Creating a Native Plant Garden

Welcome, gardeners, to the rewarding realm of native plant gardening.

Native Plant Consultation Service

Are you wondering which plants in your yard are native?  Are you unsure if that vine in the corner is an invasive exotic?  Would you like to know some native species that would grow well in your yard?

The North Coast Chapter of CNPS offers a free Native Plant Consultation Service to answer questions and to share our experiences gardening with natives.

Contact us at  to arrange a visit by one of our knowledgeable volunteer consultants. 

CNPS Volunteers Exploring the Dunes
photo: Kate Rowe

Helpful Resources

Native Landscape Planting Guide A template of landscape design ideas created by state CNPS, with a list of “beginner” native plants for urban gardens in the Humboldt Bay area generated by local Chapter members.

Northwest California natives tested in the Arcata-Eureka area A list compiled by chapter members of trees, shrubs, herbs, and ground covers. We call it “Pete’s plant list,” although other members contributed.

Creating a Native Plant Garden Our native plant consultants’ summary of how to get started, including links of interest to beginning and experienced gardeners.

Where to Find Local Plants & Designers

Restoring Nature, One Garden at a Time Critical reasons for planting native plants. Donna Wildearth summarizes the essential work of Douglas Tallamy on the importance of native plants. Includes a link to videos.

Why Plant with Natives: Caterpillars for Baby Birds Based on the work of Douglas Tallamy, a list of local key plants that support food for birds.

Books Regarding Gardening with Native Plants. A three-page, annotated list compiled by chapter members

CNPS Native Plant Demonstration Garden, photo: Kate Rowe
Bombus vosnesenskii feeding on Eschscholzia californica, photo: Pete Haggard

Native Plants for Butterflies in the Humboldt Bay Area

Jefferson Community Center pollinator garden plant list A 2-page list by flowering season with scientific and common names of each plant as well as if the plant is a nectar or pollen source and what it attracts.

Native Plants for Local Birds A 2-page list of plants compiled from the Audubon database including scientific and common names of the plant, type of plant, birds the plant may attract, and what the plant provides.

Native Plants that Attract Hummingbirds

Adult Gnophaela latipennis on western thistle, larval food plant Adelinia (Cynoglossum) grandis, photo: Pete Haggard