There are even suggestions on how to create and prune 'Bonsai' plants. Plenty of 'before and after' illustrations really help you decide the how, what, when, and where of pruning. Sunset Western Landscaping - Landscaping is one of the best investments one can make when owning their own home. In fact, it is estimated that good landscaping can increase the value of one's home by as much as 12 to 21 percent.
Here's a book that outlines some ideas on design; special situations; hardscaping; construction of structures; water features and much, much more. The photographs provide plenty of visual ideas from home gardens in many areas of the West. Planting a new lawn?
Wondering which ground covers to use in your garden. Here's a very informative book to help you solve your lawn and ground cover problems.
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Photographs show basic disease; weeds and maintenance problems and the authors give suggestions on how to improve and correct them. Excellent information is provided on the various varieties of lawn grasses and ground covers. In addition, there is information on how to install an irrigation system. All About Vegetables by Walter L.
Doty - Here's a great reference for growing your own vegetables. Packed with ideas from seeding to harvesting. Soil preparation; location; planting; varieties; care and harvesting are all discussed at a level even the beginner can understand. A 'must' for the average home vegetable gardener. If you live in the northwest or plan on visiting the area and are interested in gardening this is the book for you.
It's a marvelous directory of public gardens; nurseries; emporiums; and all kinds of help for gardeners. Over pages, full of valuable northwest gardening information. Here's a concise, informative book listing the best plants to use under varying exposures; soil conditions and unusual planting circumstances.
If you have soggy soil, dry soil, windy spots, or need plants for special areas, this book contains over lists of trees, shrubs, and flowers that meet specific garden needs. A very handy reference book, that could be adapted to any part of North America. Learn how to keep many of your perennials flowering most of the summer. Special tips on planting and pruning techniques. Ideas on how to produce more flowers, encourage lush new growth, discourage pests, stagger bloom times and maintain vigorous health.
Handy month-by-month planting and maintenance schedule. A 'must' for anyone that enjoys growing perennials in their garden. Adaptable to many parts of the United States, this informative book covers all phases of gardening in an easy to understand read format. Special tips on each topic are highlighted for easy reference. Here are the answers to your questions about lawns, vegetable gardening; growing annuals, perennials and other pertinent every day garden problems.
Making Gardens by Patrick Taylor - An outstanding new book and essential guide to planning and planting. Nicely illustrated with easy to follow landscape plant plans and colorful photographs, gives the reader a before and after perspective. Numerous ideas on various styles of landscape plantings. If you're doing your own landscaping or are looking for ideas to share with a designer or landscape architect that is drawing-up your plan, you will find this a very handy idea book. Gardening with Climbers by Christopher Grey-Wilson and Victoria Matthews -A comprehensive directory describing many of the best climbers, for use in the home garden.
Need ideas on how to plant, train, support, prune and care for vines? Glorious color photographs show the many climbing species suitable for growing in your garden. A great guide to choosing the right vine or climber for the right spot in your garden. Here's an excellent guide to providing garden color from January to December. Perennials and shrubs are the focus of this colorful reference guide.
Detailed information on each species and valuable cultural information is featured on every page. A page gem! If you like camellias, you'll love this book. There are over 1, illustrated entries in this book. Including the major species: Sasanquas, japonicas, Higos and reticulatas. In addition, an entire chapter is devoted to the cultivation of camellias.
A great 'coffee table' book. The Plantfinder's Guide to Ornamental Grasses by Roger Grounds - Here's a wide-ranging and thorough exploration of grasses from their history and biology through to plant selection and garden uses. The author separates grasses with colorful leaves and the flowering grasses. Other Pacific Northwest trillium Trillium albidum occurs in most parts of western Oregon, as well as Thurston, Pierce and Lewis counties in Washington, and much of northern California. As always, only buy natives from reputable nurseries and never dig plants from the wild.
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Flowers in January? You bet. Due to their timing and structure, they are pollinated by wind, not insects. In autumn they turn a glowing yellow or gold. Wildlife value Many wild species eat and disperse the nuts. Rabbits and deer eat leaves and sprouts. Cover is provided for many species of birds, as well as mammals. Useful for erosion control on slopes, it will eventually form a thicket. Suckers may be removed in winter during dormancy to form more of a treelike form, but the habitat created by thickets favors many wild animals, especially birds seeking cover, so consider just leaving it to its natural form.
Mature size varies from 10 feet to 20 feet tall, possibly more with advanced age. Spread is typically 10 to 20 feet, but usually on the lower end in garden situations. Since chipmunks, jays and squirrels love the nuts, I suggest you grow as many of these charming shrubs as possible especially if you want to have the chance to taste them yourself!
Growing more than one shrub also increases pollination, which leads to more nuts per plant. Space them 10 to 20 feet apart on the low end if you want some density. Though this shrub is quite drought tolerant when established 2 to 5 years , water it deeply but infrequently in the hot summer months thereafter, especially if your site receives a lot of sun or reflected heat. Grab a partner Because California hazelnut grows in a variety of plant communities, it gets along well with many other species.
Choose partners that would have likely grown in your area. It also occurs in parts of Europe. Some birds may use the leaves as nesting material. Since they grow to about two feet tall and wide, space them about two feet apart. Deer fern is a good sub for nonnative invasive plants such as English ivy Hedera helix and bittersweet nightshade Solanum dulcamara. In my backyard, deer fern mingles with maidenhair fern, piggy-back plant, and red-twig dogwood, all under the watchful eye of a youthful western redcedar. It thrives with native conifers, and in the Pacific Northwest they may include western redcedar Thuja plicata , western hemlock Tsuga heterophylla , Douglas-fir Pseudotsuga menziesii , grand fir Abies grandis , noble fir Abies procera , Sitka spruce Picea sitchensis , and coastal redwood Sequoia sempervirens , depending on the location.
Red-twig dogwood is one of those multitalented shrubs that grows in a variety of moist habitats and keeps us enthralled year round. Also known as red osier dogwood and creek dogwood among other common names , it is a multi-stemmed, deciduous, long-lived and fairly fast-growing shrub that develops into an open, somewhat rounded thicket.
Its common name comes from signature reddish stems which become brightest in winter. Cornus stolonifera. How it grows Red-twig dogwood has a large range—from Alaska and northern Canada from coast to coast, and as far south as Virginia in the east and Chihuahua, Mexico in the west, at low to middle elevations. There are two subspecies: C. Differences are miminal, with the latter having slightly larger flower petals and fuzzier leaves and shoots. Wildlife value Red-twig dogwood is important for providing diverse structure, cover, nesting habitat, and a variety of edibles for insects, mammals, amphibians, and a large number of bird species.
Allow future leaves to stay where they fall. And, allowing for a dry period at the end of summer is actually a good and natural thing as long as the plant looks healthy , since a bit of drought prepares the plant for winter. For best ecological and gardening results, choose associated native plants that live in communities that currently grow or likely would have grown in your immediate area.
The genus Asarum has about 17 species found in North America, China, and Europe; the name is the Latin form of the Greek asaron , of obscure origin. And what a flower! How it grows Western wild ginger is an often overlooked but ubiquitous member of various forest communities at low to middle elevations, from British Columbia south to California, and as far east as western Montana. The available literature suggests that while wild ginger is not an early colonizer in the process of succession a.
They will do best with established native trees that offer protection and other rewards. Optimal growing conditions include shade to part shade and moist, rich soil. Plant it in the fall for best results. Besides having beautiful, soft green leaves that are often divided into 3 leaflets, its sprays of delicate flowers—of the palest pink—bloom on leafy stems for an amazingly long time: from May to as late as September.
How it grows This charming plant can be found in damp, shady forests, and near streams. There are three varieties: Tiarella trifoliata var. The other North American foamflower is T. Tiarella trifoliata var. Foliage provides cover for very small creatures and protects the soil. Plant this gem in the fall for best results. Grab a partner Grow foam flower with associated species such as Douglas-fir, western hemlock, western redcedar, vine maple, serviceberry, oceanspray, thimbleberry, sword fern, salal, Cascade Oregon grape, inside-out flower, oxalis , and many others.
In late spring to early summer, creamy white flowers—sometimes with a pale pink blush—show up in flat-topped clusters, from 2 to 5 inches wide. With occasional deep summer watering, it will sometimes bloom during late summer and even autumn. And as the flowers mature they offer lovely, although fairly inconspicuous, golden brown seed heads that continue to captivate. How it grows White spiraea naturally occurs in parts of western Canada, Washington and Oregon, and as far east as Minnesota.
It grows along streams and lakes, in mountain grasslands and on the slopes of forests especially rocky ones both east and west of the Cascades, from sea level up to about 4, feet, although it can be found at higher elevations in moist forests. A restoration project in Montana found that the plants did much better on east or south-facing slopes, rather than west-facing slopes that get scorching afternoon sun.
At the Portland community garden where I rent a plot for growing veggies, white spiraea was planted before I acquired my plot in native beds that border the garden. Grab a partner Grow white spiraea with associated species that naturally occur in your area to help provide an eco-functional space for wildlife. It naturally occurs within Douglas-fir, grand fir, ponderosa pine, and lodgepole pine communities. Though shrubs and perennials in those communities are far too numerous to list here, consider serviceberry Amelanchier alnifolia , red-twig dogwood Cornus sericea , blue elderberry Sambucus nigra ssp.
Growing from a woody crown, it has sharply divided, oval, deep green leaves with hairy, silver undersides and somewhat erect inflorescences with bright to pale yellow five-petaled flowers that bloom from early to late summer. Both occur mainly in the western U. There are many other species of Potentilla, but P. Wildlife value Native bees , butterflies , syrphid flies, and other beneficial insects are attracted to the flowers. It is not attractive to deer. You can also grow native cinquefoil in a container, but be sure it gets enough moisture.
Associated species include Cascara and Oregon ash trees, and perennials such as checker mallow, Oregon iris, native lupines, and other moisture loving plants.
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I finally managed to take out a very large hosta plant in my front yard. With compound, pointy, toothed leaves that have a lovely texture all their own, this plant is particularly fetching in springtime when its leaves are new.
The main show begins In early to mid-summer, when tall, feathery plumes composed of tiny, creamy-white flowers rise above the foliage. Small birds may eat the seeds, so leave the spent flowers to overwinter. Grow it with associates those that naturally grow together and depend on each other , including Douglas-fir, western hemlock, western red cedar, vine maple, deer fern , maidenhair fern, inside-out flower, wild ginger , and western trillium.
Plan ahead and place this medium-sized deciduous shrub where its fragrance can be noticed. In late spring, flowering shoots appear, followed by vegetative growth. Rich green, egg-shaped leaves roughly three inches long grow in pairs along its stems. At the tips of branches, multiple clusters of white, four-petalled blossoms adorned with soft yellow stamens emerge in late spring or early summer, sparkling against the leafy green backdrop.
Other pollinators attracted to scent include bees, but also syrphid flies aka flower flies , which particularly like white and yellow flowers. It also provides twiggy cover year round. Try it at home Mock orange is easy to grow. Growing along creeks and seeps and forest edges, on hillsides, and within chaparral and pine and fir communities, it associates with species such as Douglas-fir, oceanspray, ninebark, Indian plum, baldhip rose, tall Oregon grape, and others.
Try it as a member of a multi-species unclipped hedgerow if space allows. To stimulate flowering on older shrubs, cut back flowered growth to strong young shoots, cutting out up to 20 percent of aging stems near their base. Plants, the primary producers on this planet, belong to irreplaceable, intricate ancient ecosystems, within which they support and depend on other species—both flora and fauna— to survive. This post honors one of my favorite Pacific Northwest natives whose gifts are mammoth.
Studies show that the genus Quercus hosts more caterpillars and other insect life than any other genus in the northern hemisphere. This proficiency is especially important during breeding season, when the vast majority of landbirds consume and feed their young highly nutritious insects or their larvae, and spiders—not seeds or fruit.
Other studies show a higher diversity of bird species in oak forests than in nearby conifer forests. Like other native foundation tree species, Oregon white oak peacefully regulates ecosystem processes like nutrient cycling and energy flow, creating benefits to wildlife and the rest of us that seem endless. In addition, cover, perches, and nesting habitat go to birds such as woodpeckers and vireos, as well as native squirrels. Fallen leaves , which might provide habitat for arthropods, amphibians and reptiles, slowly break down into a rich leaf mold that supports soil-dwelling invertebrates and numerous fungi that allow neighboring plants to thrive.
Sugars and carbon are provided for mycorrhizal fungi, which reciprocate with nutrients for growing trees and contribute to the soil carbon pool. Intact bark creates microhabitat for mosses, as well as lichens that supply food, shelter, and nesting material, while loose bark and twigs contribute to nest building as well as browse for deer, which in turn feed carnivores like cougars. And as oaks deteriorate with advanced age which can be years , they continue to deliver. Dead trees can last many years as snags, which provide food, nesting material, and housing to cavity nesters like owls, kestrels, and chickadees, as well as bats who may roost in old holes or under loose bark.
How it grows Elevation, climate, soil, and water persuade Oregon white oak to vary immensely in habit and size. When it occurs on gravelly sites or rocky slopes with thin soils, it often has a shrub-like or scrubby habit. Along the blustery Columbia River Gorge, where it grows with little rainfall and atop hundreds of feet of layered basalt, harshly battered trees grow gnarled and hang on thanks to an extensive and strong root system. But within the richer, deeper, riparian soils amongst tapestries of dazzling wildflowers and grasses in the Georgia Basin-Puget Trough-Willamette Valley ecoregion of British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, it may act as a keystone structure, typically growing a very broad canopy, and reaching heights up to feet over hundreds of years.
The ecoregion includes savannas grassland with trees scattered at least feet apart , upland prairies another type of grassland , wet prairies, and shady oak woodlands with a continuous or semi-open canopy. The historic range of Q. Marshes and sloughs developed during high water periods but often dried out by late summer. At higher elevations within these forest corridors were oak and associated trees. Oak woodlands stood on low hills above the valley floors, surrounded by grasslands, also known as savanna. But the landscape was not untouched or pristine. Since Euro-American settlement, as much as 99 percent of the original prairie-oak communities that were present in parts of the Pacific Northwest have been lost and many rare species dependent on them are at risk of extinction.
Extensive destruction and fragmentation began with settlement in the s, with clearing, plowing, livestock grazing, wildfire suppression, and cutting of trees for firewood and manufacturing. Prairie wetlands bejeweled with wildflowers were drained and ditched. Later, subsidies to ranchers encouraged more destructive grazing, while urban sprawl and agricultural use—fueled by human population increase—intensified. Invasion of nonnative species , and the encroachment of shade tolerant and faster growing species—that proliferate with fire suppression—outcompeted oaks and decimated additional native flora and fauna.
Prairie-oak ecosystems and associated systems still continue to disappear at human hands, and isolation of the tiny remaining fragments prevents the migration of wildlife and healthy genetic material from one area to another. Other detrimental factors include diseases and parasites, climate change, and the loss of wildlife that cache acorns and perform other functions.
Regeneration of oak seedlings is essential, but is often difficult. Acorns look tough, but they are viable for only about a year and may be subject to parasitism, weather extremes, and genetic isolation. Consequently, just a small percentage become trees. Two independent studies determined that oak seedlings do best when caged, but protection from other deterrents—drought, competing plants, and rodents—is important, depending on location. Try it at home While the maintenance of only fragments of a past ecosystem is a poor alternative to former richness, if you live in the ecoregion or other impoverished oak-dominated ecosystem and want to help, choose this native tree.
Even a single isolated tree can be a critical habitat structure on the landscape. An Oregon white oak tree needs a mostly sunny, well-drained site that can accommodate its eventual size feet wide, depending on spacing.
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When planting more than one, space trees 20 to 60 feet apart, using the closest spacing only in dry, rocky terrain. To maintain genetic integrity , always choose trees or seeds that originated from trees close to your location and from similar terrain. For best results, plant dormant saplings in late fall after rains begin. After watering, apply about three inches of an organic mulch to reduce evaporation and keep weeds that can steal water and nutrients down.
Though this species is drought tolerant, provide ample summer water, deeply and infrequently, until established. If severe heat and prolonged droughts appear to be stressing a young tree, provide more water. After the first few years it may do fine on its own, but do water it deeply if it appears to be drought stressed. Keep in mind that soil compaction, lawns and irrigation systems around water-sensitive oaks are a major cause of their decline in residential areas.
Here is more info on how to plant Oregon white oak. Grab a partner As with other native species, oaks will function best when grown within a habitat and community type that consists of plants that evolved together and need the same conditions. For shrubs, consider california hazelnut Corylus cornuta var. Sword ferns Polystichum munitum , orange or pink honeysuckle Lonicera ciliosa or L. Then—when you least expect it—bright green, featherlike fronds to about 12 inches gradually appear to help brighten the landscape all winter long. Modern herbalists use it for similar purposes.
Disjunct populations in Idaho and Arizona are listed as imperiled. I also placed some logs leftover from fruit tree prunings under or immediately next to those without the company of rocks. Its short stature makes it a lovely addition to nooks and crannies of stone walls, as well as a candidate for creeping through a mostly shaded rock garden.
As always, buy all native plants from reputable nurseries and never harvest from the wild. Or, rescue them from doomed situations, preferably at a time that will benefit the transition. Plan ahead for hungry native pollinators who need early-flowering plants like red-flowering currant to survive. April showers may bring May flowers , but what about providing forage for hungry pollinators that need food earlier in the year? Get new shrubs in the ground soon—so the plants benefit from winter rains, and to ensure that you have the early part of a continuous succession of flowers covered.
All would do well planted in unpruned hedgerows. Scouler willow Salix scouleriana : A fast-growing deciduous shrub or small tree. Male and female flowers are on different plants, so grow both for seeds. Scouler willow is a larval host plant for several butterfly species.
Does not tolerate full shade. Prefers moist soil. Bluish-green leaves turn gold to reddish in autumn. Larval host plant for several butterfly species. Needs well-drained soil with adequate organic matter. Tolerates full sun in cool areas. Red-flowering currant Ribes sanguineum : An upright, deciduous shrub with nearly year-round appeal. Gorgeous, pendulous flower clusters pictured, top that bloom in early spring are followed by powder-blue berries. Leaves turn golden in late autumn. Larval host plant for butterfly larvae. Controls erosion.
Tall Oregon grape Mahonia aquifolium : A handsome, multitalented evergreen shrub with an upright growth habit. Bursts into flower brilliantly in early to mid-spring, for a long period. Tolerates acidic soils. It is pollinated by wind, not animals. After planting Add a few inches of organic matter as mulch around the shrub but keep away from trunk to insulate, keep weeds down, and add nutrients.
Fallen leaves work well, as does weed-free compost. Later on, simply allow fallen leaves to remain on soil to provide habitat and nutrients. Or how much they brighten your garden on drab winter days? Scientists know that bees are dying for a variety of reasons —pesticides, habitat destruction, drought, climate change, nutrition deficit, air pollution, and so on, which makes us the obvious perpetrator. Below are some native perennials and one shrub that offer food for pollinators from mid or late summer to fall in the Pacific Northwest, west of the Cascades.
There are more candidates, but I chose these species because they naturally occur in fairly large parts of the region, are generally easy to grow, and are not too hard to find at nurseries although you will likely have to call around for availability. As always, plan ahead and choose species that fit your light, moisture, and soil conditions, but also choose those that are appropriate to the natural landscape—that is, look to nearby natural areas, and add flora that would likely have grown in your area historically, if possible.
Sun to part sun. Not fussy about soil; moist or dry. Spreads by rhizomes or seed. Flat-topped clusters of white, fragrant flowers pictured below bloom through late summer. Not to be confused with the Eurasian Achillea millefolium var. Sun to part shade. Likes moist soil with good drainage, but can tolerate drought once established. Pure white flowers are often used in dried flower arrangements. Besides providing nectar, it is a host plant for painted lady and skipper butterflies. Tolerates poor soils but needs good drainage and is drought tolerant. Excellent wildlife habitat plant but is deer resistant.
Moist to dry, well-drained soil, preferably with a good amount of organic matter. Spreads slowly by rhizomes or seed. Bell-shaped, bluish violet flowers typically bloom through late summer. Sun to light shade. Tolerates a variety of well-drained soils; drought tolerant when established. Spreads by seed.
Colorful yellow and reddish orange flowers bloom well into fall, especially when dead-headed. Deer resistant. Tolerates wide range of soils; prefers moisture but tolerates drought when established. Bright gold, fragrant inflorescences typically bloom well into fall. Does best in moist soil that is rich in organic matter. Spreads slowly by rhizomes. Lavender-blue daisylike flowers bloom until mid fall. But bees and other pollinators are in terrible trouble worldwide due to our presence and actions. Below are some Pacific Northwest native herbaceous perennials and shrubs that offer food for pollinators from early to mid or late summer in the Pacific Northwest, west of the Cascades.
Not fussy about soil; moist or dry will spread faster with more moisture. Flat-topped clusters of white, fragrant flowers bloom nearly all summer. Moist, well-drained soil, but can handle some drought when established. Rounded clusters of soft pink, fragrant flowers. Well-drained, moist to dryish soil. Bell shaped blue-violet flowers. Sun to part shade intolerant of full shade. Rich or poor soil; very drought tolerant.
Dense pyramidal clusters of tiny, fragrant white flowers. Occurs mainly at mid to high elevations; check natural occurrence, to county level, here. Well-drained, moist to dry soil. Abundant daisy-like, bluish lavender blossoms go nearly all summer. Drought tolerant when established. Lavish, feathery plumes of creamy-white flowers. Nice for hedgerows. Moist soil preferred but will tolerate short dry periods.
Tall spikes of bluish-purple, pea-like flowers. Sun to part sun afternoon shade is welcome. Well-draining, gritty, lean soil. Bright yellow star-shaped flowers.