Angela's garden
Natives in the Zeh House gardens

Going native

At the Zeh House

Angela has a passion for native plants, which she pronounces in that posh British way "plahnts." And when Angela feels a passion, look out — Whereas many of us give lip service to our causes, or money, Angela rolls up her sleeves and gets to work with enthusiasm, and innocent by-standers are likely to be swept along.

For example, Angela once held a party at which her friends were invited to help pull up intrusive, non-native plants from a park she helps tend. Stoop labor under a broiling sun, now that's a party! It may seem that I'm making fun of her avocation, and I am, but in the kindest possible way. The amazing thing is that she got so many people to go along with it. Perhaps the promise of a picnic in the shade afterwards had something to do with it.

Angela and Jim
Angela, with Jim

Now Angela is determined to fill the gardens surrounding her historic house in San Carlos, the Zeh House, with native plahnts. And, in a fit of enthusiasm, Angela submitted her gardens for inclusion on a tour of native gardens — and it was accepted! Check it out: Zeh House Garden. The list of natives (PDF) in her garden is truly impressive.

For more information and to register for the tour, see sidebar.

Angela writes:

I must confess that I have persuaded quite a bunch of friends to help out - Jim is a "greeter", Wendy, Barbara, Cecily and myself are the plant experts and Nancy, Julie and others have promised to come by for the "lemonade"... I'm giving out baby yarrow plants (an exciting native bee attracting plahnt) to the first lucky 70 to visit the garden.

I will leave it to others to decide if the promise of a plant that attracts bees is truly an incentive—