The Theodore Payne Foundation's Sun Valley property was abuzz on a midsummer Saturday morning with both happy pollinators and people from all over the Southland stocking up on drought-tolerant plants. You might have run across TPF staffers or volunteers spreading the gospel of California native plants at your local farmers market or lecture hall, but it's worth your while to visit the mothership. In addition to large demonstration gardens and a wildflower trail, the selection of native plants for sale here is impressive. And lest you think “native” means “cactus,” you'll be surprised to see selections for shade (yes, we have that) and even riparian (waterside) habitats. There are classes available, too, on everything from designing and irrigating the native garden to managing your insect population and saving seeds for next year (or for swapping). The gift shop is well stocked with useful books, including many for kids, as well as seeds, gardening tools and charming T-shirts.
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