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GOING WILD WITH NATIVES: Round Up Your Garden Loving Friends To Come And Enjoy CNPS San Diego 2024 Native Garden Tour; “Planting For Animals” Next Month!

By Susan Lewitt, for Let’s Talk Plants! March 2024.

What should you have in your garden to make it stunning and have it support biodiversity at the same time? Find the answer when you attend the California Native Plant Society’s 10th Anniversary Garden Tour, April 6 and 7, to see some fabulous ideas.

Monarchs and Mallows may be seen on this year’s tour, together! Photo by Criselda Yee.

Why should you care about biodiversity? Biodiversity, the sum total of all the living organisms in a particular place, plus their supporting environment, is necessary for human life. Biodiversity gives us our food through pollinators that are responsible for at least 30% of our nourishment. Biodiversity helps us stay healthy when nature is nurtured and kept strong. Biodiversity helps us solve the problems that are caused by climate change. Biodiversity is a part of our cultures and the beauty that surrounds us, inspiring artists, architects and engineers. Sustainability is based on biodiversity. For a further explanation, please watch the video called “What on Earth is Biodiversity?” (

And this could be in your garden. Photo by Christine Hoey.

The California Native Plant Society’s Native Garden Tour gives you a chance to see how to support biodiversity through the use of native plants on your own property. On the two days, at two locations, there will be thirty-three wonderful gardens and public parks to discover. Saturday will greet you with lovely gardens in Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Miramar Ranch North, and Scripps Ranch. Sunday will give you a chance to explore La Jolla, North Clairemont, University City, Del Mar and Solana Beach gardens. Each day the gardens will be open from 9 am to 4 pm. There will be artists at several gardens plus the CNPS book and seed sale to help with more knowledge and planting ideas. For those with itchy green thumbs, there will be nursery plants for sale.

Natives are pretty, even in pink! Photo by Jeremy Howard.

In past articles, I have talked about Calscape and how you may enter your zip code, or the name of the area where you live, and identify the native plants that have been found naturally in your area. This brilliant tool was created by Dennis and Pamela Mudd and Jim Smith whose gardens will be open on the tour. If you have ever used Calscape or plan to use it, you will appreciate the chance to meet these people and enjoy their gardens.

A cool view of what’s to come on the garden tour. Photo by Edmund Piffard.

Reserve April 6 and 7 on your calendar, for this wonderful garden tour. The individual price for the tour is $40. Tickets are available for purchase through April 7. Children 17 and under are free.

Please see the website for horticultural/botany student prices and group tickets.

One of the fabulous gardens on this year’s tour! Photo by Valerie Chao.

One of the fabulous gardens on this year’s tour! Photo by Valerie Chao.

Tour brochures will be mailed to you if you purchase your tickets by March 1. For those who purchase tickets after March 1, you may pick up tour brochures at the March 20 meeting, or at Will Call during the tour.

The tour brochure includes details and addresses for all the tour locations which will give you a chance to pick the best strategy for seeing the gardens. Don't hesitate! Grab tickets for yourself, friends, and family now. What are you waiting for? (


Sources and Resources:

“Why is Biodiversity Important?,” The Royal Society,


Susan Lewitt is a member of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), participating in their Native Gardening Committee, and their Conservation Committee.


If you enjoyed reading this article, consider joining (or renewing your membership with) the San Diego Horticultural Society.



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