The PMC Native Plant Garden: It’s History and Current Status

By Susan Amon, PMC Resident
Have you ever wondered about the Native Plan Garden located next to the baseball field?

Joe Ladin, PMCPOA’s newest Environmental Control officer, found the original drawings and proposals for PMC’s Native Plant Garden. According to these records, the plans were submitted to the Board of Directors in 1999 by Michael White, a board member. Some initial monies were granted by the Board to start the garden, and land was allocated near the baseball field. Its purpose was to offer a native plant site for residents and visitors to enjoy and also for educating people about native plants in our area. Mary Ann and James Lockhart, residents of PMC for 17 years, took over supervising the garden shortly after moving to PMC. For many years they maintained the garden with volunteers from the community. According to Mary Ann, the PMC Condor Group of the Sierra Club always ended their hikes at the garden so she and Jim could talk about the native plants. Mary Ann always joked that people thought native plants were weeds. Mary Ann is now living away from PMC after Jim died a several years ago.

For the past several years, Michelle Sandberg, a PMC resident, has supervised and maintained the garden with several volunteers. Michelle has suggested that the garden be renamed “Lockhart Native Plant Garden” in honor of Mary Ann and Jim. Our General Manager seems to be in agreement with her suggestion.

The garden is currently being refurbished with the help of several residents of PMC, including myself, Michelle Sandberg, Charlotte Halliday, Mike Ferri, Russell Rogers, Amy Miller, Suzanne Green and Annika Green. Pam De Vries, author of “A Field Guide to the Plants of the San Emigdio Mountain Region of California” and resident of PMC, is helping with the identification of the plants. So far, Pam has identified 31 different plants. Our volunteers usually meet on Sunday mornings to work at the garden. Volunteers have been working approximately three to four hours once a week since April to get the garden in shape for visitors. If you’re interested, please contact Michelle at the clubhouse (661-242 3788 X201).

Over the years, the garden has become overgrown with both native, non-native and invasive species of plants. The plant identification signs have all disappeared and the fencing is broken in various places. We hope to form a fundraising effort soon in order to get new plant signs, refurbish the old garden signs (two), order the Lockhart signs, get fencing material and order new plants. Let Michelle know if you would like to contribute to this effort.

Please come and visit the garden. It’s been a labor of love for many years and is a nice addition to our community. The garden is located across from the PMC entrance on Mil Portrero Highway. Look for the sign that reads “Native Plant Garden,” and enter through the pathway to the left of the sign.