CNPS: Time to Plan to Plant!

August, 2017

Image of flowers and native plants in pots.

Native plants for sale at the Fall Native Plant Sale. Photo: Carol Ralph.

Get your garden or yard ready for fall planting. Plan your new beds, new paths, and new groupings.  Decide where plants should be tall and where short. Look at the big picture, and apply artistic sense.  Figure out where the shade is, where the sun is, where the wind blows, where the moisture is, and where the soil is richest.  You need to know what you are offering your plants.  

To preview your palette, visit native plants in their natural habitats.  You will see natural, pleasing combinations.  You will see what species look like in full bloom and at full size.  Many plants don’t look their best in September in a pot.  If you have seen them in the wild, you will know their potential and where to plant them.  

Our sale offers a broad selection: thousands of plants of more than 100 species, and always something new.  This fall we will have two species of milkweeds, abundant Seaside Daisy, and monkeyflowers red, yellow, and orange.  Our eight species in the saxifrage family are a challenge to distinguish, but each has a distinctive, dainty flower. Their various evergreen textures will fill different shady spots in your landscape.  

Partner nurseries will have plants there too: Beresford Bulbs, Lost Foods Native Plant Nursery, and Samara Restoration Nursery.

If you don’t want to wait until September, or if you want to see many of our plants in their full glory of summer, come to the nursery on a Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., when we will be working at regular volunteer days.  You can buy plants while we work.  Maybe you’ll want to help!  

Beginners and experts, non-members and members are all welcome at our programs and on our outings.  Almost all of our events are free.  All of our events are made possible by volunteer effort.

Fall Native Plant Sale
Saturday, September 23, 10am - 3pm
at the Kokte Ranch at 2182 Old Arcata Rd., Bayside. There will be a members-only pre-sale from 9-10 a.m.  (You can join on the spot.)

For further information, call 707-826-0259 or go to


Field Trips and Plant Walks

Evening Programs are held at the Six Rivers Masonic Lodge, 251 Bayside Rd., near 7th and Union, Arcata. Refreshments at 7:00 p.m.; program at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.—Orchids in the Dunes. Orchids are a very diverse group, including quite dainty species.  Join Carol Ralph to learn about five species of orchid that live in the Lanphere Dunes. Four might be blooming.  Walk 1-2 miles, partly on soft sand. Meet at Pacific Union School (3001 Janes Rd., Arcata) to carpool to the protected site.  Co-sponsored by CNPS and Friends of the Dunes.  RSVP 707-444-1397.

Saturday, August 12—Point St. George Day Hike.  Beaches, rocky cliffs, windy bluffs, coastal prairie. We will walk trails and beaches with optional off-trail forays in the prairies to explore this diverse flora. Bring lunch and water; dress for the weather, especially wind. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at Pacific Union School (3001 Janes Rd., Arcata) or arrange another place.  Return very late afternoon or evening. Tell Carol you are coming: 707-822-2015 or

Friday-Sunday, September 1-3—Chapter camp at Mattole Camp and Retreat.  A lodge with a big kitchen, cabins with bunks, a fire ring for campfires, space for tents, and a piece of the Mattole River are ours for two days.  On Saturday a day hike on the Lost Coast Trail from the mouth of the Mattole is a likely option. You’ll get details when you tell Carol you are thinking of coming: 707-822-2015 or

Evening Programs

Evening Programs are held at the Six Rivers Masonic Lodge, 251 Bayside Rd., near 7th and Union, Arcata. Refreshments at 7:00 p.m.; program at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 13,  7:30 p.m.—“The Future of Plant Diversity in a Warmer, Drier West” with Dr. Susan Harrison, Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at University of California, Davis.  Years of research on plots in Lake County, California (at the McLaughlin Natural Reserve) and in southern Oregon have provided clear snapshots of how decreases in winter moisture and increased periods of warmer temperatures are affecting native plant communities.  Even within the adaptive plant communities in serpentinite environments, long thought to be less susceptible, climate change is impacting germination and growth patterns.  Hear about the findings of UC Davis research teams and what we can expect in plant diversity trends within our bioregion.




Subject categories: