Monday, September 12, 2016

THE THEODORE PAYNE FOUNDATION AND NURSERY





This week's arts and culture column is about the wonderful Theodore Payne Foundation and Nursery, nerve center of all things California native plants-related.


Here's how it begins:

“Be a good Californian; be loyal to your own state and keep your landscape Californian, by planting trees from California.”

—Theodore Payne

The Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants, off the 210 in Sun Valley, is a nonprofit education center and retail nursery offering California native plants and seeds.

Theodore Payne (1873-1963) was born in England, moved to California in 1893, worked for a time as head gardener for the renowned Madame Modjeska in Orange County, and in 1903, opened his first nursery and seed store in Downtown Los Angeles. In 1906, he opened his second store, and in 1922, he moved to 10 acres on Los Feliz Boulevard in Atwater Village across from what is now the Tam O’Shanter restaurant and lounge.

By all accounts, a classy, gentle man, Payne introduced more than 430 native plants into cultivation. He also helped to develop many Southern California private landscapes, as well as public gardens, including a short-lived, five-acre “Wild Garden” in what is now Exposition Park; Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge; and the Rancho Santa Ana (now in Claremont) and Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens.


READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE. 


THE AMAZING CALIFORNIA NATIVE
MATILIJA POPPY



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