The Lost Coast Brewery Native Plant Garden is home to over 140 species of plants from throughout the California Floristic Province. We are always searching for new and interesting plants that might perform well in our climate to add to the diversity of the garden. This is a challenge given our wet winters and cool summers, but provides us with the opportunity to explore firsthand some of the many excellent native plant nursery sources in the state outside of Humboldt County.
Over the last several months we visited Cal Flora Nursery in Santa Rosa, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden Nursery in Fort Bragg, Las Pilitas Nursery near San Luis Obispo, and Matilija Nursery in Ventura County. These nurseries grow many natives selected from California’s diverse coastal habitats. During our visits, we searched for those plants worthy of inclusion in the Lost Coast Brewery Native Plant garden due to their adaptability, hardiness, beauty, and horticultural interest.
It’s always a pleasure to talk to native plant nursery experts and we came away from each visit with several new natives to add to the garden. The passion, knowledge and enthusiasm of the nursery owners and staff for California native plants was evident at each nursery we visited. They were also excited to know their plants would be on display at the Garden!
New additions to the Lost Coast Brewery Native Plant Garden include numerous rare manzanitas (Arctostaphylos spp.), Channel Islands snapdragon (Gambelia speciosa), Russian River coyote mint (Monardella villosa), coral bells (Heuchera sp.), ‘De La Mina’ verbena (Verbena lilacina), ‘Select Mattole’ California fuchsia (Epilobium septentrionale), ‘Snow Flurry’ white flowered ceanothus (Ceanothus thrysiflorus), and five different sages (Salvia spp.).
We also want to acknowledge and thank HBGF members and good friends Lynn Machen of Eureka and Don and Cheree Edwards of Ojai. Lynn has on several occasions picked up nursery orders for the NPG on her travels between southern California and Eureka. Don and Cheree recently donated some hard to find natives they obtained at the Theodore Payne Foundation Nursery in Sun Valley, California.
We always try to select plants adapted to grow on the north coast, but we also know there are no guarantees when it comes to establishing natives for successful long term garden performance. The possibility of disease and animal predation remain constant challenges. However, through informed experimentation, and with a little luck, we hope to continue to add to the existing palette of interesting and beautiful native plants for the enjoyment and education of garden visitors.
By Mark Moore, Curator of The Lost Coast Brewery Native Plant Garden