DIG THIS! SLO Landscape Strategies

SLO Solstice’s Extraordinary Expo

Tuesday, June 21st was the longest day of the year, and SLO Solstice’s event made it extra-extraordinary. Hosted by Sunset Honda and REC Solar, Solstice held their annual Green Mixer at Sage Eco Gardens in Los Osos. Our own Maggie Ragatz represented the SLO Botanical Garden at a booth at the mini-expo, promoting the Botanical Garden’s fundraiser raffle whose list of prizes includes world-class meals prepared by local chefs in your homes, a pair of brand-new kayaks, and even a trip to South Africa (to look at all the Mediterranean plants, of course!).

Solstice supports a different community organization each year, and this year’s beneficiary was Woods Humane Society. Food and drink were provided, including Joy Cup, Be Love Cafe, Central Coast Brewing, and more. Two-person band “Acoustico” graced the stage and provided the perfect accompaniment to the backdrop of Sage’s incredible nursery. A first-rate sunset (yes, even in Los Osos!), distinctive plants, and Green folks all around–the Summer Solstice was heralded by a stellar event.

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Lawn: Use It Or Lose It!

What a treat it was for those lucky enough to hear the esteemed David Fross (plant guru and part owner at Native Sons Nursery) talk recently at the SLO Botanical Gardens. His talk touched on conservation in a myriad of ways, and the one that stuck with me was about water–do you know where it comes from? I’m not talking “from the hose” or “from the tap” here, but back at the source, the Colorado River. This 1,450 mile-long lifeline sustains more than 30 million souls and 3.5 million acres of farmland in seven states, 34 tribal nations and Mexico. Unsurprisingly, it’s in decline. What can we do? Well, for starters, just knowing that when we water anything, we’re draining this mighty river is enough to get you thinking.
Also, that green water-gulping lawn is certainly an area where we can make improvements. Fross talked a lot about the pros and cons of lawn, but his main point wasn’t to exterminate all flat green spaces. Instead, he challenged us to think about how they’re used. What about the public park where Scouts meet and kids play baseball all summer? Water those and keep them soft and friendly! What about the patches of grass whose only foot traffic is the lone landscaper? These are wasted space. Rip ‘em out and re-purpose the land into something beautiful for people to visit. Not only is this be good for our wallet, but also for the entire marine ecosystem of the Colorado River. Sound radical? Maybe so. But endlessly watering something that gets no use could be considered kinda nutty.
A recent post of ours wrote about Fross’s book, “Reimagining the California Lawn,” enumerating changes you, yourself, can make to your property to make it water-wise and lush. Check out your space and see if you’re using your garden to its fullest potential for enjoyment, food production, and conservation of our precious resources.

(Colorado River facts found here.)

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Turfgrass Is SO Last Century

We all know the hidden costs of manicured green grass ~ fertilizer, mowing, water, time… it’s endless! But what choice do we have, right? WRONG! The Leave It To Beaver picket fence yard days are gone. A new generation of nutrient-rich, water-wise plant habitat-development is taking over.


Which means: It’s time to reimagine your lawn! How better to start creating your home’s new ambiance than with the vision of David Fross, co-founder of Arroyo Grande’s Native Sons plant nursery, who will be speaking at the SLO Botanical Gardens tomorrow, Saturday June 11 from 1-3p.m. Besides lecturing on why lawn is a yawn, David is a leader in plant identification, a several-times-over published author, and in general is the bee’s knees. Prepare yourself for an inspiring afternoon filled with endless planting possibilities!

P.S. Check out Reimagining the California Lawn, co-written by Native Sons owner and plant mogul David Fross, which educates the California garden owner about practical ways to replace their lawn with beautiful water-wise alternatives. Explore plants that are native to California, as well as those native to our Mediterranean counterparts within its pages.


Green Goods’ Grand(er) Opening This Saturday, June 11th


We’re thrilled for the grand re-opening this Saturday, June 11th, of Green Goods’ new showroom at 111 South Street in San Luis Obispo! Our friends Mikel and Brian Robertson, Green Goods’ owner/brother duo, deal exclusively with Green building supplies, design consultation and construction services. Everything they do speaks to sustainable living through conserving natural resources, cutting energy costs and ensuring healthy indoor air.
We’ll be stopping by to celebrate their new space and enjoy music and delicious food amongst friends. Discover the origins of their passion for sustainability through workshops on clay earth plaster, ECO dream kitchens, greywater, and do-it-yourself floor installations from 11a.m. – 4p.m. Food and festivities to continue into the evening…
Or, if you REALLY want to support your garden, Green Goods offers composting toilets that create nutrient-rich compost while cutting costs on your water bill. How’s that for being Earth-friendly! Hope to see you there!