This is another one of those interesting California Native Plant Nurseries that I have bought heavily from over the years for many of my personal projects and learned quite a bit from as well. I posted an article on one of my other favourite native plant nurseries Las Pilitas and my other favourite native plant nursery Tree of Life Nursery deserves it's own.
This place has really come along way and has been around for even longer than most others of it's kind. Beautiful picturesque location in Orange County behind San Juan Capistrano California. Like other responsible Cal-Native Nurseries they likewise have a great educational program to get folks into the spirit of the thing Natives-wise. We in fact visited there last year my wife and I to pick up a few plants for my mum's place.
|Original Retail Sales Office at Tree of Life Nursery|
The two photos above are the original Native American styled Hogan Sales building built from Straw Bale Construction. This building technique is yet another feature about this company's dedication to Sustainable Living Ideas and Practical Applications. They still display plants in front of this little strawbale hogan and have added a few featured plants. One of them being the cross bred native grape with a domestic grape from up north in the wine country and allowing it to grow around the Arbor porch in the front.
An interview featuring Mike Evans aired Sunday June 19, 2012
Radio Interview above
Okay changing directions for a moment. Education is also a natural part of their program here. They just don't want more customers, repeat sales or a reputation as another Cal-Native Plant Nursery to go to if you need or want to try natives. They want people to be successful and as Mike said in the interview, the conventional care that science-based big business models have indoctrinated people with for generations isn't going to cut it with the natives.
I've already dealt with the subject of the strawbale program and education in an article I did on the Earthships buildings movement and I referred to Tree of Life's past educational programs there.
|Jeff Bohn - Google+ page|
Jeff Bohn, co-owner of the renowned Tree of Life Nursery, as the first guest speaker. Jeff wove his personal stories about his love of native plants and the wildlife they invite with the practical lessons of how to get rid of your water-guzzling grass. He offered several options and ended with the easiest and most effective way.
While Jeff is hard at work in the field and teaching among the numerous plant biology workshops, Mike takes on some of the more difficult tedious business tasks & decision making back at the office by consulting with some of the Nurseries largest business clients.
And there are other uses for their barn besides storing Seed and as a make shift replanting shed where much of the physically hard work takes place by their hard working dedicated employees. Sometimes classes are held under one of their multi-trunked California Sycamore trees, one of many here. Debbie Evans and Gene Ratcliffe teaching the course on replacing your lawn with natives course. And of course as usual Mike Evans entertaining *cough cough* I mean doing the tough job of Public Relations about Tree of Life's Main Purpose Driven Goals here with National Public Radio in 2006 with environmental reporter Ilsa Setziol. Also offering folks previews of plants.
|Outdoor Educational Classes|
This at least and all humor aside gives you all a serious look into a very quality run Native Plants Nursery. They also inoculate their plants with a healthy mycorrhizal fungi and beneficial bacteria program down into the soil media in each container of the plant's root area. This ensures a head start to your use of their nature based nursery products. If you have any technical questions, their staff is fully up to scratch on the basic fundamentals & principles of California Native Plant health care.
On a closing side note. If anyone is familiar with Parry Pinyon (Pinus quadrafolia), they would be very interested in a source for seed. This tree can be easily viewed and cones obtained in the foothills of north-eastern Anza Valley California when you drive from Temecula CA to Palm Desert CA. Just before you get to the Palms to Pines Hwy 74 Jct. You've now only got a short window of opportunity at the end of August thru September when the cones open up and release their seed to the local ScrubJays who won't hesitate to pig down and hide as many as their obsessive behavior for hording allows. I tried some years back in the early 2000s to collect some of the seeds for them before I moved to Europe, but the seed nut shells were hollow for 3 years in a row and I found that very bizarre because I had tried many different locations to collect these cones. The only thing I got were hands full of pine pitch from the cones. Be sure to take some type of gloves and paper bags for storage.