Sep 17, 2004
Armstrong Garden Centers Will Feature California Native PlantsSource: North County Times

After a more than two years of working together with the Metropolitan Water District in Southern California, Armstrong Garden Centers in California has agreed to introduce native California Plants in October that, according to the North County Times, “most gardeners and homeowners have probably never seen before.”

According to the North County Times “Armstrong Garden Centers has agreed to become the first retail nursery chain to feature a line of native plants – shrubs, trees and flowers – that are not only beautiful but that could drastically cut regional water consumption.”

There are a number of plants that are native to California that are not in garden centers in the state. One of the reasons is that many of them do not require a lot of water, and garden centers tend to over water the plants causing them to be killed easily, according to the North County Times.

This new method is part of the plan that California has put into effect to try to conserve more water in the state. Some of the more noticeable things are the things that have been done to conserve indoor water use by using low-pressure showerheads, toilet and clothes washers. However, according to the North County Times, water officials say that they have not done much in the way of conserving water outdoors, where a lot of the annual water percentage is used up every day.

Currently there are not very many garden centers in Southern California that carry these native plants, and the ones that do carry a very small supply and variety, aside from the nurseries that solely sell native plants, (there are not many of those either).

According to the North County Times, “Metropolitan officials, who started a ‘grow native plants’ campaign two years ago, said they hope Armstrong’s decision could prompt other big home improvement stores, Home Depot and Lowe’s specifically, to also carry large native plant inventories. They said that making native plants readily available to the public could start a cultural “landscaping revolution” that could drastically cut water use in Southern California and restore the state’s natural habitat.”

The garden center chain is planning to start off small to see how the program will workout. In October Armstrong’s will start carrying about 25 different types of plants and will expand gradually from there, according to the North County Times. Armstrong has 34 nurseries in Southern California, including stores in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar, Oceanside, Mission Valley and El Cajon.

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