Get Out Of Town!: Theodore Payne Foundation

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

It’s wildflower season in Southern California, and with the record-setting rainfall come prolific, colorful blooms from native plant species. While many flock to expansive fields of California poppies, sky lupine, golden yarrow, bush sunflowers, wild lilac and more at the Antelope Valley Poppy Fields or Walker Canyon near Lake Elsinore, the Verdugo Hills are also dotted with blooms. The Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley provides a local resource for viewing wildflowers and learning more about California native plants, year round.

With the Super Bloom in full effect, even weekdays are fairly busy at the Theodore Payne Foundation. We visited on a rainy day and enjoyed the easy hike up Wildflower Hill and browsing their seed catalogs and gift shop inside the education center. There’s also an outdoor classroom, picnic area, public restrooms and a good amount of parking on the small site.

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The helpful and knowledgeable people at the Foundation can tell you all about the many varieties of seeds they stock, and that fall is the best time to plant those seeds, for springtime blooms.

Lots of California native plants – flowers, grasses, bushes and trees – are available in the nursery, for immediate flowers and faster growth. California native plants are prized for their low water requirements and suitability for our more warm and arid climate.

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The outdoor demonstration garden helps people envision the mature growth of native plant species and gather ideas for drought-tolerant landscaping, that will also attract honeybees, butterflies, beneficial insects and birds.

Annually, the Theodore Payne Foundation holds a two-day native plant self-guided tour visiting several gardens throughout Los Angeles. The 16th annual tour takes place on April 6 and 7. More information and tickets are available at this link.

More information on the Theodore Payne Foundation and its Sun Valley nursery can be found here. It is truly a natural oasis in the heart of the San Fernando Valley.

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The Foundation and grounds are open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. year round, on Tuesday through Saturday during November 1 to June 30. From July 1 through October 31, they are open Thursday through Saturday.

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.