With plans in place from your Fall Planting#1: Planning, you're probably raring to go to get those plans that are already blooming abundantly, attracting butterflies, lifting your spirits on a dark day.
1. Find a CNPS Plant Sale
Most California Native Plant Society chapters make a large portion of the money they use for scholarships and education on native plant sales. Volunteers propagate and care for plants that are well suited to the local habitats, and once or twice a year the chapter has a sale.
CNPS now has all plant sales listed in on location here.
Of special interest for me and Ms. Country Mouse are:
- UCSC Arboretum plant sale, Tomorrow, noon to 4.
- Santa Clara Valley CNPS plant sale Oct 19, 10-4, at Hidden Villa. You can view a plant list here (how cool is that?).
I've been encouraged to see that local nurseries have featured more natives. Now is the time to check out your local nursery. They can often order plants from Suncrest nursery.
Don't wait too long - come December, it will be almost impossible to order anything. And come February / March, it's too late for your babies to establish a really good root system.
3. Grow from Seed, Get Some Bulbs
A great lot of fun can be had with California Native annuals, which you can grow from seed, and with bulbs.
Both Ms. Country Mouse and I have included quite a few posts on annuals, for example, Annuals - the Time is Now! Ms. Country Mouse, collects from seed and propagates plants from her own seeds, while I tend to go online and order a few packets. Larner Seeds is an especially good source for seeds.
It often pays to sow into flats or small pots, protect your seeds from birds, and water regularly. Otherwise, you might just have delighted your birds with an extra expensive helping of food.
For bulbs, I've found that many online bulb sources have a Miscellaneous section where you can order California Natives.
I've found that if I do my homework, I usually know what I need, and I'm not necessarily interested to purchase a different plant. If I can't find plants locally, I don't hesitate to mail order.
Annie's Annuals has a fine selection of California Natives - though it's a little late in the year so the selection is small. Las Pilitas also offers mail order.
Shipping is not cheap - but if I consider the aggravation of driving to Richmond and back to Annie's, it's really a bargain. And Las Pilitas is out of range for me, and they have a great selection of unusual plants.
I'm going to Annie's website right now to take advantage of their biggest sale of the year - and I'm already looking forward to the package of beautiful plants that will arrive on my doorstep next week!