Pacific Northwest Gardening forum: PNW Native Experiences

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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
Aug 5, 2015 3:28 PM CST
At Pistil's suggestion, I am starting this thread to discuss our success, failure, questions, or plans to incorporation PNW natives into our landscapes. Photos are always appreciated.

My first experience with natives was Two-leaf False Solomon's Seal (Maianthemum dilatatum) and Pacific Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa) which both hitchhiked in on loads of forest loam we used for mulch. Both emerge quite early, put on a subdued flower show, then go dormant about mid summer. Here is maianthemum colonized in a fern bed, preceeded by various daffodils, and followed by Spanish Bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica)

Thumb of 2015-08-05/Bonehead/cdc2b4

Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum) are plentiful in our woods, and I have moved some up into the yard and outer perimeters. They work well under evergreens, much as they do in their natural setting.

I was very pleasantly surprised to find that Umbrella Plant (Darmera peltata) is a native. I have some on the north side of our barn, and have since chunked out pieces that I've added down by our farm pond and at the edges of our driveway.

When I first started experimenting with natives, they were relatively difficult to locate. In the past few years, however, I've found most nurseries have native sections and/or have native plants interspersed with cultivated ones. I'm not a total purist, and figure if (for example) Oregon Grape (Berberis aquifolium) is native here, then the pretty cultivar Mahonia (Berberis x media 'Charity') will also do well here. I've been planting these in the understory of a Doug fir screen between us and the neighbor, and refer to them as my 'near-natives.' Probably not accurate but works for me.

I'll poke through more photos and try to find some show-casing natives. Please share your stories as well.

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
[Last edited by Bonehead - Aug 5, 2015 4:54 PM (+)]
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