A reoccurring theme in my paintings is nature, she is my muse and is perfect for translating imagery symbolically. Much of the inspiration stems from observation and work within my own gardens. Over the past ten years I have come to keen realizations regarding California natives and their value. The journey beginning with guided instructional walks led by David Crow, and deepening the last two years with lessons from the Duirwaigh of the mighty Oak.
Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a workshop with renown native plant expert Carol Bornstein. The class “California Native Plant Horticulture” took place at the Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley. It was no surprise to learn that Carol is the Garden Director of Living Collections and Nursery at The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. SBBG is one of my favorite places to visit and nurture the creative spirit. During the class Carol went over the basics of native gardening, sharing a wealth of information on the wonder filled world of California flora. We discovered what a “native plant” is, why natives are valuable, and specifics of plant communities, plant requirements, establishment, planting details, pruning, irrigation, maintenance, invasive non-natives and where to see and buy native plants. She even demonstrated how to plant a native.
The class deepened my awareness to the value of growing and cultivating an authentic garden. We have slowly started working the natives into our landscape, more to come soon!
The Theodore Payne Foundation
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden