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David and his kids play in their wild yard.

Podcast: Wild Yards with David Newsom

This week on the Gardenerd Tip of the Week Podcast, we explore native habitats and landscapes with David Newsom of Wild Yards Project. David is an amateur native plant enthusiast but you’d never know it when you see his garden. He and his wife transformed a dead, flat landscape into a thriving garden teeming with wildlife.

During our chat, David shares some of his favorite California natives (and some from his time in the Northeast). We talk about killing plants, survival of the fittest, and never giving up.

David Newsom
David and his kids play in their wild yard.

Listen to the Podcast Here

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Wild Yards Project uses storytelling to teach the benefits of native landscapes and habitats. David has over 30 years experience in television, film, and photography, so it was a natural progression to incorporate that skill set into his passion.


Visit Wild Yards Project to learn more about how to get started

Find a native plant society near you

Some of David’s favorite California natives he mentioned during our conversation:

Catalina current – Ribes viburnifolium

ToyonHeteromeles arbutifolia

Black sageSalvia mellifera

California fuchsiaZauschneria californica (now Epilobium canum)

Sticky Monkey FlowerMimulus aurantiacus (now Diplacus aurantiacus)

California buckwheats – assorted varieties available

Penstemon – many types lend color to a native garden

Heuchera – AKA Coral bells

Find other natives for your area with resources listed at Wild Yards here

Alligator lizard wild yards
An alligator lizard scurries around David’s wild yard.

If you missed our podcast with Doug Tallamy (David references his work in our conversation) check it out here.

And check out the book David mentioned, A New Garden Ethic by Ben Vogt

Get out there and plant some natives this fall. It’s the best time to install perennials. They will jump in spring as your new wild yard grows in.

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