By JEANNIE COSBY
I moved from Los Angeles to Yosemite Lakes Park ten years ago, full of confidence that I was going to have one of the most beautiful yards here in YLP! Of course, it would be wonderful. For years, all I had to do was stick a plant in the ground and it would grow. What I didn’t understand, for too many years, is that this part of California is like a foreign country in the gardening world.
Did I say it took me years to realize this? Yes, sadly it did. Maybe I could say I am a slow learner. You see, I was sure that I could plant all the previous type plants that I had relied on in LA, and by the sheer force of my will (and hard work) it would grow. I was sure I could conquer all the critters, amend the soil just enough, and have the energy in my late 60’s and 70’s to keep my property weed-free. I won’t even mention the issue of the heat in summer.
I can’t tell you how much time, energy and money, not to mention water, that was spent to try and recreate a yard that was straight from my Southern California dreams. Eventually, I began to discover that I would not conquer the critters. They would win. Well, they would win most of the time!
I realized that paying for lots of water is not cost-effective, and is squandering a much-needed resource for years to come, just to have plants die.
My stubborn mindset of “I can and will do this my way” just made me feel hopeless.
Then, two years ago, a wonderful thing happened. Along came a lady who introduced me to the world of California native plants! Plants that can and will exist and grow well in our soil. They can thrive on much less water, and many of them the “critters” will not eat. Who Knew!
Slowly, (remember I told you I’m a slow learner), I began learning a new way of thinking about gardening. By the way, you do need to be willing to re-learn a lot. I am inviting you to join me as we find the best way to garden in our area.
Check out the Native Plants Live Here website for volumes of information and resources. Take the time to park at the corner of Yosemite Springs Parkway and Long Hollow. Stroll thru the garden of California native plants that has been created by many local volunteers who are on the same learning curve as I am.
Get on the NPLH email list so that you can receive information about attending our Zoom meetings and other events. Together, one yard or public area at a time, we can make YLP an even more beautiful place to live.
Jeannie Cosby, a slow learner who is loving gardening with California natives.