It’s been said that once you have been away from home for a long time, you can never go back again, because the home you knew has changed and it will never be the same. This can also be said about California as it was for centuries before we humans invaded it and set about changing the land to suit our needs and desires. The plants and animals native to California are no longer the same as they used to be.
This blog is about an attempt to restore one tiny corner of California to a semblance of its former self. All non-native plants have been evicted and replaced with native plants that have evolved in the California environment. But with this important qualification — many of the plants are native to other parts of California, and others have been created by hybridi-zation. Nevertheless, they are still native Californians at heart!
But our world is constantly changing. And with the reality of global warming upon us, the imperative of evolution is to “Adapt or Perish”. Water has always been a limited resource in California. The plants that are native to California have adapted to that limitation, and so must we, like it or not. They use less water, and so must we. Learning what kind of plants are best suited to our neighborhoods is a step in the right direction. That is what the Granada Native Garden is about.
The Native Americans who originally inhabited this land depended entirely on it for their livelihood. And central to their existence was their dependence on the plant life that surrounded them — for food, medicine, tools, shelter, and even musical instruments, toys, games and articles of spiritual expression. A knowledge of this dependence translates into a greater appreciation of plants in our own lives.
And lastly, it is becoming increasingly known that exposure to nature is therapeutic. Spending some time in a garden such as this, surrounded by the sight and smells and variety and serenity of nature, can only help affect our perspective on life in a modern world so afflicted with stress and materialist distractions. Spend some time here, be alert to the different, natural world around you, and come away renewed in spirit!