Native Gardening in Milwaukie

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
I am loving Eileen Stark's book Real Gardens Grow Natives, as well as her wonderful website, which has been a wealth of information for me as I start out on my first native gardening project, specifically plants that are native to the Willamette Valley--check out this poster put out by City of Portland.  The more I learn about native gardening, the less inclined I am to put anything into the ground that is not native.  I'm trying not to be rigid in my gardening, however, and am placing many non-native sedums, along with some natives, and a few odd and end "gifts" from friends' gardens that may or may not work out, but we'll see.  I am trying to start putting the non-native plants into pots, but the more I learn about native plants, the more I love them more and more.  It's funny how one is drawn to certain things in life, but to me, native gardening makes scientific sense, and I want to support our local birds and insects.  I am excited to find so many local resources to support me in my journey.  We have already removed a lot of ivy and a butterfly bush from our property, as well as laurel and other non-native shrubs.

Tonight I planted my first fawn lilies (Erythronium spp.) as a border beside my native snowberry bush and deer and licorice ferns atop a moss-covered nurse log.  I also placed Vancouveria hexandra nearby, which will do well beneath some nearby deciduous maples.  I'm excited!  Native gardening feels like the right thing to do, and I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to invest in our environment this way.  I'm just so excited, because I grew up among native plants, which are quickly going away.  There were groves of oak trees on our property, along with cattails and native grasses.  I just planted my first cattail along our rain garden, and it makes me SO happy!  Buy Eileen Stark's book (if you live in the Willamette Valley), or seek out your own local resources, so you, too, can embark on your own native gardening journey!  


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