Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Orchid Black, Plant Lady Extraordinaire...


Click on photo to enlarge

Saturday's 4th Annual Big Bear Xeriscape Garden Tour was well attended again this year and our efforts at Earth Home Garden were especially rewarding due largely to the fact that our dear friend Orchid Black lent her considerable native plant knowledge and salesperson skills to our second annual native plant sale. Orchid sold nearly $800 worth of plants from the front porch for our local Hunter’s Nursery, thus furthering the cause of native plant gardening and helping to make it economically feasible for Hunter’s to be involved.

The native plants are grown out from seed collected locally under permit from the Forest Service by another friend, Bill LaHaye, the water conservation specialist for the City Of Big Bear Lake Department Of Water & Power (and sometimes I even get to assist in the collecting), who ships them off to the Las Pilitas Native Plant Nursery for propagation under a program sponsored by the DWP in conjunction with Hunter’s Nursery. Once the plants have grown to marketable size they are picked up by the DWP and sold to Hunter’s for resale to local gardeners and landscapers.

Orchid, who has been honing her native plant skills for some years now through working with the Theodore Payne Foundation, and a continuing education in the sustainable practice of Permaculture, has started her own native plant landscaping business, Pitcher Sage Design. It was Orchid who suggested last year, when she came to help us with the Xeriscape Tour, that we could probably sell a lot of plants on our deck, during the tour, to those actually interested in drought tolerant native gardening. Lucy at Hunter’s has known us for years and trusted us to bring home dozens of plants for that experimental first sale which was quite successful, just under $400 if I remember correctly.

It’s a sweet reward for Peggy, Orchid, and I to be instrumental in spreading the joy of native gardening through the community, and to think that native species may be benefiting a little bit from our efforts. We enjoyed a full day of sharing, with old friends and new, our garden experiences as several hundred people wandered through the yard admiring the results of nearly a decade of native species gardening.


Thanks Orchid for all your hard work and your lovely spirit...

And thanks also to Brad Henderson and Bill LaHaye for the inspiration.

The Big Bear Xeriscape Garden Tour is presented yearly by the Sierra Club Big Bear Group.

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6 Comments:

Blogger madcapmum said...

Sounds like you had a rewarding weekend - this is such a neat project. So... did Jim and Peggy buy any new flowers?

4:37 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

What a cool concept, the xeriscape tour and the native plant sale! I only wish my own area could be so enlightened...

6:50 PM  
Blogger TDharma said...

sounds wonderful...and inspiring.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous pablo said...

Good for all. I'm on board with the native plant cultivation concept.

8:07 AM  
Blogger David said...

good for you Jim ! and for the wee native plants.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous online nursery said...

Nursery of landscaping trees, reforestoration sesdlings, native plants and native shrubs for habitat restoration and wetlands mitigation.

12:54 AM  

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