New natives from EMSWCD – why natives are great for the garden!

Last weekend I planted my second “round” of natives purchased through discount programs the city and Audubon Society offer (separate programs). Fall and spring are the best times to plant natives, since there will be sufficient water from the rain to keep them irrigated and develop their root system before the long dry summer. The first season I’ll still need to provide supplement irrigation during the summer, but after that they should be good to go without it. Besides their water saving qualities, natives provide a familiar food source (for those that are fruiting) for birds, bugs, and animals, are well adapted to our soil and weather conditions, and are noninvasive in wild habitats. Here is what I selected for this round. Next round is next month, and I’ll actually be volunteering as a Master Gardener and hopefully leaving with a bunch more using my volunteer discount.

This is one of many snowberries I have around. I planted this in a tough spot under the doug fir, creating a new elevated planting area re-using bricks from something we took down near the house. I added compost and new soil bc this area was very sandy.
This is one of many snowberries I have around. I planted this in a tough spot under the doug fir, creating a new elevated planting area re-using bricks from something we took down near the house. I added compost and new soil bc this area was very sandy.
Here is one of two Vine Maples. They resemble Japanese Maples, and will have beautiful foliage in the fall. I've planted one in the shadier backyard, and one in the drier front year under the doug fir. Let's see how each does.
Here is one of two Vine Maples. They resemble Japanese Maples, and will have beautiful foliage in the fall. I’ve planted one in the shadier backyard, and one in the drier front year under the doug fir. Let’s see how each does. 
A second snowberry, with some native alpine strawberries over the new soil.
And the second Vine Maple. Just looks like a twig, really, at this stage. They get "vinier" when in shade versus sun.
And the second Vine Maple. Just looks like a twig, really, at this stage. They get “vinier” when in shade versus sun.
Look at these sad little things. I almost couldn't believe how small they are. These are native "woodland" strawberries.
Look at these sad little things. I almost couldn’t believe how small they are. These are native “woodland” strawberries.
Here are the three evergreen huckleberry, planted in the back around the mock orange and osso berry that I planted in the fall. Yes, their berries will be edible! They are slow growers and prefer shade.
Here are the three evergreen huckleberry, planted in the back around the mock orange and osso berry that I planted in the fall. Yes, their berries will be edible! They are slow growers and prefer shade.
I think this is the wild ginger. I got a whole bunch and put them around the osso berry. Will provide beautiful ground cover in this shady wet area. I planted wild ginger in the front native plot in 2012. It's doing ok, but not great. I think it's too dry.
I think this is the wild ginger. I got a whole bunch and put them around the osso berry. Will provide beautiful ground cover in this shady wet area. I planted wild ginger in the front native plot in 2012. It’s doing ok, but not great. I think it’s too dry.
I covered everything with bark mulch to keep out weeds and help retain water. This is the fern bed, with salal from last spring. The sticks indicate where I planted the teeny tiny "Hooker's Fairy Bells," which I think will provide a lovely effect against these salal. They are in the lily family.
I covered everything with bark mulch to keep out weeds and help retain water. This is the fern bed, with salal from last spring. The sticks indicate where I planted the teeny tiny “Hooker’s Fairy Bells,” which I think will provide a lovely effect against these salal. They are in the lily family.
Front native bed with mulch. Snowberry in front left. Salal and kinnikinnick in background from last year.
Front native bed with mulch. Snowberry in front left. Salal and kinnikinnick in background from last year.
This has nothing to do with natives - Eric is working on a house project - I think it's going to look great! The bricks surrounding some of my beds came from a planter that used to be on this porch (you can see the outline).
This has nothing to do with natives – Eric is working on a house project – I think it’s going to look great! The bricks surrounding some of my beds came from a planter that used to be on this porch (you can see the outline).
New wheelbarrow!!! Weeee!
New wheelbarrow!!! Weeee!
Gardening is sexy!!
Gardening is sexy!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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