Sunday, April 15, 2007

Transforming our yard to a northwest native landscape

Last year I had picked up a few seed packets in the Wildflowers of Oregon postcard series seed collection. I grabbed the Red Columbine, Wild Iris, and California Poppy thinking I would hand these out as part of some holiday gifts. Well, I didn't part with them so planted the seeds along the south side of the house in a small strip along the driveway. The poppies are coming in well, though I did not expect the columbine or iris to do as well. The soil is mostly a mix of leaf mold and what appears to be very old barkdust, so it will be interesting to see what happens.

The Tolmiea Menziesii is coming back nicely even though I didn't think it would survive. I planted it near the base of our maple and the ground all around the maple is a dense mat of tree roots near the surface. On the other hand, the wild ginger planted under the rhodies is doing very well.

Before we get much further along adding new material, we are hiring an expert to come in and clean up the yard, trim the trees, etc. From that point I may look into one of several nearby landscape designers who specialize in working with the native plants of this area. Otherwise, I may take one of many workshops and create a plan myself. In any event, I'd like to expand on having ferns, sedums, columbine, bleeding hearts, trillium, and any other woodland or alpine plants native to this region that would do well around our house.

Even though the former owners put so much effort into a new lawn and irrigation system, my goal is to cut back on the grass and add more low maintenance and sustainable materials where possible.

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