Colorful California Landscape: A Water-Friendly Garden
Colorful California Landscape:  A Water-Friendly Garden


Carbon Sequestration

The US Environmental Protection Agency has a website describing carbon sequestration. This is the process through which carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air is sequestered (captured) in plants and soil.


Chickens is a destination for peeps looking for information on raising chickens in any urban, suburban, or rural backyard.

Free-Range Chicken Gardens describes how to create a garden for your chickens including plants for foraging and shelter, rain-fed water bowls, and eco-friendly lawns (Timber Press; $19.95). is an online community of people interested in all things homegrown including growing, cooking, crafting, brewing, preserving, building, making and creating. They have a place on their website for discussing the joys and trials of chicken raising.

My Pet Chicken provides information and links to raising pet chickens such as baby chicks, chicken coops, accessories, books and free "how to" information, plus fun gifts and rooster decor.

Raising Chickens for Eggs is a website dedicated to helping people raise chickens in their own back yard so that they can produce great tasting nutritious eggs from happy, healthy hens. They provide a links on how to build your own chicken coop.



Seawater Desalination Huntington Beach, CA Facility

Urban Water Institute provides information of interest to the water resource industry including public agencies and private firms with emphasis on economics, management and resource policies.


Earth Stewardship

The Center for Urban Forest Research conducts research that describes the structure of urban forests and quantifies related benefits and costs.  They create new methods and strategies for managing and caring for community forests to help optimize the benefits and investment value of community forests.

Earth Day Network was founded on the premise that all people, regardless of race, gender, income, or geographcy, have a moral right to a healthy, sustainable environment.


HomeCity has a website which offers a free guide to eco-friendly home modifications.


You can learn about green living at the Sustainable Baby Steps website.  They offer a free guide to making green changes when you sign up for their SBS newsletter.

Now that you have created a wildlife-friendly garden, certify it as a wildlife habitat at the National Wildlife Federation website.  It takes only minutes to complete the form and you can purchase signage for your garden.

Satellite Applications for Geoscience Education has a free online lesson on Earth Stewardship and Sustainability.

Green Products

Brita sells tap water filters at several locations including grocery, drug and retail stores.


BPA-Free Filtered Water Bottles: SmartPlanet's 22-oz. Eco Bottle is light-weight, shatter-resistant and features a leak-resistant lid and all-natural filters made from coconut shells ($18) (, Bobble's 18.5 oz BPA- phthalate- and PVC-free bottle (, and CamelBak's 20-oz. Groove Bottle with bite valve that makes it spill-proof and a plant-based filter that lasts about 3 months or through 48 gallons of water ( or offers some great ideas on creating a greener kitchen environment.

Green Building Supply (telephone: 800-405-0222) is an eco-friendly home center carrying natural, non-toxic building materials that are certified, safe, environmentally friendly and sustainable - even for the chemically sensitive.  Improve indoor air quality, eliminate toxic chemical and create a healthier home, office or apartment with hundreds of the best name brand products, most of which are certified and quality for LEED points. 


How to Save Money by Going Green offers some great tips showing that there are benefits to environmentalism.

Jewel Brite biodegradable jewelry cleaner contains no ammonia, acid or alcohol. Safe for pearls, opals, soft stones, costume jewelry and antique jewelry.  Excellent for cleaning eyeglass frames and lenses. hey also sell a biodegradable tarnish remover.  Works in all types of sonic machines.


The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier (Storey Publishing, 2008) contains over 150 safe and easy herbal formulas for nontoxic cleaners.

Learn how to make safe, nontoxic, and effective cleaning alternatives for freshening every room in the house in, The Naturally Clean Home 2nd edition by Karyn Siegel-Maier (Storey Publishing 2008).  She describes over 150 safe and easy herbal formulas for green cleaning.


New Wave Enviro manufactures and distributes products that produce quality inexpensive purified water from your own tap water and reusable bottles to store and carry this purified.


Parents e-magazine offers a guide to green parenting.

The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) is a national nonprofit organization that determines which products are allowed for use in organic production and processing.  You can search their database for eco-friendly products that meet USDA organic standards.


The RealDeal provides a guide to shopping green for your pet.

The Ultimate Green Shopping Guide is a helpful site with lots of links.  Green shopping involves more than using reusable bags when going to grocery store and buying energy efficient bulbs.  It means focusing on buying items that have little impact on or have been designed to help the environment.


The book, Landscape Plants for California Gardens: An Illustrated Reference of Plants for California Landscapes by Bob Perry (at an excellent resource with lots of pictures and detailed descriptions.  If you only buy one landscape book, buy this one. in San Diego, CA offers a beginner's guide to xeriscaping design.

Great information on environmentally friendly gardening from a company in the UK. offer interesting advice on how to make your backyard a sanctuary for wildlife.


Rodale's OrganicLife is an excellent resource for tips, solutions and recipes.

The Pacific Horticulture Society is an indispensible resource for West Coast gardeners.  Their mission is to educate and inspire gardeners in the art and science of horticulture on the West Coast.

Shipley Nature Center is an 18-acre natural area located in Huntington Beach, California.  Situated within Huntington Central Park, the nature center is not only a sanctuary for local wildlife, but it is also a haven for the residents and visitors of Orange County.  They sell water-friendly plants as well a planting mix and worm castings.



The drip irrigation in our landscape was the Toro DL2000 subsurface dripline.  This is a pressure-compensation system with self-cleaning emitters. The tubing is non-toxic and delivers optimal water application directly to the root zone while safely inhibiting root intrusion.


Living Soil

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.  The publications and other resources listed here offer information on how to assess, improve and maintain soil health for both croplands and pastures.

Soil best practices, design specification, examples, Soil BMP Manual, compost and mulch sources, soil testing labs, T hey also have a great Natural Landscaping Guide which can be downloaded as a .PDF.

Simple soil "best management practices" (BMPs) described at Soils for Salmon include preserving site topsoil and vegetation where possible, reducing compaction, and amending disturbed soils with compost to restore healthy soil functions.


Natural Beauty


Eco-friendly bath and body recipes are money-saving, planet-loving, and skin-pleasing.  My main source is the book by Lauren and Janice Cox, Ecobeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends (Ten Speed Press, 2009).  Mother Earth Living regularly features her recipes as well as those from others.


Essential oils can be found in health food stores (such as Mother's Market) or online (Monterey Bay Spice Company, Mountain Rose Herbs). Castile soap can be purchased in markets, health food stores and online (Glory Bee Foods).


Essential Oils for Sleep offers helpful information in getting a good night's sleep.

Nurseries Selling Water Friendly Plants

Armstrong Garden Centers specializes in the largest selection of roses, many developed and exclusive to the company.  They have over 100 acres of growing grounds and green houses.

Roger's Gardens offers not only an amazing assortment of plantin including an entire California Friendly section, they also sell furniture, art and food products in an elegant environment.

San Marcos Growers is a wholesale plant nursery located in the Goleta Valley just north of Santa Barbara, California.  They grow plants appropriate to California's mediterranean climate, including many California native plants.  They sell to many nurseries including Armstrong.

Tree of Life Nursery located on 40 acres in San Juan Capistrano offers a variety of events and workshops.  They have been progating California native plants for over 30 years and offer over 500 species and and varieties for landscaping and ecological restoration.

Village Nurseries has more than 700 acres of growing facilities in Northern and Southern California and offer the most varied and complete inventory of trees and shrubs.  They grow and supply a varitye of popular plants, native plants, succelents, specimen trees, drought tolerant plants, vines and flowering shrubs.


Pest Control


BusyBee Blog has some helpful information on how to control pests naturally.

Easy To Grow bulbs sells Decollate snails.  These 1-1/2" long, conical-shelled predators attack and kill common brown snails, garden snails and slugs.

Gardens Alive! is one of the country's leading mail order companies dedicated to biological control of garden pests.

Integrated Pest Management is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices.  IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. 

Pottery & Planters

Garden Art specializes in custom cast GFRC (Flass Fiber-Reinforced Concrete) and Fiberglass Planter fabrication and importer of pottery.  They carry a wide selection of pottery designs and offer custom finishes.

Solar-Powered Products

Solar-powered birdbath fountains can be purchased from the following vendors: or Smart Solar.

Sustainable Landscapes

Elmer Avenue in Sun Valley, CA is the largest "Green Street" in Southern California.  Designed by Guy Stivers.  The street previously had significant flooding issues.  It now captures 16-acre feet of stormwater annually.


A list of High-Performance Guidelines and Rating Systems can be found on the Green Guide for Health Care (GGHC) website.

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environment quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.  Green building professionals can become LEED accredited by the Green Building Certification Institute.

The Sustainable Sites Initiative has created the first voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction, and maintenance practices.  Their reports are available online for free or hard copies can be ordered at cost.


Vermiculture and Composting

You can learn all about composting at How To Compost.

ENRECOS is a source for red worms, planting material, and vermiposting bins as well as worm castings and worm tea (the liquied that drains from the worm bedding and castings).  Worm tea is a natural white fly, aphid and spider mite repellant.


HighRises has an interesting website regarding urban composting.  Yes, you can composte in an apartment or condo! offers helpful information and videos on how to compost at home.

Nature's Footprint has sustainable products including self-watering planters, soil enhancers, and worm composters.


Water Conservation and Protection

Aquafornia - The California Water News Blog - is affiliated with the Water Education Foundation. Aquafornia covers all water news pertaining to California, including climate change, Colorado River basin issues, some Nevada water news, deslination, stormwater issues, press releases, commentaries, information from elected officials and some publicity events. Garden Spot: The Metropolitan Water District of Souther California and The Family of Southern California Water Agencies. Excellent California Friendly Gardening Guide and instructional videos. Information regarding classes and books. They also offer a watering calculator for customizing a watering schedule for your home.

City of Huntington Beach (HB), California Water Conservation website. Offers information on rebate programs, water saving tips and facts, water wise tree car, information on greywater, the source of HB water, water wise landscaping, waterwise plants and where to buy them, and a demonstration garden library.


The city of San Diego has a web page dedicated to water saving tips.


Information on the Clean Water Act can be found at LawShelf. is a helpful resource for ideas about how to conserve water.


The Daily Gardener offers 13 essential tips for saving water in your garden.

Global Water Challenge seeks to accelerate the delivery of safe water and sanitation through partnerships that catalyze financial support and innovation for sustainable solutions.


How to Save Water in an RV is a great resource for those of you who love to see the world in an RV!

The National Geographic website has a water footprint calculator. They have several links about water conservation and buying guides.

Home Intelligence offers a At-Home Guide To Water Conservation including water conservation facts and tips. This site also includes a section on Water Conservation for Kids.

Orange County Coastkeeper is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of the marine habitats and watersheds of Orange County through programs of advocacy, education, restoration, research, and enforcement. They work with business, developers, cities, elected officials and regulatory agencies to develop solutions to the problems of polluted urban runoff.


The Quiet Hut has information on How to Save Water in Daily Life.


Waterplex has a website with information regarding How to Save Water Around the House


Water pollution is a significant concern. has some excellent information.

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Stewardship requires the recognition that we are all caretakers of the environment and economy for the benefit of present and future generations. We must balance the impacts of today's decisions with the needs of future generations. - The Minnesota Round Table on Sustainable Development (1998)