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California Native Plant Garden Tour

Only a little more than two weeks before the 2006 BRINGING BACK THE NATIVES GARDEN TOUR. Our home will be on the tour again this year and will be one of the five Richmond gardens. I will be demonstrating how to extract honey from my beehives and providing free samples of wildflower honey (“Nicholl Knob Gold”).

Digital photographs available at www.BringingBackTheNatives.net

WHEN: Sunday, May 7, 2006 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

WHAT: A free tour of 65 pesticide-free, water conserving gardens that provide habitat for wildlife and contain 30% or more native plants.

WHERE: East Bay cities (Alameda, Berkeley, Danville, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Hayward, Livermore, Martinez, Oakland, Piedmont, Pinole, Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton, Richmond, San Leandro, Walnut Creek)

COST:  Free

REGISTRATION:  Register now.

Sunday, May 7, 2006, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at various locations throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Register for passes and a printed guide to 65 bird- and butterfly-friendly, pesticide-free, water conserving, low maintenance gardens that contain 30% or more native plants. Native plants will be available for sale at many gardens, and numerous garden talks will be offered throughout the day. Registration is required at www.BringingBackTheNatives.net prior to  April 20. Volunteers are needed and rewarded with free, private tours of beautiful native gardens. For more information visit the website, email Kathy@KathyKramerConsulting.net or call (510) 236-9558 between 9 am and 9 pm.

Participants on the free Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour will learn how to attract butterflies, birds and bees, garden without using pesticides, lower their water bills, design a low-maintenance garden, and select and care for California native plants. Sixty-five showcase gardens will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m on Sunday, May 7, 2006. Native plants will be given away at some gardens, and available for purchase at many others. Numerous talks will be offered throughout the day. The schedule is on the website, and contained in the garden guide.

The delightful collection of gardens on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour range from Jenny and Scott Fleming's 50 year old collector's garden to several that are newly installed, and from five-acre lots to small front gardens in the flats.  Garden styles range from restoration gardens containing local native plants to the horticulturally available suite of natives from throughout California, and from gardens designed and installed by owners to those designed and installed by professionals.

A number of these gardens provide excellent bird and butterfly habitat; lists of winged creatures spotted in gardens (and the plants that attract them) can be viewed in the Preview the 2006 Gardens section at www.BringingBackTheNatives.net.  You can also see photographs of each garden, read extensive garden descriptions, and download plant lists there. Landscape designers familiar with designing with natives can be located on the website, as can additional resources, such as nurseries that sell natives.

What's special about California native plants? They are adapted to our soil and climate, and are easy to care for. Native plants are naturally drought tolerant. They attract native birds, butterflies, and other forms of wildlife. And, as the gardens on the tour show, California native plants are beautiful; these lovely gardens display a sense of place that is uniquely Californian.

Admission is free; registration is required at www.BringingBackTheNatives.net.  Volunteers are needed. For more information, email Kathy@KathyKramerConsulting.net or call (510) 236-9558 between 9 am and 9 pm.

Two additional free native plant tours will take place in the Bay Area this spring.  The fourth annual Going Native Garden Tour will be held in the South Bay on Sunday, April 30, 2006.  Registration is required at www.GoingNativeGardenTour.org.  The Mother's Day Native Plant Garden Tour will take place in San Francisco on Sunday, May 14, 2006.  The contact for the San Francisco tour is jeannehalpern@hotmail.com.

Kathy Kramer Consulting
1718 Hillcrest Road
San Pablo
  CA  94806
(510) 236-9558 (Phone and fax)