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Growing native plants in the willamette valley

Growing native plants in the willamette valley



Many gardeners want to know how to incorporate Oregon native plants into their existing gardens. This presentation was created for the St. Paul Garden Club, but the information is relevant to many ...

Many gardeners want to know how to incorporate Oregon native plants into their existing gardens. This presentation was created for the St. Paul Garden Club, but the information is relevant to many gardeners in the region.



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    Growing native plants in the willamette valley Growing native plants in the willamette valley Presentation Transcript

    • Growing Native Plants in the Willamette Valley
      Linda R McMahan
      Oregon State University Extension Service
      Deer fern at Connie Hanson Garden, Lincoln City
    • What is so different about gardening here in Oregon?
      • Dry summers and wet winters
      • Extreme variability of soils – clay to rock
      • Mild temperatures generally
      Maidenhair fern at a public garden
    • Why grow native plants?
      • Easy to care for
      • Natural beauty
      • Nurture wildlife
      • Fit into our existing gardens
      • Are not invasive plants—it’s their home!
      Oregon sunshine (Eriophyllumlanatum) with nasturtium-private garden
    • Examples of Gardens with Native Plants
      Lady fern at the Connie Hanson Garden, Lincoln City
      Athyriumfilix-femina is delicate, can grow tall in ideal conditions, but is deciduous and requires wet habitat
    • Native plants at Shore Acres State Park near Coos Bay
      Sword fern and salal outside of the more formal entrance to the gardens
    • B&B native plant garden in the Cascade Mountains
      Native sedums in whimsical pots-at least 4 sedums are native to Oregon
    • B&B, Cascade Mountains
      Sword fern, rock, and an old tree trunk
    • B&B, Cascade Mountains
      Oxalis oreganaand Piggy-back plant (Tolmiea menziesii) mixed groundcover
    • Private garden, Portland Oregon
      Stream plant, Darmerapeltatum used in a garden setting
    • Private Garden, Portland, OR
      Emerging false hellebore (Veratrumcalifornicum) growing through decomposing ash leaves
    • Private Garden, Portland, Oregon
      Salal (Gaultheria shallon) and sword fern on a decaying stump
    • Public Library, McMinnville OR
      Red flowering currant, Ribes sanguineum
    • Native Plant Garden, McMinnville Library
      Coltsfoot, Petasitesfrigidus, in early spring
    • Waterfront park, Corvallis Oregon
      Oregon iris, Iris tenaxwith blue fescue
    • Private Garden, Corvallis, OR
      Hedged red flowering currant next to a magnolia
    • Private Garden, Beaverton Oregon
      Sword fern (Polystichummunitum) and groundcover oxalis (Oxalis oregana) in a side garden path
    • Ask yourself: Why do we garden the way we do?
      We copy what we see and remember: family, friends, neighbors
      Our gardening traditions are from England
      Today, we are seeing new ways to garden (restoration for example)and we copy that too,
      Connie Hanson Garden, Lincoln City, Oregon
    • History Lesson on Native Plant Gardening
      The Victorian Era in the British Isles
      Formal gardens of London’s Crystal Palace and the informal lines of a William Robinson landscape Photos: Wikipedia
    • The Wild Gardening Tradition
      In the 1890’s, Scottish gardener William Robinson reacted to Victorian “excess” by promoting Wild Gardening—note this was gardening in a naturalistic style, not necessarily with native plants
      Robinson’s house and garden: Wikipedia
    • One of Robinson’s colleagues promoted new styles that led to border gardens
      Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932 popularized the idea of the informal border in many publications and garden designs. The “natural” style caught on and remains popular today.
      A modern “border garden”
    • Experimented widely with southeast native plants, including Osage orange as a hedge, at his Monticello home
      Sponsored Lewis and Clark Expedition
      Thomas Jefferson
      Photos: Wikipedia
    • “Father of American Horticulture”
      Professor, Cornell
      Created first US horticulture compendia
      Plantsman & naturalist
      Began program for nature study in NY schools, forerunners of native plant societies
      Liberty Hyde Bailey
      Photo: Wikipedia
    • Essentially, two styles of gardening with native plants have evolved side by side
      Substituting natives for traditional plants and developing “garden-worthy” cultivars
      Gardening with native plants for their own sake in naturalistic landscapes
      Photos: left azalea and sword fern (Polystichummunitum);
      right coltsfoot (Petasitesfrigidus)
    • Another thing -- growing native plants in Oregon is very recent!
      Only in the past 15 to 20 years in Oregon and perhaps 30 or more years in the US, have we explicitly created native plant gardens
      Mixed succulents in a private garden, including Sedum spathulifolium, center
    • Adding Native to Existing Garden – An easy way begin
      • Match conditions of the plants to those of your garden—sun/shade, water use, soil characteristics
      • Start first with well-known natives, such as sword fern and red flowering currant, or established cultivars
      • Choose colorful flowers or foliage, complementing features, and a “tame” habit before you explore other species
      • Look for wildlife value—birds, bees, food and shelter
    • Some Favorite Plants
      Sedum spathlufolium
    • Oregon grape, our state flower
      Berberis (Mahonia) aquifolium, likes full sun, can be easily pruned, attracts pollinators and birds, easy to find
    • Sedum spathulifolium
      Best native sedum, easy for containers or well-drained soil, available at many retail nurseries
    • Heuchera‘Palace Purple’
      A cultivar of Heucheramicrantha, readily available, moist, rich, and well-drained soil
    • Mock orange
      Philadelphuslewesii, available at native plant nurseries and SWCD sales. Fragrant and easy—sun to part shade, moderate water
    • Camas (Camassia)
      Available as a bulb in better garden centers, needs wet winters and dry summers—no problem for us!
    • Wild Strawberry
      Fragariachiloensis, coast or dune strawberry, and other species--vigorous ground-cover, sun/part shade, bees and birds, easily available
    • Epilobiumcanum(Zauschneriacalifornicum)
      California fuchsia, full-sun, spreads slowly, attracts hummingbirds, fall bloomer
    • Vancouveriahexandra
      Shade-loving deciduous groundcover, duck-foot plant
    • Vine Maple
      Acer circinatum, best in part shade, some have good fall color, bird-friendly
    • Stream Violet
      Viola glabella, accent or groundcover, drought tolerant, butterfly host plant
    • Red Twig Dogwood
      Cornussericia, wet or dry, large, prune from the base, berries attract birds
    • Red Flowering Currant
      Ribes sanguineum, February/March bloomer attracts hummingbirds, also bees. Blue/black berries are edible and a bird favorite, many cultivars available
    • Check out the recommended requirements for each species
      Provide water to establish, even if the species is drought-hardy
      Refrain from too much fertilizer-plants are usually adapted to our typical soils
      Cultural Requirements
      Douglas iris and Viola adunca
    • Leave enough space—some natives may grow larger than anticipated
      Many can be hedged, but some gardeners prefer the natural forms
      Prune multi-stemmed shrubs from the base
      Cultural Requirements
      Desert Parsely and snowberry
    • Don’t assume plants are “deer-proof”
      If you want plants to self-seed or provide berries for wildlife, don’t dead-head the flowers
      Cultural Requirements
      Ocean spray and osoberry
    • For More Information!
      Kruckeberg, Arthur R. 1966. Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest, 2nd edition, University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA
      Yamhill County, OSU Extension Ecogardening at: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/yamhill/eco-gardening
      Selecting native plants for home landscapes in Central Oregon at: http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/19858/ec1623-e.pdf
      Oregon Flora Project (interactive maps and photos) at: http://www.oregonflora.org/
    • Thank You!
      Linda R McMahan
      Oregon State University Extension Service, Yamhill County
      Unless noted, photographs are by the author. This presentation is copyrighted by Oregon State University. Material may be used freely for educational purposes. For other uses, please contact the author.
      Rosa sp. – wild rose