Photo: A honeybee in the garden of La Mesa resident Jim Julius. (Source: San Diego Chapter of California Native Plants Society)

The San Diego Chapter of the California Native Plants Society is doing something wonderful. They are featuring on their website 14 California native landscapes in the San Diego region, including two on Mt. Helix, and the homeowners who created them. Each profile includes photos of the plants and landscape, and the homeowner, in their own words, describing why they went native and the journey since then.

Plants and trees that are native to California, our deserts and northern Mexico are excellent choices for your east county landscape. First, they bring the beauty of California into your own property. Second, these plants and trees evolved over centuries with the water supply, soil and pests we have in east county, so they need low levels of irrigation after their first 6-12 months of growth, and little to no fertilizer. They evolved with California’s birds, bees and butterflies, as well, and will turn your landscape into vibrant habitat.

Helix’s new demonstration landscape at our administration office in La Mesa will feature Mediterranean, desert and California native gardens. This summer, when the gardens are open, you will be able to see a variety of California native plants and trees up close and identify each plant by scanning a QR code with your smartphone.

Until then, enjoy this article.