This week some parents and I met with Lisa Novick, Outreach director of Theodore Payne Foundation. We looked at some potential areas for a pollinator/butterfly garden and for a Native American garden. Both gardens would feature native plants. These native habitats will be educational for children, e.g. what plants which butterflies eat which plants, the importance of a habitat for insects and birds, and which plants were used by local Chumash and Tongva. Most of all insect species that eat leaves such as butterfly caterpillars eat only native plants and these pollinators are good for our edible gardens too! Also, the caterpillars are a basic food for baby birds.
Ceanothus, California Lilac, is an example of a native plant that is also deer resistant. There are hundreds of different species, hybrids and cultivars. They can be used as ground covers, shrubs or small trees.
Stay tuned for an update on when we'll start preparing the gardens.
If you want information on making a native garden, planting wildflowers, a butterfly garden or hummingbird garden, check out the following resources: www.theodorepayne.org and also "Bringing Nature Home". I have a copy of the book if you'd like to borrow it. Theodore Payne also has a garden tour on April 5 if you wish to see some examples.
Meanwhile, I've seen two monarch butterflies at Marquez this week!