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You are here: Home Gardening Arcata Community Center Native Garden What's Happening Now

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

11/08/2014-With the grateful return of fall rains many of the drought stressed herbaceous plants are looking very good. Angelica sp., Western columbine, and maple leaved checkerbloom are all actively growing. Western aster still has a few flowers which are attracting both buckeye and Western lady butterflies and leaf cutter bees.

02/05/2015-Coastal silk-tassel, Garrya elliptica is in full bloom now.  Check out this large evergreen shrub that provides so much winter color. It is on the short list of plants that are gopher proof. With this latest storm many seedlings are appearing including Clarkia amoena, C. unguiculata, Phacelia bolanderi, and lots of California poppy.  Herbaceous perennials are emerging. Angelica spp., Lupinus spp., and Symphyotrichium (Aster) chilense.  When it is clear and warm native bees are just starting to make an appreance.  Look for the small halictid bee, Lasioglossum sp. on areas of bare ground.

03/30-Lots happening in the Garden!  These late rains have given new life to the Clarkia amoenaC. unguiculata and Angelica spp. plants. The grasses Festuca idahoensis and Stipa pulchra are in full bloom. A huge flight of painted lady butterflies, Vanessa cardui are coming through our area and many our stopping at the garden.  The female painted lady lays her eggs on many different plant leaves including thistles. Look for painted lady larvae in 2 to 4 weeks.  Female halicitid bees are digging their nests and are common on sunny days. Questions? Contact me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

5/15/15-The Garden is rapidly changing this time of year. Plants that are blooming now: Achillea millefolium, Aquilegia formosa, natural hybrids of  Arctostaphylos uva-ursi and A. columbiana, Deschampsia cespitosa, Festuca idahoensis, Fragaria chiloensis & F. vesca, Iris douglasianaStipa pulchra, Phacelia bolanderi, Rumex salicifolius,  Sidalcea malachroides & S. malviflora, and Solidago spathulatae.  Wildlife observations: Elgaria coerulea (northern alligator lizard), Thamnophis elegans (western terrestrial garter snake), and Thomomys bottae (Botta's pocket gopher).  Insect observations: butterflies--larvae and adults of Vanessa annabella (West Coast lady), V. cardui (painted lady), Papilio zelicaon (anise swallowtail), and Phyciodes pulchella (field crescent); other insect species-- adults of Ocypus olens (devil’s coach horse beetle), Megachile perihirta (western leafcutting bee), Agapostemon texanus (green sweat bee), Sphecodes sp. (parasitoid sweat bee) (first record for site), Bombus vosnesenskii (yellow-faced bumble bee), and Halictus tripartitus (sweat bee). Questions? Contact me at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 10/5/15- For the first time in the Garden's history we lost plants including--Angelica spp., Mimulus aurantiacus and other plants like Symphyotrichium (Aster) chilense were stunted. Lack of normal rainfall the last two years meant the plants came into spring very dry and we had a very warm spring and summer.  The good news is that the rain in in September helped the plants that survived. Symphyotrichium (Aster) chilense is still blooming and attracting pollinators. ÂIf you want to see what native plants are drought tolerant visit the Garden now.  Questions? Contact me at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

1/12/16:  The garden is definitely coming to life. Many seedlings are appearing including those of Clarkia amoena, C. unguiculata, Phacelia bolanderi, and California poppy. The grasses I planted on 10/14, purple needle grass (Stipa pulchra) and Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis), which appeared dead in late summer, immediately came to life after the first rains this fall.  Both coastal strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) and wood strawberry (F. vesca) are flowering. These strawberry species grow in separate areas of the garden: wood strawberry likes well drained soil and light shade, and coastal strawberry does well in moist areas.  Coastal silk-tassel (Garrya elliptica) is just starting to flower: another good reason to come out to the garden--to see why this is such a popular garden shrub. During the cold weather when we had snow in the hills, the garden was being heavily used by fox sparrows and ground feeding thrushes.  If you want to see what native plants are drought tolerant visit the Garden now.  Questions? Contact me at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

SUMMARY OF 2016 AND PLANT INVENTORY OF ACCNPWG Winter and spring showed the garden at its best with Angelica spp., Arctostaphylos spp., Fragaria spp., and Sidalcea spp., providing lots of color and food for pollinations.No supplemental water was provided in 2016 and the late summer proved the worst yet for drought killed woody plants....even established ones.  Also herbaceous perennials such as Symphyotrichum chilense were stunted with fewer flowers. With our wet fall and heavy winter rains I was able replace all the dead woody plants with new ones and even added more new plants.  Trying to increase the abundance of clarkia especially Clarkia amoena with seed.Nesting habitat for the native bee Halictus tripartitus has greatly expanded through site manipulation (string trimming). I have signed the bee habitat and asked people not to throw cigarettes and particularly cigarette filters in the areas bees nest.  Filters can contain concentrations of poisons including nicotine which are potent insecticides.Microtus sp., voles are having their first impact on garden. They use Grindelia stricta as cover for their trails and burrows and in the process kill some plants. Questions? Contact me at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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