5 Things Every Western Gardener Should Know Before Planting Native Plants by Kathy Settevendemie and Madeline Mazurski
5 Things Every WesternGardener Should Know Before Planting Native Plants Madeline Mazurski Montana Native Landscapes Kathy Settevendemie Blackfoot Native Plants Nursery
What is a ‘native’ plant?• A plant species that occurs naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, and/or habitat without direct or indirect human intervention• A species that evolved over time with its biotic community• A species that has not been genetically altered
Cultivars• A cultivar is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable characteristics that can be maintained by propagation.• A cultivar is given a cultivar name, which consists of the scientific Latin botanical name followed by a cultivar epithet. The cultivar epithet is usually in a vernacular language. For example, the full cultivar name of the Amber Wheels Blanket Flower is Gaillardia aristata Amber Wheels’. The Amber Wheels‘ part of the name is the cultivar epithet which, according to the Rules of the Cultivated Plant Code, is bounded by single quotation marks.• Created by selection, hybridization or genetic engineering.
Native plant taxonomy• Common names: – Sagebrush – Mountain Big Sage – Big sagebrush• Scientific/botanical names: Artemisia tridentata v. vaseyana Genus – Artemisia Species – tridentata Variety – vaseyana
Local Provenance• “Native plants with local provenance (place of origin) will be genetically better suited to your local growing conditions than one that is indigenous to another part of the country with very different growing conditions.” -Wasowski
Why use native plants?• Lower maintenance• Water conservation• Sustainability• Lower your carbon footprint• Minimize environmental effects of herbicides and pesticides• Decline in pollinators• Preserving sense of place• Concern about invasive species• Have a role in preserving species• Part of natural ecosystems
Native Plant GardensOnly native Only exoticplants (alien) plants Integrating natives with non-native species Where are you now?
Where Does That Plant Grow and Why Does It Matter?
Where Does That Plant Grow? Sun & Shade Moisture & Dryness Timing of Moisture Soil Elevation Aspect Exposure Slope
Mount Sentinel, Missoula MT High Elevation North-facing, & MoistSteep & Rocky Drainage Area: Moist & Protected Hot & Dry: Exposed
Ponderosa Pine WoodlandSparse Douglas Fir Woody Draw with Shrubs & Pines Grassland
Why does it matter?We can use this same information to create our home landscape
The Home Landscape Sun & Shade Moisture & Dryness Timing of Moisture Soil Elevation Aspect Exposure Slope
Map Your Microclimates: Potential Plant CommunitiesExisting Ponderosa Pines North Moist Dry Flat Open Area Compact RESIDENCE Soil Shady Entry Sunny Steep Slope STORAGE Wind
Identify Your Plant Communities• Which do you have?• Which can you re-create?• Can you incorporate more than one?
Where To From Here? Design your garden!Why Design?
Design ProcessSite Assessment: Needs Assessment: Possible Plant What You Want & Need Communities In Your Garden& Other Site Factors Garden Design
Your Design with Native Communities Existing Ponderosa Pines New Ponderosa Pines to block wind NorthForbs, Grasses, Sedges, Low Shrubs for Moist Shade Dry Shade Pine Woodland Low Shrubs, Forbs, Grasses & Sedges Riparian Shrubs RESIDENCE New Back Mesic Patio Grassland Meadow Dry Grassland Douglas Fir Meadow Entry Court Dry ShadeForbs & Grasses ShrubsFrom Dry Area STORAGE
Example of Plant Community in Missoula area - Grassland• Grasses: Idaho Fescue, Bluebunch Wheatgrass, Prairie Junegrass, One-spike Oatgrass…• Wildflowers: Arrowleaf Balsamroot, Silky Lupine, Little Larkspur, Yellow Bells, Sagebrush Buttercup, Wild Bergamot, Showy Fleabane, Shaggy Fleabane, Clarkia, Blanket Flower, Twin Arnica, Goldenrod, Shooting Star, Mountain Sandwort…
Example of Plant Community in Missoula area - Grassland
Missoula area - Grassland• Idaho Fescue (Festuca idahoensis)
Hints for Gardening with Native Plants Work with your Site Lewisia rediviva: Bitterroot
Hints for Gardening with Native Plants Abundance
Hints for Gardening with Native Plants Plant Architecture
Hints for Gardening with Native Plants Community Structure
Hints for Gardening with Native Plants Provide for Everyone People too!
Hints for Gardening with Native Plants Seasonality August June
Hints for Gardening with Native Plants Sprawl & Spread
Hints for Gardening with Native Plants Regulations “In situations involving parcels of land that are maintained and designated or designed as natural parks/gardens, the owners may request exemption from the Director of Public Works or designated representative. The exemption will be in the form of a Managed Natural Garden/Park Agreement. The purpose is to recognize that private owners may have managed naturalized, less water intensive gardens and lawns. It shall be the duty of such persons to maintain their property so that it shall not be considered a fire hazard, a public safety visibility hazard at street or alley intersections, a public health hazard or a public/private nuisance. Parcels of land designated or designed as natural parks/gardens may lose the designation of exempt, under this ordinance, if the property is not managed as stated in the management agreement.”
Hints for Gardening with Native Plants Maintenance EVERY GARDEN NEEDS MAINTENANCE! (But it can be less with native plants)