From:Monterey, CA Region: California Topic: Wildflowers Title: Low maintenance native plants for college campus in Monterey, CA Answered by: Nan Hampton
I am a graduate student at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. We are researching ways to save money (decreased maintenance, pesticide/herbicide use, etc) on our campus. I need some ideas on: Wildflowers that will grow here year round (and hopefully bloom a lot) and low-maintenance landscaping ideas to help beautify our campus. Thanks in advance.
For an excellent discussion of plant communities and information on designing a garden with native plants from California, visit Las Pilitas Nursery in San Luis Obispo. They also have a listing of native plants with descriptions of the plants and growing conditions and helpful tips.
To find a list of more nurseries specializing in native plants in your area visit National Suppliers Directory on the Wildflower Center webpage. Looking through the list of available species at one of these, Central Coast Wilds, in Santa Cruz will give you an idea for other plants that would be suitable for your project.
You might also contact Monterey Bay Master Gardeners to find out more about the plants that grow best in your coastal area. They are associated with the University of California Cooperative Extension. The Master Gardeners do take on projects and yours might qualify for volunteer help.
You didn't ask for any data to support your plan to use native landscaping but I am including information on a study reported by a group in Illinois called the Openlands Project. According to its web page, the "Openlands Project, founded in 1963, is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing public open space in northeastern Illinois." The study (results of which are available as a downloadable PDF file on their web page) was undertaken by Applied Ecological Service of Brodhead, Wisconsin and estimates that maintaining prairie or wetlands costs only $3000 per acre versus $20,000 per acre for non-native turf grasses over a 20 year period. For another estimate, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency publishes "A Source Book on Natural Landscaping for Public Officials" on line that outlines the economic benefits of using natural vegetation.
More Wildflowers Questions
Flowering plant for gravesite in Weatherford TX June 23, 2013 - I want to plant flowering plant of some kind at parent's grave site in Weatherford, TX. The family cemetery is on a limestone hill with no irrigation or ability to water other than nature. Would on... view the full question and answer
Bluebonnet blooming in July in Leander TX July 27, 2009 - I have a bluebonnet growing in my front yard in July!
Early this year, my son planted the bluebonnet seeds. We did not expect them to grow since we planted them in February/March. One plant grew ... view the full question and answer
What do wildflower seeds look like from Westlake Village CA February 23, 2014 - I collect seeds from my wild flower garden but can't always tell what part of the dried flower is the actual seed that will reproduce. Is there a resource that shows the seed part of flowers? Than... view the full question and answer
Plants for winter color in native wildflower meadow backyard February 28, 2006 - I am establishing a wildflower meadow in my backyard (150'x50'). it will have native Texas wildflowers, Buffalo Grass and Blue Gramma grass. Is there any plant that you can recommend for winter inte... view the full question and answer
Preplant dip for wildflowers from Gilman IA March 02, 2011 - I am growing wildflowers in a greenhouse for wholesale spring sales. The very tall varieties such as cimicifuga stretch very quickly. Do you know of any chemical treatments as a preplant dip that have... view the full question and answer