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March 4, 2011 > Gardening for wildlife

Gardening for wildlife

By Meenu Gupta
Photos By Courtesy of Radhika Thekkath

From spreading oak trees to blooming azaleas, California is home to a vast array of beautiful native plants. Landscape designer Radhika Thekkath will visit Fremont next week to share her love of these living decorations and discuss how you can use California native plants with color, texture and curb appeal to attract birds, butterflies and beneficial insects. Spring is here and your garden, large or small, is calling,

Radhika Thekkath is currently on the Executive Board of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of California Native Plant Society (CNPS) and a Steering Committee member of the Gardening with Natives (GWN) group that sponsors talks at regional libraries. She is eager to help others create ecologically friendly urban and suburban gardens with native plants. "I am especially interested in providing help to replace water-thirsty and chemical-laden lawns with gardens that provide habitat for local fauna such as birds, insects, and butterflies," said Thekkath.

An avid gardener, Thekkath says, "I have always been very interested in gardening, even as a child. I learned to love plants at an early age from my mother who taught me how to grow edibles, graft, and grow plants from seeds and cuttings." She adds, "My special interest in California natives comes from learning to love the native wildflowers in the Spring when hiking the hills of the Bay Area as well as in the Yosemite area."

Activities of CNPS have taught Thekkath about the ecological benefits of using native plants. She says, "I became an ardent convert." Edible and medicinal uses of native plants are of special interest to her and her own garden has been converted from lawn to a native meadow. With the advent of spring, plants are set to show their best displays; a time to remember those with roots deep in California soil.

Beginning and advanced gardeners are welcome.

Gardening for Wildlife
Tuesday, March 8
7 p.m.
Fremont Main Library
2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont
(510) 745-1421

Visit for native plant information and resources

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