Pacific Northwest Gardening forum: Moved back to western Washington

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Mar 7, 2019 10:27 AM CST
Hello from a newbie to the forum!
My wife and I recently moved back (to near Seattle) from the midwest, and bought a house devoid of any flowering color, except for a few neglected rhodie bushes. I bought some Rose of Sharon saplings for a sunny spot, but it's going to be a while before they flower.
I remember marigolds get inhaled by slugs, and my beloved Four O'clocks don't do too well here because of a lack of really hot summers.
I'd appreciate any advice for some ideas for color that thrive on our climate - whether it be bushes or flowers. I'm open to it all, thanks! Tom
Name: Teri
Western WA (Zone 8a)
Region: Pacific Northwest Irises Foliage Fan Roses
Mar 7, 2019 1:43 PM CST
Hi Tom! Welcome!


Slugs and bugs are a huge problem in the Puget Sound area. I bait regularly with Sluggo - especially in early spring and fall, which is pet and child safe. If I didn't, I'd have nothing but rhodies and ferns!

Having moved here from a warmer climate, I can relate to not being able to grow some of my old favorites. I go for a lot of foliage color, since our warm flowering seasons are short. Spring blooming bulbs do really well here if you're not plagued by deer. Same with hostas and daylilies. Bearded iris do well if you have a sunny well drained location. If your soil tends to be on the wetter side, Japanese and Siberian iris will enjoy it, although they take a bit longer to establish. Heuchera (Coral Bells) and spirea thrive here and can add amazing color to your landscape. Roses also do well in south facing locations, but stick with the ones that are more black spot resistant. As far as annuals, most of what is carried in the local plant nurseries will do well if you can keep the slug and bug population down. Snapdragons do really well for me, and the deer seem to leave them alone.

Mar 7, 2019 3:17 PM CST
Thank you so much, Teri! Lots to go on there!
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Mar 7, 2019 3:37 PM CST
Welcome back, Tom. I'm north of you, but have noticed more native nurseries popping up here and there. I would encourage you to check some out - anytime you are working with plants native to an area I think you will have much better luck. I've used this web site often, great planting plans and such:

If natives don't attract you, just roam through any of your local nurseries. An artist friend once advised me to buy at least one flowering plant every month of the year, which ensures you will have something in bloom all the time!

Rather than constantly trying to outwit slugs and snails, I try to avoid plants they like and focus on ones they find less palatable. Strangely, some cultivars of the same plant seem to be better than others. For example, I love ligularias for their foliage, but have found most to just get tattered EXCEPT for 'Rocket' which for whatever reason does not.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

Mar 8, 2019 12:04 AM CST
Wow! More great resources! Thanks, Deb!

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