It’s officially planting season. I hope you’re enjoying the cooler weather, and getting excited about the chance of rain later this week. And finding time to appreciate late blooms and rusty seed heads swaying in the uniquely angled November light. I know I am! As we’re in the thick of our busy season, I’ll keep this blog post short and sweet.
Our Fall Plant Sale wrapped recently. It was an intense, fun and inspiring two weeks. We sold over 22,000 plants during those two weeks, and I’m so proud of our team for keeping the inventory well stocked throughout the sale. It’s a far cry from just a decade or two ago, when native plants were so much harder to find. In those days, native plant gardening took persistence and a bit of luck – hoping that the plants that you were looking for would be available during the relatively short time of year when plant sales were happening. Plant availability has improved a lot here at TPF and at other nurseries that supply native plants to the public, but it’s still not perfect. If you came to find a specific plant and it was not available, we apologize, and encourage you to keep an eye on our online store, where our plant inventory is live (and you can purchase plants online for in store pickup.) We’re very well stocked heading into the winter and spring, and plan to keep expanding our offerings to ensure that beautiful, unique and well grown plants are easier than ever to find.
As planting season gets underway, TPF staff and volunteers will be busy getting plants in the ground here at our headquarters in Sun Valley and at projects across the city. I’m particularly excited for our third annual volunteer planting day at Kuruvungna Springs, a Tongva Village site located on the campus of University High School in Santa Monica. TPF is proud to support the restoration of the Springs, and to donate plants to this important project. We’re also hard at work with our partners at the community restoration of Rio De Los Angeles State Park, where we are creating habitat for the endangered Least Bell’s Vireo by planting locally native, coastal sage scrub species. These urban restoration projects that balance ecology and biodiversity with other uses and needs of urban green spaces are particularly exciting to me. They show a vision of what our city can be, offering a vision of hope for the future. If you’d like to participate in these events (and help us get some plants in the ground,) consider becoming a volunteer for TPF.
A final note for this blog post: November is Native American Heritage Month, and TPF is committed to Indigenous community led land restoration. In June, we hosted our second Native Plant Working Group meeting, which brought together representatives from 13 tribes across California for a two-day workshop and knowledge sharing conference in seed collection, cleaning and storage, plant propagation, nursery management, and many other related topics. It was a wonderfully inspiring and joyous event, and we created a short video to document it. I hope you enjoy, and happy planting!