The soil is a fickle mistress. She’ll suffocate under California’s bumper crop of concrete and asphalt, that much we all know. But if you’re looking to lift her spirits with saplings and hedgerows in your side yard, merely planting whatever green thing strikes your fancy won’t do. Invasive species like eucalyptus trees smell nice, but any survivor of the Oakland Hills fire will tell you the East Bay’s microclimates will find a way to reject anything except the drought-resistant, native plants they’re used to. The volunteers at the Native Here nursery are here to play matchmaker. They’ve organized their fifteen thousand starter plants not just by region, but all the way down to individual neighborhoods from Oakland to Concord, and can tell you exactly which shrubs, grasses, or trees will perfectly interact with your block’s biome. The nursery is open only on Fridays and Saturdays, as it’s an all-volunteer effort by the California Native Plant Society. But if you want to satisfy that special soily something in your life, do your research. She’ll treat you right in the end.