California Native Garden
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Welcome to the California Native Garden @ GWC

The Best Times for Blooms

Each year in the GWC Native Garden the first plants to bloom do so around mid-December and early January, initiating a flowering succession that makes a continuous show for fully seven months. No month is totally without plants of some attraction or other, though late fall has the least blooming due to prolonged drought of summer. The following schedule names the more prominent plants and the months in which they are usually at their best.

Month

Prominent Plants

January:

manzanitas, currants, and school bells (one of our earliest blooming bulbs)

February:

silktassel, barberries, Dutchman's pipe, fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

March:

redbud, pink-flowering currant, California poppy, shooting stars, many native bulbs , trees begin to leaf out and annual wildflowers are blooming including Chinese houses, and California poppies.

April:

 woolly blue curls, summer holly, main ceanothus groups, madrone, douglas irises, pitcher sage, several of the true sages (Salvias) are in bloom now, coast sunflower,

May:

monkeyflowers, fremontias, carpenteria, tidy tips, bush poppies, California buckeye, brodiaeas, mariposa tulips, cacti, clarkias, mock orange

June:

matilija poppy, ocean spray,  mariposa lilys, buckwheat, clarkias, columbines, scarlet larkspur

July:

red and yellow bush penstemons and other perennial penstemons, scarlet mimulus, island snapdragon

August:

wild buckwheats, late penstemons, evening primroses, gum plants, catalina snowflake, berries of coffeeberry

September:

California fuchsias, buckwheats, desert willows, beach asters

October-November:

fall color of snowberries, berries of the madrone, deciduous oaks, dogwoods, willows, big leaf maple, chaparral currant blooms

December:

first manzanita blooms, colorful twigs of deciduous shrubs, and the berries of our toyon are often bright red now.

The place to be for a glimpse of a genuine California landscape. Intriguing plants, beautiful flowers, subtle fragrance, as well as butterflies and birds!

California Native Garden

Wonder what all the excitement is over at the Golden West College Native Garden? Did you know we have our own award winning native Garden just west of the Math/Science building? Perhaps you have heard of the Garden but just haven’t been there or you have visited but wanted to know more about the different plants?

Did You Know?

The GWC Native Garden has an active volunteer group?

Meeting most Tuesday and Thursday mornings, our Garden volunteers have worked over 920 hours in the last year! And who knew that volunteering to work in the Garden is both fun and educational?

The Garden volunteers have grown in knowledge of native plants and the particular gardening skills needed to help them along. their time in the Garden really helps with maintenance and inspires and pushes projects forward. Besides weeding, raking, installing and cleaning plant labels, basic propagation, and pruning-they have helped with the Garden’s symposium, its workshops and workdays, and with guiding visitors who stop by. By the end of the morning there is usually coffee, conversation, and a grin as well.
Without the volunteers the Garden would not be as lovely as it is or as lively! Thanks to Bob Hogan, Dori Ito, Sarah Jayne, Jan Klein, and Alan Lindsay who are our regular helpers-and to Frederick Koepp who started the group as the Gardens first community volunteer two years ago!

Did You Know

If you would like to join this group (which is open to staff, faculty, students, and the nearby community) please contact Dan Songster at dsongster@gwc.cccd.edu

For campus folks who don’t have the time to work during Tuesday or Thursday morning work periods contact Dan and he may be able to arrange for a little area of the garden to care for at time that fits your schedule

More information...

Arrange a Tour of our GWC Native Garden
With Garden Director, Dan Songster

Wonder what all the excitement is over at the Golden West College Native Garden? Did you know we have our own award winning native Garden just west of the Math/Science building? Perhaps you have heard of the Garden but just haven’t been there or you have visited but wanted to know more about the different plants?

Although spring is the best time to see the Garden in bloom, all seasons have their particular points of interest. Winter rain begins the greening of the Garden after summer’s drought and the Manzanita, Currants, and native bulbs begin to bloom. Spring is a riot of color with both perennials and annuals in bloom for most of the period. Summer is a dry period with several outstanding bloomers like the California Fuchsia and Desert Willow and others in full flower despite the heat. Fall is that time of year when the design structure of the garden is laid bare and the Garden’s heart rate slows as late fall rains threaten and the wildflower seeds are sown.

Just like a museum you will enjoy the Garden more when you understand its “art” more fully. Ask your native plant questions and learn about these great butterfly and hummingbird attractors. If you can arrange to have 4 people or more commit to a tour, Dan will (his schedule permitting) set aside an hour for your personal tour on a Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon.

And of course, whether you are having a tour or not-you are always welcome in the Garden. Come for a few minutes or an hour, stroll the pathways, and inhale the scent of real California landscape, with Sage, California Lilac, Buckwheat, and more.

Questions about the Garden?
Contact Dan Songster at 714-892-7711 x52181 or email dsongster@gwc.cccd.edu