For info on how to create your own meadow garden please check out John Greenlee's new book entitled `The American Meadow Garden'.


Also for inspiration on what to do with that water-thirsty lawn click here - the book by Carol Borstein/David Fross/Bart O'Brien entitled "California Native Plants for the Garden"is full of good ideas.  Also by the same authors coming in april 2011, the new book "Reimagining the California Lawn" about water-conserving plants, practices, and designs.


Another handy book to have on hand with great ideas for forming relationships between grasses and perennials, the book by Marilyn Raff entitled "Ornamental Grasses for Western Gardens" published by - click on gardening.  Also on a related subject for gardeners living in mountainous regions "Cutting Edge Gardening in the Intermountain West" by Marcia Tatroe deals with the difficulties and triumphs of establishing gardens in interior zones.  This is available through the same website.


For info on the location of natural prairies in the U.S. please visit - there is a whole world of people devoted to saving what's left of the native prairies. 


And for a new philosophy about gardening and it's purpose check out "Nature Friendly Garden - Creating a Backyard Haven for Plants, Wildlife and People" by Marlene A. Condon available through There's something to learn by novices and pros alike.

For a comprehensive book about being successful with natives, from their propagation and origins to their use in the landscape, check out M. Nevin Smith's "Native Treaures - Gardening with the Plants of California" published by the University of California Press - - more inspiration!

carmel mission

This garden at the carmel mission is an eclectic mix of perennials, shrubs and grasses, including hardy and tender species, that is typically coastal California.  This is an example of what can be done instead of a lawn - infinitely more interesting in my opinion!