Our Native Penstemons

By Bobbie Stephenson, President CNPS-SD in San Diego Horticultural Society-Let's Talk Plants!

During these hot summer days, you might want to spend some time thinking about the native species you would like to plant this fall. Fall is the perfect time to plant natives so they can take advantage of the winter rains that we receive in our Mediterranean climate. Some of the showiest natives are the penstemons, of which we have several native species in our area.

Pictures from the Fall Native Gardening Workshop September 16, 2017

All photos by Phillip Roullard

“The Good Guys”

By Nancy Bauer, California Native Plant Society Blog

We have so many reasons to love our native plants—their beauty, the way they make gardening so easy and so rewarding, how make themselves so at home in our gardens. They are the plants that are thriving without summer water, the ones I don’t have to maintain, and can just enjoy. And they bring a great deal of pleasure to the birds and insects that are also part of my garden landscape.

Jamul Mountains-June 2015

Jamul Mountains-June 2015

By Tom Oberbauer, Vice President CNPS-San Diego

The Jamul Mountains are not as well recognized as some of their nearby neighbors. They are over-shadowed by Otay Mountain at 3,500 feet and San Miguel Mountain at 2,567 feet since they top out at 2,059 feet at the highest point. The Jamul Mountain stand between SR-94 as it passes through the southern part of Jamul, and Proctor Valley.  Proctor Valley is notorious for the strange events that are purported to have occurred there: Proctor Valley monster and two headed cows; remnants of rumors from my youth growing up in the vicinity. Like San Miguel and Otay Mountains, the Jamul Mountains are composed of metavolcanic rock. This is volcanic rock that was deposited as part of a group of very tall mountains like the Andes, but in an island arc off the west coast of North America 106-108 million years ago (Kimbrough, 2014). Since I last climbed the Jamul Mountains in the late 1970’s, many things have changed including the fact that a large part of the surrounding land has been preserved, a steel barrier has been constructed to prevent OHV and trucks from driving cross-country over the slopes, and major fires have occurred. 

The Revolution Should Face the Sun

By Frank Landis, Chairperson Conservation Committee

As you read this, I'll be working on a comment letter for the Newland Sierra EIR. That project inspired this essay because one of the things they're doing is trying to make the Newland Sierra development carbon neutral. This is a wonderful aspiration, but I'm not so sure that it shows up in the project design, and that's the subject of this month's essay. Unfortunately, carbon neutral developments aren't as simple as writing a few pages in an EIR and specifying that it should be possible to mount solar panels on otherwise conventional tract houses in a conventional development.

Guatay Mountain

By Tom Oberbauer, Vice President, CNPS-SD

I drove out east on I-8 fairly early in the morning.  The sky was heavily clouded to the point that mist was falling and it was necessary to use the windshield wipers.  However, east of Alpine, the sun burst through and the sky was perfectly clear with no hint of a cloud.  I was working on another rare plant survey to identify locations of Packera ganderi (Gander’s butterweed) and any other rare plants for the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) under their contract with AECOM.  I drove east toward the town of Guatay and onto the Old Highway 80, the old concrete slab two lane highway with that characteristic bumpety-bump sound from the tires hitting the tar-filled slab joints across the road. I remember when this was the only road east, before I-8 was constructed.  I needed to find a place to park and I first thought about parking at the Lutheran church parking area in the town and then I thought I would try the road through the village of Guatay to where it looked like a trail took off, a trail I had seen on Google Earth.  However, a few dozen yards down the road there were signs on both sides of the road that stated unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense.  Not only that, directly adjacent to that area was a towing service yard with an active tow truck; by active, I mean that the engine was running.

Annual Wildflower Tests Challenge Conventional Wisdom

Annual Wildflower Tests Challenge Conventional Wisdom

By Lee Gordon, CNPS-San Diego Propagation Committee, from CNPS Blog 

Conventional wisdom says that the best time to sow annual wildflower seeds is in the fall, just before the rains, and that seeds should be covered with a thin layer of soil to protect them from predation. This conventional wisdom may be wrong. Tests in Scripps Ranch and Poway (San Diego County) suggest that it is better to sow wildflower seeds months in advance of the fall rain, and that covering seeds may actually prevent them from germinating.

Video: Saving Temescal Creek San Diego County, California

Wilds of California Saving Temescal Creek San Diego River Park Foundation Enjoy a brief visit to Temescal Creek, one of the few remaining free flowing creeks of the San Diego River Gorge. It travels through a beautiful valley which has been grazed for decades, if not more than a century. The valley is one of two large mammal (deer, mountain lion, bobcat and badger) wildlife corridors which is critical to the sustainability of these important members of the ecosystem. Location San Diego County, California Help preserve this spectacular valley. Explore the San Diego River Park Foundation website sandiegoriver.org or call 619-297-7380. Produced, filmed and edited by Jim Karnik Films Music by Garth Stevenson