when I was a boy. Even in those days the coast horned lizard, which specializes in eating native harvester ants, was rare in the Cupertino area -- but at least I ran across a few. The introduced Argentine ant has mostly driven the native ants out anywhere near "civilization". Their extirpation has had an impact on the very structure of the landscape: native plants such as baby blue-eyes historically are ant-dispersed.

When present, ants tend to be "keystone species" -- rather important -- by reason of their sheer numbers and the ways in which they modify their environment. I've read a few books on ants, finding them an interesting study. Recently I marveled at the Ants: Hidden Worlds Revealed exhibit of the California Academy of Sciences in their temporary location in downtown San Francisco, which includes living "working" colonies!

I write to share a couple of Web sites that give great access to the world of local native ants. I discovered it was delightful to use them together. First visit Ants of the Bay Area on the California Academy of Sciences AntWeb. Use their "Search Ants by Bay Area County" function to generate the list of ants native to the county you want to study. It generates a list of species whose names may mean next to nothing to you if you are not an ant specialist. You could click on each to get a picture of a dead ant of that species and some technical taxonomic information.

But here's a better idea for most humans: print out the list, then go to another Web site [or save paper by opening the second Web site in a new window!] more helpful for helping you to get a sense of what they are: myrmecos.net -- undoubtedly one of the most user-friendly portals to the world of ants. Alex Wild of the University of California Davis, the author, says: "Ants have been a long-standing interest of mine, and not surprisingly the bulk of my photographic efforts have focused on these insects. The name of this image gallery reflects this emphasis- the word 'myrmecos' derives from the ancient Greek word for ant."

Go to his "Ants" page to pair the names on your list with pages of stunning photographs of living specimens in their natural habitat! Where possible, Alex provides common names -- and natural history notes! With the help of myrmecos.net you can make county lists generated by AntWeb "come alive"!

This is a myrmecos.net thumbnail (used by permission) of a new world army ant native to the San Francisco Bay Region -- common but rarely seen, Neivamyrmex californicus:



It is a specialist predator of other ants.

To see one of Alex's favorite closeups of one of the red mound ants native to our area, click here:
Formica integroides

Oxalis -- Bermuda buttercup dispersed by gophers

A few years ago I was called to consult on a large backyard in Los Gatos. The entire yard was covered with Bermuda buttercups -- Oxalis pes-caprae -- one of the most troublesome and invasive weeds in our area, even if colorful in bloom.




It was also completely riddled with gopher burrows. This led me to believe that the weed is a prime food for gophers. Not long ago my deduction was confirmed by a post on the California Native Plants Discussion Group. A man reported digging up a gopher burrow system stuffed with Oxalis pes-caprae bulblets. Since the plant is not known to set seed in California, I have long suspected it is dispersed by animals, and gophers are likely culprits. I posit that when pocket gophers move to a new burrow system they also transfer portions of their food cache, thus spreading the weed to new areas.



Their other major food in suburban areas, I have long observed, is bermudagrass rhizomes. Back in the days when I maintained about an acre of turf in an industrial campus in Santa Clara the center of gopher activity was tightly focused on the small areas infested with bermudagrass. I actually chose to mostly just live with them because in that relatively sterile situation it seemed bermudagrass rhizomes were the only thing they were eating. Bermudagrass doesn't readily reproduce by seed, so I suppose it is also spread when gophers relocate their food caches.




Suburban Salamanders

I found a salamander!



I've been renting a room in an Eichler neighborhood in Cupertino for about a year. It was a small housing development in 1961. There are few native plants in the neighborhood other than a stretch of remnant riparian forest along an urban creek a few hundred yards away and several coast live oak street trees on the next street over. There are no native plants in the yard other than a few annual weeds -- western bittercress ("pop weed") and maybe some willow herbs.

A couple days ago, thinking about herps more than usual, I turned over a few things near the entry gate into the yard -- and under a concrete downspout splashpad was delighted to find an adult oak salamander. It was in a low spot it probably dug out for itself -- they seem to be slightly fossorial. I picked it up lightly around the body and set it aside before carefully replacing the splashpad, so it wouldn't be crushed if it attempted to move. There is no significant plant cover anywhere near the splashpad, which is at the corner of a lawn. Lawn watering, I suppose, keeps the area somewhat moist and thus agreeable to salamanders. I've noticed salamanders taking adavantage of irrigation moisture in other yards.

Salamanders are secretive and easily overlooked -- commonly present in suburban yards undetected. This is especially true in older neighborhoods, such as a small yard in Oakland where I encountered both slender and oak salamanders. In the San Francisco Bay area these are the most common and apparently adaptable species. Jerusalem crickets are also common in this yard. No doubt in the days when houses were built one at a time it was easier for such creatures to persist in a neighborhood. When vast acreages are bulldozed to put in a large "housing development" such creatures are destroyed over a large area.

Salamanders seem able to re-colonize more readily than the Jerusalem crickets, which I've never found on sites where I suppose there was widespread clearing. [I suspect they could be re-introduced rather easily]. Oak salamanders, in particular, may survive in place in widely cleared areas where large oaks are spared -- they've been found far above the ground, up to seventy feet, if I recall correctly, in redwood trees, in crotches which have collected leaf litter, or in hollows. Once I found an oak salamander in a nursery plant. When I worked in Texas I found a small snake in a nursery plant, so I suppose that is one way such creatures disperse.

Judging from where I've found them, slender and oak salamanders are quite adaptable. They are among creatures that thrive in "neglected" yards and especially flourish in a native garden. Leaf litter, especially of native oak trees, supports their invertebrate prey, besides creating a friable soil they can more readily find shelter in -- especially if there are rocks, stepping stones or other hiding places. Where leaf litter is thick, there is always some moisture just a few inches down, and usually a softer soil -- cultivated by worms and such -- that even salamanders can dig.

I found slender salamanders especially flourished under a brushpile. In irrigated garden in Cupertino I found oak salamanders had burrowed in the sand under some stepping stones. Perhaps you have salamanders in your yard and don't even know it!

Check my Links to find a site with many photographs of Californian reptiles and amphbians.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Native Bee Garden Notes, San Francisco Bay Area

Native bees are mostly in mind when I think of bee-friendly gardens, rather than honeybees, which are not native, though marvelous for their honey, beeswax and other benefits. Honeybees are the “cattle” among the insects – tended by man, providing him benefits, sometimes at the expense of other creatures. When it comes to actually effecting pollination, many of our native bees are far superior to honeybees. Most native bees rarely or never sting. Plantings that serve native bees generally also serve honeybees, of course. Honeybees are not so common anymore because of various parasites and diseases that have come along in recent years, and fewer people are keeping them.

For the bones of a bee-friendly garden I like hollyleaf cherry, toyon and coffeeberry because they're good bee plants and easy to grow and easy to use in the landscape and provide good fruits for the birds. Coast buckwheat, California buckwheat and coyote mint are among my favorites for attracting native bees and other insects, typically attended by many insects much of the day. I like bigleaf maple because it is a beautiful tree whose flowers, yellow and fragrant, attract bumblebees and others early in the year. I love bumblebees!

I've particularly noted that some species and cultivars of plant genera recommended for attracting bees have little or no value, while others are tops. Some species of Eriogonum, Ceanothus, etc. attract many more insects than others do. I would love to pull together more specific information! The particular spectra of bee species present in a given situation matters as well. In this as in every other respect, every garden is different.

For each type of plant, nectar typically flows at a certain time of the day or night and insects visit right after the pulse of nectar flow. Nectars vary considerably in the concentration and type of sugars and other nutrients they contain. Some plant species produce plenty of pollen, which may be key to their ability to attract insects all day long – bees collect pollen, as well as nectar, to feed their brood. It is amazing how much simple knowledge we don't have, how much there is to learn! A "bee garden" aids observation. Garden plantings may conveniently be observed at all times of the day and on the best days, such as the warmer days of winter and spring.

A mass of soaproot draws many insects as the flowers open in late afternoon; the large heavy native bees that pollinate wild cucumber are only active somewhat before dawn!

Tanysleaf phacelia, sometimes called beefood, is the best of the commonly cultivated true annuals for attracting insects. It brings bumblebees and other insects readily and all day long. It is perhaps the easiest native annual wildflower to grow. It gets large, and the husky seedlings produced by its fairly large seeds are more competitive with weeds than any other I've seen. They are even somewhat resistant to snails, which eat so many wildflowers. If allowed to it sets seed and returns year after year. Tansyleaf phacelia also grows well in clayish soils.

California poppies draw bumblebees, but only if you have enough of them. Merely a few poppies may attract few or no insects. Having a critical mass makes the difference!

With the smaller species of plants, it's been impressed upon me that just one plant or a few simply will not be as powerful an insect magnet as several to very many individuals. For smaller types of plants to effectively draw insects, let each species be massed somewhere in the composition in at least a 16 square foot grouping, with 20 or more square feet better as a minimum en masse area. Several California buckwheats massed or in fairly close proximity are effective, as in Arvind Kumar’s San Jose garden. But even trees or large shrubs attract more insects if other individuals of the same species are adjacent or in easy flying distance. If you want conspicuous insect traffic, a maximum of five species should comprise the bulk of the composition of seed mixes or planting plans for typical small beds of less than a few hundred square feet. Using more individuals of fewer species with significant value generates more insect traffic.

Many "developed" areas boast few plants producing much nectar or pollen and thus are truly desolate for pollinators! Many of the "color spot" plants developed for suburbia produce no nectar, no pollen, no fruits and no seeds -- nothing to sustain pollinating insects, almost nothing for any wildlife.

A succession of bloom sustains bee populations -- bees coming for the one flower may well keep coming for the next, but if there is a gap in the succession of bloom it may be harder to keep them around. Flowers the year around makes for pleasing pollinators as well as people.

I don't get out to observe natural habitats or gardens as much as I'd like, or do garden experiments nearly as much as I'd like. I'd love to investigate native clovers to understand the relative insect values of the various species that are available wholesale from Pacific Coast Seed Company. Arroyo willow provides plenty of nectar and pollen very early in the year – and later its foliage is food for caterpillars of such butterflies as the western tiger swallowtail, the Lorquin’s admiral and the mourning cloak.

Do you have the Pollinator Conservation Handbook by the Xerces Society? “A Guide to Understanding, Protecting, And Providing Habitat for Native Pollinator Insects.” Find it among my Recommended Books.

Paul Heiple of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society loves native bees. A cleverly designed wooden “bee block” affixed to his Portola Valley home is delightfully attended by a variety of native bees nesting in it. Bee blocks are available commercially or may be easily constructed in a home workshop.

Check my California Wildlife Gardening Links to access more information about bee friendly gardens.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

California Wildlife Gardening Links

with San Francisco Bay Region wildlife gardening in mind, especially ...

Bay Nature Native Plant Gardening Resources
Excellent resources for San Francisco Bay Area native plant gardeners … and habitat gardeners are sure to enjoy the magazine, as well!

California Native Plant Society
Huge Web site includes links to local chapter Web sites (many feature resources for local native gardening) -- check out the bookstore, links, and photographic galleries also!

California Native Plant LINK EXCHANGE
Gateway to native plant availability and to the native plant nurseries.

Growing Native
Gateway to the Growing Native newsletter and related publications; many years of articles have been repackaged topically and are available as downloads, including the wildlife gardening theme.

Wildscaping -- Gardening for Wildlife in Southern California
A friendly, informative site aimed at southern Californians but worthwhile for San Francisco Bay Area wildlife gardeners. Almost all of the plants are useful here and so is plenty of their other information.

Larner Seeds
Wildflower seed source for the San Francisco Bay area; the owner is author of Gardening with a Wild Heart: Restoring California’s Native Landscapes at Home.

California’s Wildlife
Click your way to impressive reports about any species of California's mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.

California County Geographic Birding Guide
Gateway to county checklists, birding clubs, birding sites, etc.

Barn Owl Headquarters
How to encourage barn owls to nest on your property, etc. Great gopher predators!

The Hummingbird Web site
One of my favorite sites about these popular creatures. The authors manage Cave Creek Ranch in Portal, Arizona, best place in the country for a hummingbird vacation.

Deer-proofing your San Francisco Bay Area garden
Great ideas from Kathy Crane, owner of the Yerba Buena Nursery in Woodside.

The World Wide Raccoon Web

Living with Skunks
Quickly and pleasantly learn as much as you may need to know about these notable creatures.

The National Opossum Society
Useful information for those who love them more … or less.

California Reptiles and Amphibians
Gateway to a wealth of photographs and other information about these beautiful and fascinating animals.

Native Bees of the San Francisco Bay Region and their favored flowers
Native plants for native bees, from Yerba Buena Nursery.

Alternative Pollinators: Native Bees
Bumblebees, squash bees, leafcutter bees, etc. … everything you need to know in order to make them feel at home, including commercial suppliers of products specifically designed to support them.

North American Butterfly Association
The big organization for those interested in butterflies and butterfly gardening … check out their gardens and habitats page for a free PDF download on Bay Area butterfly gardening … or to order a hard copy for $5.00. There are also papers on butterfly gardening in other areas of the State, and information about butterfly population biology, habitat management, etc. Many excellent resources are available free here! There are two local chapters in the San Francisco Bay region and they conduct several butterfly counts.

Butterflies of North America – California County Checklists
Quickly learn about the butterflies native to your county, including many photographs and their caterpillar plants.

Moths of North America – California County Checklists
Find a plethora of information about moths native to your county, including photographs and larval host information for many of the larger and more spectacular species, especially hawk moths and silk moths.

California Dragonflies and Damselflies
A beautiful Web site about these interesting insects … check out the link to the Web site about the backyard pond that spawned dragonfly fever in Kathy Biggs ... which led to her writing the first dragonfly field guide for California!

Spiders on the Web
Get photographs of Orange County spiders, most also native to the San Francisco Bay region.

The Fungi of California
Native trees – especially oaks and pines and Douglas firs – support beautiful and interesting fungi – and vice versa, it’s symbiosis!







San Francisco Bay Region Wildlife Gardening Bibliography

Amme, David. “Creating a Native Meadow” in Grasslands, A Publication of the California Native Grass Association, Volume XIII, No. 3, Summer 2003, pp. 1, 9-11. 1-866-456-CNGA. Definitive information from a pioneer of native meadow making.

Baines, Chris. How to Make a Wildlife Garden. Elm Tree Books, London, 1985. Classic why and how of wildlife gardening, Baines really started something in Great Britain!

Bauer, Nancy. The Habitat Garden Book: Wildlife Landscaping for the San Francisco Bay Region. Coyote Ridge Press, Sebastopol, 2001. Concise, a very helpful labor of love.

Blakey, Louise. Our Hummingbirds. Los Altos: Louise Blakey. 1985. Out-of-print, hard to get, very specific assessments of the hummingbird value of many plants.

Caldwell, Jeffrey. Notes on Larval Food Plants of Some Bay Area Butterflies. Lists larval food plants of almost any species likely to be found in a garden.

Connelly, Kevin. Gardener’s Guide to California Wildflowers. Sun Valley: Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants, Inc. 1991. No one knew more ... an unfortunate reliance on now out-dated nomenclature.

Daniels, Stevie, editor. Easy Lawns: Low Maintenance Native Grasses for Gardeners Everywhere. Brooklyn Botanic Garden. 1999. “Native Lawns for California” by Jeanne Wirka and John Anderson, pp. 70-80. The authors of the article are true authorities.

Davis, John and Alan Baldridge. The Bird Year, A Book for Birders, with special reference to the Monterey Bay Area. Pacific Grove: The Boxwood Press. 1980. Delicious details, thoroughly documented – a unique resource. (Order by sending them an e-mail).

Dennis, John. The Wildlife Gardener. Knopf, New York. 1985. An American classic with useful notes on the wildlife values of many garden plants.

Editors of Sunset Books and Sunset Magazine. Attracting Birds to Your Garden. Menlo Park: Lane Magazine and Book Company. 1974. This older edition gets down to specific observtions of which plants are used by what birds for various purposes.

Francis, Mark and Andreas Reimann. The California Landscape Garden, ecology, culture and design. U.C. Press. 1999. Wildlife a particular interest here.

Gilsenan, Fiona and the editors of Sunset Books. Landscaping with Ornamental Grasses. Sunset Books, Menlo Park. 2002. Its meadow-making guidelines are commended by grass expert John Greenlee.

Griffin, Brian L. The Orchard Mason Bee: The Life History - Biology - Propagation and Use of a truly Benevolent and Beneficial Insect. Knox Cellars Publishing, Bellingham, WA. 1993.

Harlow, Nora and Kristin Jakob, eds. Wild Lilies, Irises, and Grasses: Gardening with California Monocots. University of California Press, 2003. Nicely organized and beautifully illustrated ... most accessible source of information about these plants for many gardeners.

Hickman, James C., ed. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. Berkeley: U.C. Press. 1993. A heavy reference tome, but check out the horticultural notes!

Johnson, Catherine J. Welcoming Wildlife to the Garden: Creating Backyard and Balcony Habitats for Wildlife. Huntley & Marks Publishers, Point Roberts, WA. 2004. The latest offering ... many projects for housing and feeding birds, bees, butterflies, etc.

Keator, Glenn. Complete Garden Guide to the Native Perennials of California. Chronicle Books: San Francisco. 1990. Out-of-print, but very helpful.

Keator, Glenn. Complete Garden Guide to the Native Shrubs of California. Chronicle Books: San Francisco. 1994. Out-of-print, but very helpful.

Kress, Stephen W. The Audubon Society Guide to Attracting Birds. Charles Scribner’s Sons. New York. 1985. His recent books may be even better.

Labadie, Emile L. Native Plants for Use in the California Landscape. Sierra City: Sierra City Press. 1978. Out-of-print, very helpful. Labadie is highly analytical.

Landau, Diane and Shelley Stump. Living With Wildlife. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. 1994. How to deal humanely with wildlife problems.

Lenz, Lee. Native Plants for California Gardens. Pasadena: Abbey Garden Press. 1956. Claremont: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. 1977. Helpful classic.

Lenz, Lee, and John Dourley. California Native Trees & Shrubs for Garden & Environmental Use in Southern California and Adjacent Areas. Claremont: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. 1981. Extremely good, but out-of-print and hard to get.

Leopold, A. Starker. The California Quail. Essential information if you want quail in your garden.

Link, Russell. Landscaping for Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press in association with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 1999. A treasure trove of unique ideas from a wildlife biologist, most are applicable here.

Lowry, Judith. Notes on a Coastal Garden. Larner Seeds.

Lowry, Judith. Notes on Growing California Wildflowers. Larner Seeds. 1990.

Lowry, Judith. Notes on Native Grasses. Larner Seeds.

Lowry, Judith. Notes on Natural Design: the California Backyard Restoration Gardener. Larner Seeds.

Lowry, Judith Larner. Gardening with a Wild Heart, restoring California’s native landscapes at home. U.C. Press. 1999. Beautifully written.

Martin, Alexander C., Herbert S. Zim and Arnold L. Nelson. American Wildlife and Plants, A Guide to Wildlife Food Habits, the use of trees, shrubs, weeds and herbs by birds and mammals of the United States. New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 1951. Basic reference, most of its data is from gut contents of collected specimens.

Miller, Jeffrey C. and Paul C. Hammond. Macromoths of Northwest Forests and Woodlands. Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team. FHTET-98-18. June 2000. Request copies from Richard Reardon, rreardon@fs.fed.us, 304-285-1599. Identificiation and larval host data.

Native Revival Nursery’s Guidebook for the Central California Gardener: An Aid to Small-scale Native Habitat Restoration Projects for Landscape Designers and Backyard Gardeners. Native Revival Nursery, 2600 Mar Vista Drive, Aptos, CA. (831) 684-1811. Strives to serve local wildlife gardeners.

Pavlik, Bruce and Pamela C. Muick, S. Johnson, and M. Popper. Oaks of California. Los Olivos: Cachuma Press. Beautiful book about our most important trees.

Powell, Jerry A. and Charles L. Hogue. California Insects. U.C. Press. 1979. Use to identify most of the insects you’re likely to notice.

Pyle, Robert M. The Audubon Society Handbook for Butterfly Watchers. New York: Scribner. 1984. Enjoyable and educational – one of my favorites.

Rowntree, Lester. Flowering Shrubs of California. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 1939. A classic by one of our great native gardeners.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Native Plants for Southern California Gardens. Leaflet, vol. 1, no. 12, 1969. Hard to get – invaluable lists.

Schmidt, Majorie G. Growing California Native Plants. U.C. Press. 1980. Author lived in Los Gatos – an extremely helpful book that is easy to find.

Seidenberg, Charlotte. The Wildlife Garden: Planning Backyard Habitats. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson. 1995. Particularly references Louisiana and Mississippi, but still somewhat useful here – delightfully brainy author.

Smith, M. Nevin. A Guide to Ornamental Plants for Coastal California . Suncrest Nurseries Inc. Smith is a true plantsman, a reliable source of information about particular cultivars. Look for his articles in Pacific Horticulture magazine and on the nursery Web site.

Stein, Sara. Noah’s Garden: Restoring the Ecology of our own Backyards. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York. 1993. A popular author.

Stokes, Donald, and Lillian Stokes. Bird Gardening Book, a complete guide to creating a bird-friendly habitat in your backyard. Little, Brown and Company. 1998.

Tekulsky, Matthew. The Butterfly Garden. Boston: Harvard Common Press. 1985. Author lived in southern California, also wrote a hummingbird garden book.

Tufts, Craig. The Backyard Naturalist. National Wildlife Federation. 1988. Author from Oregon.

Xerces Society, Smithsonian Institution. Butterfly Gardening: Creating Summer Magic in Your Garden. 2nd. Edition. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. 1999. Particularly helpful appendices of host and nectar plants.

Xerces Society. Pollinator Conservation Handbook. Xerces Society, Portland, Oregon. 2003. “A Guide to Understanding, Protecting, And Providing Habitat for Native Pollinator Insects.”

Notes on Recommended Books

These are either in print or still easy to get. You will find my name in the acknowledgments of the first two on this alphabetical list.

For links to books on Amazon.com please look in the right-hand column.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bauer, Nancy. The Habitat Garden Book: Wildlife Landscaping for the San Francisco Bay Region. Coyote Ridge Press, Sebastopol, 2001. Very helpful and concise, a labor of love.

Francis, Mark and Andreas Reimann. The California Landscape Garden, ecology, culture and design. U.C. Press. 1999. Wildlife a particular interest here.

Griggs, Jack. The Wildlife Gardener’s Guide to Hummingbirds and Songbirds from the Tropics. The most colorful songbirds are those that migrate back and forth from the tropics – and they also are most critically in need of our help.

Harlow, Nora and Kristin Jakob, eds. Wild Lilies, Irises, and Grasses: Gardening with California Monocots. University of California Press, 2003. Nicely organized and beautifully illustrated, the most accessible source of information about these plants for gardeners.

Henderson, Carrol. Lakescaping for Wildlife & Water Quality. Brand new book on an important topic not previously a focus of any other book I know of – and anything by Henderson is worth reading.

Johnson, Catherine J. Welcoming Wildlife to the Garden: Creating Backyard and Balcony Habitats for Wildlife. Huntley & Marks Publishers, Point Roberts, WA. 2004. The latest offering, includes many projects for housing and feeding birds, bees, butterflies, etc.

Lacey, Louise. The Basics. Website at www.growingnative.com
This publication, a gardening journalist's encapsulation of essential knowledge for the novice native plant gardener, is now available as a download-for-fee, as are most of the past articles of the Growing Native newsletter, several years of work based on interviews with numerous native plant gardeners all over the state.

Link, Russell. Landscaping for Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press in association with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 1999. A treasure trove of unique ideas from a wildlife biologist who also has a landscape architect's perspective. Many of the same species of plants and animals are native to the San Francisco Bay Area, so it is useful here.

Lowry, Judith Larner. Gardening with a Wild Heart, restoring California’s native landscapes at home. U.C. Press. 1999. Judith, owner of Larner Seeds, is a perceptive advocate, delightful to read.

Schmidt, Majorie G. Growing California Native Plants. U.C. Press. 1980. Writes from the perspective of her Los Gatos garden.

Stokes, Donald, and Lillian Stokes. Stokes Bird Gardening Book, a complete guide to creating a bird-friendly habitat in your backyard. Little, Brown and Company. 1998. An easy read, lots of photographs, by true nature lovers. Does a good job of covering the basics of bird gardening.

Stokes, Donald, and Lillian Stokes. Stokes Oriole Book: the complete guide to attracting, identifying, and enjoying orioles. Little, Brown and Company. 2000. Unique -- the only book I know devoted solely to orioles in your backyard. Lots of photographs.

Tekulsky, Matthew. The Butterfly Garden: Turning Your Garden, Window Box, or Backyard into a Beautiful Home for Butterflies. Author is from southern California. Available used, worth gettting.

Woodward, Mary K. Butterfly Gardening in the Pacific Northwest. Due out in March 2005 – likely to be one of the more useful books for butterfly gardeners in our area.

Xerces Society, Smithsonian Institution. Butterfly Gardening: Creating Summer Magic in Your Garden. 2nd. Edition. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. 1999. Particularly helpful appendices of larval host and nectar plants.

Xerces Society. Pollinator Conservation Handbook. Xerces Society, Portland, Oregon. 2003. “A Guide to Understanding, Protecting, And Providing Habitat for Native Pollinator Insects.”