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If you are looking to add a little color to your garden, you might consider:

Salvia ‘Pozo Blue’ (Sage) was mentioned as a favorite by a number of the gardeners on the BBTN tour. It has beautiful bluish purple flowers and a wonderful sage fragrance. It grows about 3 foot high, is drought tolerant and does fine in clay soil. Las Pilitas Nursery says that Salvia ‘Pozo Blue’ is “THE NATIVE BUTTERFLY BUSH. We’ve seen about thirty species of butterflies and a lot of hummingbirds working the flowers. If you have the room for a hedge, go for it. Quail LOVE this plant. If you dead head the seed heads off and throw them onto the ground, the quail will be there for a day or two eating seeds.”

While the native species of Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) blooms white, garden varieties and hybrids come in many colors. Some of our favorites are ‘Terra Cotta,’ ‘Moonshine,’ ‘Island Pink,’ and ‘Paprika.’ They grow 2-3 feet tall in full sun and are tolerant of drought, wind and heat. And, they are hosts to at least 19 native butterflies and moths. 

Another fun bright spot of color to add to your garden is Mimulus aurantiacus (Sticky Monkeyflower) and Mimulus cardinalis (Scarlet Monkeyflower) as well as all the hybrids. Some of our favorite monkeyflowers are ‘Jelly Bean Fiesta Marigold,’ ‘Jelly Bean Dark Pink,’ ‘Valentine’ and ‘Eleanor.’ Monkeyflowers grow 1 to 2 feet high and can be planted in full sun or partial shade and generally are low water. They too are hosts to at least 14 native butterflies and moths.

These beautiful California natives are the ultimate multi-taskers adding color to our gardens and providing food and habitat for local wildlife.

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