Garden Share Network

Garden Share Network: An opportunity to grow, share and explore new native plants in your landscape  

TPF’s Horticulture Department is pleased to introduce the Garden Share Network (GSN), a pilot program to expand the Foundation’s living collection, increase horticultural knowledge about California’s unique and diverse flora, and grow these plants from seeds and cuttings collected from the gardens of dedicated supporters. We view this as an opportunity for native plant enthusiasts to directly participate in the continuation of Theodore Payne’s legacy of native plant introduction and cultivation.

Hessing/Bonfigli Garden, Altadena

Hessing/Bonfigli Garden, Altadena

The Foundation is dedicated to preserving native flora through a living collection of plants and vast seed bank. However, we are limited by available resources, primarily accessible growing space. For this reason, a community approach is vital to our overall efforts to conserve California’s native plant resources. At its root, the GSN is a partnership between adventurous home gardeners and TPF horticulture staff, whereby gardeners cultivate and grow plants or seeds provided by TPF, and we ,in turn, accumulate knowledge and harvest plant material, in order to make more plants available to the public.

We are inspired by the scope and beauty of TPF members’ gardens, as well as the enthusiasm and commitment of our supporters. This diversity and energy will be the driving force behind the GSN. Our primary objective is to disseminate a broad selection of plants and to propagate, observe and gather data about how these plants react to varying environmental factors (soil, climate, etc.).

Interested gardeners must complete the GSN Application. Once an application is accepted, TPF staff will schedule a garden visit to verify eligibility.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Garden must be in Los Angeles County
  • Garden must be at least three years old
  • Garden must contain some species or cultivars that are uncommon or not currently in TPF’s living collection and/or must have space for new plants
  • Garden access for TPF staff (upon request and coordinated with homeowner)

Approved GSN sites will be included in a database, allowing us to match gardens with our seed and plant inventory. As stock becomes available, participants will be contacted regarding species and cultivars available for “adoption.” By accepting, participants acknowledge that we may know very little about a particular plant and how it will perform in a garden setting. Herein lies the beauty of this project: it is truly an experiment in native plant horticulture. Participants will be helping to pioneer the cultivation and potential introduction of new plants that may become valuable additions to our nursery offerings.

Benefits for participating in the GSN include free seed or stock plants, as well as a credit for a propagation or seed-sowing class at the Foundation.

At this time, there is no set quantity on plants to be dispersed amongst GSN gardens, but we expect that members will receive between one and five different plants per garden during each growing season. For those interested in hosting seed regeneration sites for annual wild flowers, the quantity of seeds will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

TPF wants applicants to understand that through involvement in this program, they are committing a small amount of time and space to a much larger goal: the preservation and accumulation of knowledge about California’s abundant native flora. It’s a mission we wouldn’t be able to achieve without our loyal supporters and one we look forward to sharing with new partners in the Garden Share Network.