Native Plant Extravaganza: Saturday, November 18th, 10 am – 4 pm

Planting with natives gives extra joy, as pollinators visit. It’s been such a pleasure to see my native plants grow in my median strip. Some of absolutely thrived, while others have taken a while and now, after a year, are well-established. I learned that yarrows can take over, especially the white one! And the small bicolor penstemon is a bit fragile. I urge you to take advantage of the many local sources of true expertise on natives that we have locally, and this weekend is a great time to do that!

Free packets of Larner’s “Native Wildflowers for Pollinators” seeds will be given away this Saturday at two of the nurseries at the times listed below, while supplies last.  Jennifer Dirking (the native plant fan extraordinaire who made the Keystone Species signs) will have a table with seeds, information, and Keystone Signs.

Shop for natives in-person at East Bay Wilds, the Watershed Nursery, Oaktown, or Annie’s Annuals, and a percentage of your purchases will go to support the Tour.

Sat. Nov. 18 Native Plant Extravaganza (includes free talks)  The next Native Plant Extravaganza is coming up; shop for native plants during the Extravaganza next Saturday, and a percentage of your purchases will go to support the Tour.

The fall Native Plant Extravaganza takes place on Saturday, November 18, from 10:00-4:00; shop for natives in-person at East Bay Wilds, the Watershed Nursery, Oaktown, or Annie’s Annuals, and a percentage of your purchases will go to support the Tour.  Or… shop online…Order online from Green Thumb Works on either Saturday or Sunday Nov. 18 & 19, and a percentage of your purchase will also go to support the Tour.

Here are the addresses, and the list of free talks that will be given on Nov. 18:

Berkeley– Oaktown Native Plant Nursery, 702 Channing Way, Berkeley, (510) 387-9744.  Oaktown grows more than 200 different varieties of California native plants, including 15 types of grasses. View Oaktown’s plant list here.

Seed Giveaway: Jennifer Dirking will have a table at Oaktown from 10 am – 12 pm, with some native gardening information and free packets of Larner Seeds “Native Plant Pollinator Wildflower Mix,” while supplies last. Seed source:

Talks in the Nursery at Oaktown Native Plant Nursery
12:00 “Plant combinations for Bay Area gardens: Creating a mix of native plants that will thrive together” by Suzanne Carter. Oaktown’s owner, Suzanne, will lead you through a simple design process to come up with pleasing plant combinations for the home garden. The emphasis will be on plant size, proper spacing and color.

 Oakland – East Bay Wilds is located at 2777 Foothill Blvd., Oakland; note that the entrance is on 28th Ave. This nursery is normally only open to the public on Fridays, so don’t miss this chance to shop on a weekend!

While at East Bay Wilds, browse Pete’s extensive, eclectic collection of garden benches, tables, chairs, statues, planters, antiques, and tchotchkes available at great prices – a percentage of these purchases will also go to support the Tour. See the plant list here and see photos of gardens that Pete has designed and planted with natives here. (If you are interested in a consult, design, installation or maintenance for a California native landscape, email Pete at or call (510) 409-5858.)

1:00 “How to choose and place native plants in your garden” by Pete Veilleux, owner of East Bay Wilds

Richmond – Annie’s Annuals, 740 Market Ave. Richmond, (510) 215-3301. Did you know that Annie’s grows, sells, and ships more than 275 different varieties of California native plants? After entering the nursery turn left to find the natives section. Not sure what to plant where? Their helpful staff is happy to answer your questions and offer suggestions. See Annie’s native plant list here.

11:00 “Creating your own native wildlife sanctuary” – how native plants benefit our gardens and beyond, and how to support helpful insects, pollinators, birds and more to maintain a healthy ecosystem” by Charlotte Canner from Our Water Our World

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