2202 S. Coast Highway Oceanside, CA 92054

Native Plant Club

We exist to support the cultivation and enjoyment of Native Plants within northwest San Diego County and to provide community education on the benefits of Native Plants.

About Us

The Buena Vista Native Plant Club was formed to support a $70,000 grant that was given to the City of Oceanside and the Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center. The grant is funded by the Metropolitan Water District, which is promoting lower water use through native and drought tolerant landscaping. The City, Audubon, and  the Fish&Game Department joined forces for an opportunity to showcase natives as the landscape of choice. The site has been divided into 4 main gardens: two were designed and installed by the The Buena Vista Native Plant Club (us!) and two were designed and installed by the City. Overall, it has been a very collaborative effort.

The Buena Vista Native Plant Club is now a recognized resource for north county native plant gardeners. We continue to meet on the 3rd Sunday of the month at the Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center, 2202 S. Coast Hwy, Oceanside.

Interested in Joining Us?

We have events every month and we would love for you to join us!

What is a Native Plant Garden?

BV nature trail dec 2015 S MartinOur coastal hillsides are covered with plants that some people call weeds, but anyone who takes time to learn about these "weeds" soon finds a vast number of attractive and interesting native species that would make great additions to their gardens.  San Diego Coastal Sage Scrub rivals the rainforest for the diversity of plant and animal life!

The BVAS native plant garden is a small scale demonstration habitat that showcases these native species and increases our understanding of the world as we observe the web of life in action.

Native plants are those plants that have evolved here, not those introduced by man.  When a plant has been introduced within the past few hundred years, the necessary adaptations haven't had time to occur.  Often native species are lost as the new plant takes over.  Pampas grass is an example of an introduced plant. It does not provide food or shelter and has destroyed native areas.

Isn't it Hard to Maintain?

Native plant gardens are easier to maintain than ornamental gardens once you understand them.  The plants rest during Summer/Fall and grow in Winter. If native plants are watered in the late summer, the dormant season is interrupted and harmful bugs and microbes continue to multiply.  It is best to let the garden dry out for one month during August.  The growing season starts with the rains in October.  Pruning is twice a year in January and August.

Recommended Reading

The California Landscape Garden:
By Mark Fransis and Andreas Reiman

Growing California Native Plants:
By Marjorie Schmidt

Roadside Plants of Southern California:
By Thomas J. Belzer

Southern California Native Plant  for School Gardens:
By Betsy Landis

California's Changing Landscape:
By Barbour et.al.


Additional Reference Sources

For more information, the following links will guide you in the right directions...

California Native Plant Club

San Diego chapter of CNPS

Moosa Creek Nursery

Tree of Life Nursery

California Invasive Plant Council

Las Pilitas Nursery

Want to Donate Equipment?

Have extra gardening supplies that you don't need anymore? We would love to have it! Here is what we need:

  • Hand trowels (huge need)
  • Shovels
  • Rakes
  • Wheel barrow
  • Push broom
  • New hoses
  • Buckets that don't leak

Please only donate tools that are nearly new or "gently used"

Nature Center Garden

What is in the garden?

The Nature Center garden is made up of 3 zones. The street frontage of the building is intended to show a large scale native landscape that simulates a riparian scene. The entrance to the building is surrounded by a specimen garden that showcases various plants. The back patio area demonstrates a smaller "condo" garden.

Directly adjacent to the lagoon, plants are selected more for compatibility with the lagoon ecosystem. This area is more of a habitat than a garden."

Additional Plants

Big Mesa Sage Salvia
California Fuschia Zauchneria septentrionalis
Checkers Sidalcea neomexicana
Live Forever Dudleya pulverulenta
Mallow Malacothamnus fasciculatus

Manzanita Arctostphylus densiflora "Harmony"
Matilija Poppy Romneya Coulteri
Sagebrush Artemisia californica "Canyon Grey"
Sagebrush (taller) Artemisia californica

Need Professional Help?

Here is contact info for the native plant landscape designers who volunteered at our native plant tour. Everyone on this list is well known and very capable with native plants.

Greg Rubin and Jeremy Sisson
California's Own Native Landscape Design
(760) 746-6870

Morgan Vondrak
Argia Designs

Wes Hudson
North Park Native Plants

Nathan Smith Landscape Design
315 S. Coast Hwy 101 Suite U #48
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 707 7089

Additional Designers:

Kay Stewart
Landscape Architect
858 234 2668

Brad Burkhart
Burkhart Environmental Consulting
619 521-0303

Clayton Tschudy
San Diego

Dave Buchanan
Ocean Sage Landscaping Encinitas
760-942 9254

Interested in Volunteering?

Volunteers are the heart of BVAS and are what makes our nature center and programs so meaningful and loved in the community! Popular volunteer positions include: hosting at the nature center, teaching elementary school groups about nature, and helping plan special events. The list goes on, with unlimited possibilities, so contact us today to get involved!

Our Mission

Conservation Through Education, Advocacy, Land Management, and Monitoring

Mailing Address

Buena Vista Audubon
PO Box 480
Oceanside, CA 92049

Nature Center

2202 S. Coast Highway
Oceanside, CA 92054



Sunday 1-4pm
Tuesday 10 am-4 pm
Wednesday 10 am-4 pm
Thursday 10 am-4 pm
Friday 10 am-4 pm
Saturday 10 am-4 pm

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