August is a slow time in most nurseries. Nursery tenders just try to give plants a bit of shade and enough water to stay properly hydrated. But not at the Hahamongna Nursery. Nick Hummingbird and ASF's erstwhile crew of volunteers have been collecting seeds and cuttings and planting them in flats and pots to get ready for the big habitat restoration program that is a central feature of the Arroyo Seco Canyon Project.
Nick Hummingbird is the Hahamongna Nursery Manager. Nick has worked on the Channel Islands doing large-scale habitat restoration with the National Park Service and also received training from Theodore Payne Foundation and Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden in Claremont.
Hahamongna Nursery now has 48 native species under cultivation. Seeds are the best way to propagate many of the plants. Here volunteers are carefully planting seeds into pots to get them started.
Nick is a great teacher, explaining patiently the tricks of seed progatation and the special character of the plants involved.
The nursery beds are quickly filling up the the trees and plants that will be used to restore the Arroyo Seco stream zone half a mile up into the Canyon beyond the JPL bridge.
Here are some of the local oaks (quercus agrifolia) that are now in five gallon pots for eventual planting.
Clem Tsang shows off a cholla plant that he has potted. Be careful of those stickers!
Here's the volunteer crew planting more chollas for the Arroyo.
Nursery Manager Nick invites anyone who's interested to get involved. Send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will let you know when the next volunteer session is. Then come on up to the nursery on the back of the old US Forest Service station that is now part of the Hahamongna Annex just south of JPL. You will have fun and learn a lot! It's very fulfilling.
Pictures by Lisa Novick of Theodore Payne Foundation