Pacific Northwest Gardening forum: Where is the Pacific Northwest ??

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
May 27, 2014 1:12 PM CST
In the Site Forum, there is a discussion about better identifying the regional forums. One Florida member, for example, noted she has no idea what the difference is between the PNW and Pacific Coast forums. Fair enough. While this discussion continues in the Site Forum, I thought we might try to figure out what our general boundaries are here on our forum. I do know we have contributors from as far north as Alaska and south into northern California. How far east do we go? I vaguely think of the PNW as SE Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and northern California. Crossing the Cascades is a bit different growing climate - harsher winters and hotter/drier summers, although I do note we have active members from the east side. And, participation in a forum is not in any way limited to where one lives - I sometimes poke around in other regional forums to get a feel for how they garden in areas vastly different than mine. Thought I would simply open a discussion to see if we can loosely identify what geographic area the PNW covers. ??
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Stephanie
Salem, OR (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Garden Ideas: Level 1
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kosk0025
May 27, 2014 2:41 PM CST
Pacific Coast in my opinion is California Coast. Pacific NW in my opinion is all of OR, WA, ID and BC. Huge differences just within the state of Oregon (coast, Willamette valley, cascades, southern oregon, high desert, and eastern oregon) but the entire state of OR is the Pacific NW. Classically, it is just OR and WA, but I notice ID also refers to itself as PNW.
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
May 27, 2014 2:50 PM CST
I think of the PNW pretty much the same way as Stephanie, even though the climate on the east side here is very different from the other side of the Cascades.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
May 27, 2014 3:30 PM CST
What about Alaska and northern California? We have active members from both those areas I believe. I don't want anyone to feel excluded and would lean toward looser boundaries rather than tighter. I note that the Pacific Coast moderators have included coastal WA and OR in their description, and I don't see any problem with overlaps (I often lurk in the Pacific Coast forum just for the beautiful blooms - usually way more tropical than anything I can grow, but sometimes I pick up an idea or two).

Here's an idea for a PNW description: "The northwest corner of North America: SE Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Idaho."

Since we don't have a moderator, we'll have to ask Dave to insert whatever we come up with. I suggest sitting on it for a day or two to get more input.

@oberon46, do you consider Anchorage to be PNW, or is this forum simply the closest fit for you? I'm open to including all of Alaska, there are relatively few ATP members up there and we want everyone to feel welcome.

@natalie what are your thoughts on Idaho in the PNW? Again, not a lot of Idaho members and there is no Rocky Mountain (or similar) forum, but perhaps there is not the need at this time.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
May 27, 2014 3:58 PM CST
I feel much closer to the PNW than the Rocky Mountains for some reason, probably because the mountains were practically outside my front door in Utah. But, I am not sure if Idaho is truly part of the PNW. Seems like the news calls it the Central NW, or something like that, when describing the area. @woofie, is that what you've heard it called? Seems like the Spokane news refers to it as that, when reporting the weather. That would include the Eastern line of WA that is against the Western line of Idaho. To me, the PWN is more than anything, the area on the West side of the Cascade mountains. I've lived over there, and it is a totally different climate than it is on the East side of the mountains. However, I do think that most people think PNW when they think of all of Washington and Oregon, especially those people who haven't been to those two states. Not sure that Idaho is really considered in that designation. Maybe Northern ID, but surely not Southern ID.

I'm a relative newbie here, having only been here a year, so I may be totally wrong about all of this.
Natalie
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
May 27, 2014 4:53 PM CST
I have always thought the PNW to be Washington, Oregon and Idaho. That's basted on high school history class. However, in a gardening perspective I can see were eastern Washington/ Oregon and Idaho wouldn't have too much in common with say western WA, OR and Northern CA.
Deb, I do like your idea. I also lurk in the pacific coast forum just to see what's happening.
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
May 27, 2014 4:56 PM CST
I think we should keep the description fairly vague, and maybe phrase it as "generally considered to include" the areas that Deb listed. That way no one is going to feel excluded. And if someone in one of the listed areas doesn't consider themselves really in the PNW, they can look around for a better fit. And it's not like you can only participate in just one regional forum.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
May 27, 2014 4:59 PM CST
Idaho is kind of strange compared to most states that I have been to, and I've been to all but two of them. Seems like most have different halves, going east or west. Idaho seems to be very different going north and south. I can easily see the northern part of the state being included in the PNW, but the southern part of the state is very desert like, much like Nevada is. I'm only 35 or so miles east of the WA border, so maybe that makes a different. The further east I go, the thicker the forest gets. So actually, parts of Idaho look more PNW-ish than parts of WA and OR!
Natalie
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
May 27, 2014 5:00 PM CST
I like that idea too, woofie.
Natalie
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
May 27, 2014 5:04 PM CST
Hey, maybe once this is sorted out, we could get dave to put in a little map with the relevant areas highlighted for the different regions. He doesn't have anything better to do, right? Hilarious!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
May 27, 2014 5:26 PM CST
I agree Hilarious! Hilarious!
Natalie
Name: Stephanie
Salem, OR (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Garden Ideas: Level 1
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kosk0025
May 27, 2014 9:39 PM CST
The more inclusive the better. We need more people in our forum! For example, I would love to see pics of a beautiful high desert garden in the Bend, OR area. I would learn a lot about a different climate. And because I travel there often, it would be very relevant.
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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
May 27, 2014 9:45 PM CST
Stephanie, my Dad lives near Tumalo, and I have been trying to get him to join in here. He visits the site, but never posts. Maybe I'll point him to your post and that will get him going!
Natalie
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
May 28, 2014 3:43 PM CST
Here's a second shot at an intro, please add comments and suggestions for a collaborative effort:

Welcome to the Pacific Northwest Gardening forum. Our region varies from temperate rain forests, verdant river valleys, desert plains, high plateaus, and mountains. We are bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean; bisected by the Coast, Olympic, and Cascade mountain ranges; and include gardeners in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and northern California. Our discussions are lively and cordial - please join in.

I tried to include a feel for the diversity of our region - not sure if desert plains and high plateaus might be the same thing -- or perhaps there are other areas I'm not thinking of.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
May 28, 2014 4:12 PM CST
Sounds great to me, Deb! I know my Dad is always saying that he lives in the high desert, and I do think that his area of Oregon is considered to be just that. Or, he's come up with his own name for it, and it fits. Maybe high desert would fit for both desert plains and high plateaus? Either way, I like what you wrote, just as it is! Thumbs up
Natalie
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
May 28, 2014 4:23 PM CST
Very nice, but I think I'd rearrange things just a mite, for the sake of putting the geographic areas first. Maybe something like this?

Welcome to the Pacific Northwest Gardening forum. Our region is generally considered to include Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and northern California (although conditions here vary from temperate rain forests, verdant river valleys, desert plains, high plateaus, and mountains). We are bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean; bisected by the Coast, Olympic, and Cascade mountain ranges. Our discussions are lively and cordial - please join in.

I think it would be nice to list the general areas first, then expand on it. Seems like it might make things easier for someone who was just skimming.



Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
May 28, 2014 4:42 PM CST
Thumbs up
Natalie
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
May 28, 2014 5:10 PM CST
Don't encourage me, Natalie! Hilarious! Know what else might be nice? How about putting the names of the areas in bold type?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
May 28, 2014 5:39 PM CST
I agree with Deb:
"The northwest corner of North America: SE Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Idaho."

Or I'm happy with more recent versions. Invite everyone in the neighborhood, and those who are interested will stick around. It would be great to see some "high desert" threads to go along with the "slugs and moss everywhere" threads.

Can we consider adding coastal Yukon? Or SE Yukon? Or maybe add that when and if ATP has a member from the Yukon Territory!

I think that "inland" WA, OR, BC, AK, ID and northern CA ought to be considered "on topic" regions, even though they aren't Pacific-coastal / maritime. If we were intending to be an only-one-climate-zone forum, it would be too restrictive. We would have to split off our northern half.

Also, where would eastern WA and OR "go" if they weren't PNW? The "Northern" forum? Midwest? The Northern forum isn't very busy.

I'd say that if someone thinks of themselves as living in the PNW, ours is a suitable forum for discussing their interests.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
May 29, 2014 9:21 AM CST
I think we all agree to include as many as possible. I, too, would like to encourage more active participation from our eastern friends. Rick, I don't think adding in Yukon is needed at this time since, as you note, there are no current ATP members in the Yukon. Woofie, I like your idea to include the regional information first. Here's a little further tweaking, with explanations following:

Welcome to the Pacific Northwest Gardening forum - gardeners from Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and northern California. We are bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, and bisected by the Coast, Olympic, and Cascade mountains ranges. Our region varies from temperate rain forests, verdant river valleys, arid high desert plateaus, and alpine mountains. Our discussions are lively and cordial - please join in.

It felt a bit disjointed to me to identify the region, then the conditions, then back to the identifiers, so I pushed the conditions after the identifiers. I also tried to give each general land type an adjective for consistency. I combined desert and plateau as I think (?) they are basically the same - perhaps someone who is more familiar with either or both can clarify. I left out 'generally considered to include' -- since we are in fact identifying who we are in the statement, this seemed unnecessary.

I was trying to think of a way to include our rather laissez faire attitude (we don't seem to get too tweaky about getting off topic) but figured once folks joined in, that will quickly become apparent. I also kind of like that we don't have a formal moderator, but again that doesn't need to be a focus of the descriptive statement.

I thought once we nail down our forum intro and have Dave put it in, I'd put a note in the Site Forum Geographic thread inviting others to check us out. I note there are members in Idaho and eastern Washington/Oregon who are not particularly active in the PNW forum - perhaps we could send them an @ invitation to join us? Or is that too pushy?
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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