Planet Earth: Our Loving Home
The Enchanted World of Native Gardens with Alrie Middlebrook    Part 1

HOST:  With climate change occurring at a rapid pace due to human activity, a worldwide loss of vertebrate species of more than 30 percent since 1970, and droughts and floods becoming increasingly commonplace across the planet, one of the very important steps an individual, family, corporation or community can take to help reverse these trends is to establish a native plant garden.  

Today we highlight the laudable work of Alrie Middlebrook, an artist and professional landscaper from Santa Clara County, California, USA whose deep love of indigenous plants and the environment led her to become one of the most prominent native plant experts in California. 

Her book, “Designing California Native Gardens,” which was co-authored with renowned field botanist Dr. Glenn Keator, has become the number one best-selling book on the topic.  

Ms. Middlebrook founded the California Native Garden Foundation, a charitable organization which provides information to people looking to design and create their own waterwise gardens with beautiful indigenous plants.  

Her landscape design firm, Middlebrook Gardens, has helped over 150 people, organizations and communities live more sustainably by aiding them in starting native plant gardens.

Middlebrook Gardens is a conservation-minded entity that has launched the “Lose the Lawn” initiative.
The project seeks to raise awareness that lawns are not environmentally-friendly and to encourage the public to replace their lawns with native garden landscapes as they are inexpensive, pesticide-free, require little water, and are low-maintenance. 

Ms. Middlebrook now gives us more details on her landscape design firm.

Ms. Middlebrook: Middlebrook Gardens is a sustainable garden company. The most important part of a sustainable garden company is that we grow and we help people, encourage people to grow native gardens because we want to restore habitat.

If we’re going to fight global warming the most significant thing we can do is to have less of an impact on nature and understand the natural world and restore that habitat in a home garden.
So that’s what we’re about. But we are also about other things as far as protecting the natural world. One of them is to protect watersheds and we want to keep all the rainfall that falls here on the property. We don’t want to divert it to the storm drain.

So if you look around you see all these surfaces where water can percolate through. When we first moved here this whole lot was covered with concrete.

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