Expo Line plants: Think first, proselytize later

Should this be developed as a wildlife corridor?

UPDATED Many of the same people whose passion and stamina forced Los Angeles City Council to adapt a low-water garden for City Hall are now campaigning for Phase Two stops of the city’s Expo Light Rail Line to be landscaped with native plants. Their movement, called LANative, has a website, a petition, and, most recently, support from an impassioned article in the Huffington Post.

Fellow travelers in the native plant movement, forgive me, but I can’t sing with the choir on this one. I can’t see how most of the powerful arguments for natives at City Hall to do with water efficiency, beauty, sense of place, pollinator benefit, run-off capture, leading by example etc. necessarily apply to a railway, which is less a garden setting than a fierce border twixt track and asphalt, steel and concrete.

In fact,

The Dry Garden: Meet the natives

It’s only February, but bestirred by rain and gathering days, California lilacs are blooming, manzanitas are bedecked with bells and irises are pent up for a March explosion. It doesn’t just feel like spring, it is spring in Southern California. So, if you are considering a dry garden for your home, now is the time to meet the natives. This is the moment to go to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont. Click here to keep reading The Dry Garden in the Los Angeles Times.

For listings of courses, hikes, plant sales and projects for Southern Californian dry gardeners, click here for a February calendar, and here for a March one.


The Dry Garden: In praise of Leo Politi

A rant in the current Atlantic magazine argues that a plague of school gardens – thousands! – is returning the children of California’s Latino immigrants to the kind of stoop labor that their families struggled to escape. “Cultivating Failure” tilts at the groupies of celebrity chef Alice Waters and her Edible Schoolyard program in such an entertaining way that it’s a pity that so little of the article is true.

Click here to keep reading this week’s The Dry Garden in the Los Angeles Times.

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    Emily Green by e-mail at emily.green [at] mac.com
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