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  • Jennifer Jewell


FOODSCAPING - with Brie Arthur. Photo courtesy of Brie Arthur, all rights reserved.


Welcome June!

This week, the third and final-for-now conversation in our series on the state of seed for native ecosystem restoration through the lens of California: seed identified, site-sourced, and grown for conservation & biodiversity support. The foundational level of seed – for scales large and small, and how it grows on from there is top of mind at the Theodore Payne Foundation in Southern California, an historic conservation icon in their region through their seed banking and native plant conservation, education, and community-based work.

The Theodore Payne Foundation is based on the traditional village of Wiqánga, the ancestral home of the Wiqánvitam who are now known as the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. Please forgive any recorded audio mispronunciations on my part.

I am joined in this by Executive Director Evan Meyer, Seed Program Manager Genevieve Arnold, and Horticulturist and California Native Plant Landscaper Certification instructor Alejandro Lemus to explore and celebrate more about the radical range of the Theodore Payne Foundation as it grows us (and our home and public gardens) into the future and normalizes the great joy of native plant landscapes.

Listen in! All photos courtesy of The Theodore Payne Foundation, All Rights Reserved.

You can follow Theodore Payne Foundation's native plant and seed education and conservation work on-line:

And on Instagram: @theodorepayne/

HERE IS THIS WEEK'S TRANSCRIPT by Doulos Transcription Service:

Cultivating Place - Payne - 06-01-23
Download PDF • 168KB


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JOIN US again next week, when the many joys of habitat gardening comes together around the 50th anniversary celebrations of the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife native plant gardening initiative. Since 1973 more than seven million people have gotten involved with NWF’s Garden for Wildlife™ - America's largest, longest-running movement dedicated to helping local wildlife and wild spaces.the oldest gardening for wildlife initiative in the country. Is your garden certified? No time like the present. Listen in!


Speaking of Plants and Place this week a tribute to one of the great summer foods for all kinds of wildlife including humans – the sunny summer sunflower!

Last week, Pat Reynolds of Heritage Growers referenced the regionally specific Bolander’s Sunflower – Helianthus bolanderi – also known as Serpentine Sunflower, a nod to its preferred location on California’s state rock: serpentine.

In the genus Helianthus, and the composite family Asteraceae, Serpentine Sunflower is described by Calscape and the Jepson Herbarium as: native to California and Oregon, where it grows mainly in mountainous areas, often in serpentine soils. Like the common sunflower Helianthus annuum and many of the more than 50 species of the genus, all but a few of which are native to Central and North America, Helianthus bolanderi has a hairy, rough stem with leaves lance- or oval-shaped, usually pointed, sometimes serrated along the edges.

While some sunflowers have single flower heads, Serpentine Sunflower (as do many other sunflowers) has clusters of one or more flower heads, and each plant may have many flower clusters growing along the full length of the stem. The flower head is composite made up of both ray and disc flowers in each flower head – each flower of which produces a lot of nector, pollen, and then seed for foraging insects and birds. The achene or shell containing the seed that humans and birds among others like to east is 3 to 5 millimeters long.

Just this one sunflower is thought to be host to up to 32 different moths and butterflies supporting their full life cycle in your habitat garden.

With more than 50 species to choose from for your garden across the U.S. – which ones native to your region will you invite into your summer garden fun?

They take little water but give lots of cheer in their colors, their visitors, and the long flowering time from late June/July through to the very end of summer and the early fall.


Cultivating Place is made possible in part by listeners like you and by generous support from

supporting initiatives that empower women and help preserve the planet through the intersection of environmental advocacy, social justice, and creativity.

Cultivating Place is also made possible through support from

Join the Conservancy for a recording of its latest pop-up webinar: “Connecticut Gardens: A Celebration of the State’s Historic Public and Private Gardens.” The program, hosted by award-winning photographer Caryn B. Davis, is based on her book by the same name. It takes you on a journey through the Constitution State’s enchanting gardens, exploring their rich histories and intriguing designs through breathtaking images from her book.

The recorded webinar is $5 for Conservancy members and $15 for non-members. Visit Garden Conservancy dot org for more information.



Thinking out loud this week:

Happy June to all of you in your glorious June gardens!

And now for your summer listening pleasure as you head to the beach, the cabin, the backyard – I figure if you’re a fan of this podcast, you will likely enjoy others as well – which are your favorite garden podcasts?

A couple of shout outs to new and interesting podcasts also focused as on this growing world of ours, including the Why Women Grow podcast, with a great episode with precious Cultivating Place guest Claire Ratinon.

Also, a little closer to my home, have you checked Pacific Horticulture’s Garden Futurist podcast? There’s a great new episode in conversation with Steve Buchmann about his newest book What a Bee Knows Exploring the Thoughts, Memories, and Personalities of Bees, which sounds perfect as we head toward national pollinator week in June.

And finally – The Theodore Payne Foundation's very own podcast:The Elements of a Garden, which centers around the foundations 50th anniversary native plant garden tour in 2023. The podcast looks at gardens on the tour and celebrates the hidden meaning within our gardens— how each element – water, earth, air, fire, and HEART - is nested within something larger: a seed, a plant, a garden, an ecosystem. In each episode, UCLA climate scientist and native plant gardener Dr. Alex Hall and TPF Executive Director Evan Meyer explore a single garden within the deeper context of environmental and cultural forces shaping our changing planet.

There are so many others too: long time favorites Away to Garden, and In Defense of Plants, and the Joe Gardener Show with Joe Lampl, The Plantastic Podcast with Jared Barnes (who is a hoot), and of course the houseplant focused On the Ledge with Jane Perrone and Growing Joy (used to be Bloom and Grow) with Maria Failla all ranking high up there. And of course for your summer flower fun, there’s several great flower podcasts including the Slow Flowers Podcast (helping you get ready for the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit in late June!)

I would love to hear from you about your favorite growing podcasts for this summer’s sounds – new and old. There are so many now – it is super hard for me to keep up! Do you feel that way!?

Add your suggestions to this week’s post on Instagram where you should be following me @cultivating_place.

See and hear you there!




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