Thursday, May 14, 2015

Purple Sage

purple sage
Common Name: Purple Sage. Named for its light-colored, lavender-pink flowers which appear in early spring, this plant is also called Gray Sage for its light-colored foliage.
Botanical Name: Salvia Leucophylla
Where found: Common in areas with coastal influence. Native to the coastal foothills from San Luis Obispo to Orange County.
Use by Chumash/Tongva: Leaves were eaten; also used as hair ointment/wash because of its fragrance. Used in ceremonies and as medicine. Smoked.
Use by wildlife: Its flowers provide nectar for hummingbirds, butterflies and bees
Information researched by Grade 4 student 2015 Logan.

Some native plants in the Native American Garden that attract wildlife

The native plants in the Marquez Native American Garden are popular with wildlife. They would also be good choices for drought tolerant home gardens as they don't require much irrigation. We are watering our new plants deeply once or twice a week. The area around the plants is mulched, therefore the ground stays more moist.  Here are some of the plants:

Bush Anenome: flowers attract hummingbirds and other pollinators
Cleveland Sage: attracts hummingbirds
Coffeeberry: pollinating insects and birds like the flowers and berries;
Deer Grass: provides nesting material for birds
Hummingbird Sage: hummingbirds like the pink flowers;
Island Alum Root: attracts hummingbirds
Mugwort: attractive to butterflies and birds;
Narrow Leaf Milkweed: attractive to monarch butterflies;
Pink Flowering Current: hummingbirds love the flowers and birds like the fruit;
Purple Sage: butterflies such as Painted Lady and Checkerspot like the flowers;
Yarrow: flowers attract butterflies
Island Alum Root: attracts hummingbirds
White Sage: hummingbirds like it. Pollinated by native bees
Black Sage: birds like its seeds; butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted
Coffeeberry: attracts small pollinators
Yankee Point Ceanothus:

Sources of information about these and other native plants: "Flowering Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains, Coastal and Chaparral Regions of Southern California" by Nancy Dale; "California Native Plants for the Garden" Carol Bornstein, David Fross and Bart O'Brien; California Native Plant Society,

Purple Sage

purple sage
                                                                                   Purple Sage  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Dedication of the Marquez Native American Garden

On May 7 we dedicated the Marquez Native American Garden.  This garden in front of school has been cleared and then planted by all of the 4th grade classes.  It is a teaching garden for lessons on Chumash and Tongva, pollinators and drought tolerant planting.

We thanked representatives from the Pacific Palisades Garden Club for their generous donations. Betsey Landis from the California Native Plant Society donated four copies of Nancy Dale's book, "Flowering Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains, Coastal and Chaparral Regions of Southern California" to the 4th grade. These guests and Dr. Hananel each received a booklet about the garden which included some reports on the plants as well as a pressed monkeyflower done by the Kissane girls.

Many 4th grade students have researched the native plants in the garden. Twelve of them spoke at the dedication about their plants. Many of the plants in the garden have QR codes attached to the plant signs. Visitors can use the QR code app on their smart phones to access information written by the students that's posted on the Marquez website. (

The dedication concluded with tours of the garden given by 4th grade students to parents and other guests.

A California Poppy, our state flower

Some 4th grade garden tour guides

Diane Goldberg, Barbara Marinacci, Ms. Marie and Betsey Landis

Friday, May 1, 2015

Ms. Soo's Class Plants on May Day!

On May 1, Ms. Soo's 1st grade class planted in their raised bed. They planted a zucchini seedling, melot lettuce seedlings and marigold seedlings as well as radish seeds. They'll be able to harvest the lettuce and radishes before the end of the school year. After a discussion of their favorite vegetables, we determined that cucumber and carrots would be good to add to a salad of lettuce and radishes!

Each child planted a seedling and seeds. They used trowels and learned that trowels are used to dig small holes while shovels are used to dig large holes.

The children wrote stories about planting when they returned to the classroom.