Tour and Tips for Gardening with Native Plants

On Saturday June 27 at 3:30 p.m. the Topanga Creek Watershed Committee will host an educational event for folks interested in gardening and the plants that naturally occur in our area.

This first-ever event begins with an approximately one hour hike in Topanga State Park lead by Resource Conservation District Biologist Steve Williams. Williams will guide participants along the Musch Trail, which begins at Trippet Ranch and passes through riparian, oak woodland, and chaparral plant communities.

After observing how various native plants thrive in their respective habitats the group will drive to the Topanga Community House to see how many of these same species are getting along in the new community garden there, located between the ball field and the Community House. The TCC native garden was planned and planted last fall by the Watershed Committee and the Earth Day Committee, using proceeds from Earth Day 2008. Ben Allanoff of the TCWC will give a tour of the garden and talk about its creation and maintenance. The garden provides slope stabilization as well as habitat and food for native birds, animals, and insects, without the use of excessive amounts of water or any imported chemicals or fertilizers. In addition to being a beautiful and useful addition to the Community House grounds, the TCC native garden is intended to be a demonstration garden, showing local homeowners how to create beautiful landscapes around their homes without creating the negative impacts associated with chemical- and fertilizer-dependent “traditional” lawns and gardens. (As always, the TCWC reminds us that everything we bring into the Canyon ends up in the creek and the ocean, and in the living things that reside there.)

Co-sponsoring this event with the TCWC is the Green Gardens Group (G3), a collection of landscape designers who promote the use of gardening practices that nourish rather than damage the earth and living things. At the TCC the G3 experts will share their knowledge and experience in landscape design and gardening.

This is an opportunity to enjoy our beautiful canyon, and to learn how to better appreciate, preserve, and protect it. If this sounds interesting to you, you can e-mail your questions to or just show up at the Musch trailhead at Trippet Ranch on June 27 at 3:30 p.m., ready to have a good time.