About CNGF

The California Native Garden Foundation is a non-profit educational, research, and resource organization that promotes gardening with California native plants. California Native Garden Foundation (CNGF) educates the public and design community on the value of native gardens through classes, field trips, garden tours, and publications.

The foundation offers grants and professional assistance to develop programs on ecology, garden design, plant identification, garden building, and garden management.

CNGF’s goal is to increase the popularity and use of California’s native plants in the designed landscape and to educate children and adults by incorporating eco-literacy lesson plans and urban food technology, and preserving, protecting and restoring native ecosystems.

Support CNGF with a Membership or Renewal

See the new membership categories. CNGF is giving back!

Watch the video!

Alrie Explains Native Gardens

Paul Holowko interviews Alrie Middlebrook.

As part of achieving our goal to build ELSEE, Middlebrook Gardens was recently designated as a Pilot Project for the Sustainable Sites Initiative. The designation was awarded based on the ELSEE plans we’ve talked about in this newsletter.

The Sustainable Sites Initiative is an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction, and maintenance practices.

The creation of these guidelines and benchmarks meshes perfectly with the ELSEE project, as sustainable land design, construction, and maintenance are all major factors.

The pilot project runs for two years. In 2013, the rating system for sustainable landscapes will be launched internationally. The accreditation will have four ranks, similar to the USGBC LEED rating, and will be based on 250 possible points.

The selected pilot projects will test and improve the rating system. At the end of the pilot project, it is our goal to achieve the highest point rating possible. CNGF/Middlebrook Gardens (ELSEE ‘s home) is one of 17 pilot projects in California.

We are thrilled to be selected and to represent the city of San Jose in serving as a pilot project.

Thank you in advance for joining us!

Alrie Middlebrook

Why Native Gardens?

Gardens comprised of beautiful native California plants have many advantages.



Red currant

Red currant

  • Natives are best adapted to the places we live and are more resistant to local fungal diseases and pest.
  • Natives save money by requiring less water, very little fertilizer, and a minimum of other maintenance chores.
  • Natives are diverse and display a wide range of sizes, growth patterns, cultural requirements, and flowers.
  • Natives create wildlife habitats because the local fauna, particularly the pollinators, are already adapted to live with and benefit by them.
  • Natives provide food for migrating birds and butterflies.
  • Natives are beautiful in the garden, showy with unique floral designs.
  • Natives create a sense of place unique to the area in which you live.
  • Natives can recreate natural ecosystems, discouraging invasive species.
Garden in Middlebrook Center

In Middlebrook Center

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply