Friday, May 15, 2015

Ell Alley Garden

Native forest garden

Native forest garden

Native meadow

Native meadow

Native & non-native plants in the patio garden.  Photos taken in May 2015.

This is my new garden in Rainier Vista, a neighborhood in Seattle just one mile from my old garden, the Cascadia Garden.  It is 18 months now (May 2015) since I first began to work on this garden.  It has grown amazingly fast, perhaps because it has grown entirely in Cedar Grove compost delivered in November of 2013.  The native soil is clay.  I left that alone & planted in the compost I spread over the clay.  We call this house Ell Alley, because it sits in the ell of 2 alleys that divide our block of 19 new homes into 3 parts.  The Ell Alley Garden also has 3 parts.  The largest part is a Pacific Northwest Coast native garden.  There are also 2 parts with mostly non-native plants, one under the large ash tree in the front & another, much smaller garden, between the patio & the parking pad in the back.

In the native garden, I have used plants that grow in the region that stretches along the coast from northern California to the Alaskan panhandle.  Some plants are shared throughout this area & others do not occur naturally in western Washington.  There is a shaded portion that is planted with forest plants & a sunnier area that is more of a meadow.  I won't include the long plant list here, but it includes Acer circinatum (Vine Maple) Asarum caudatum (Wild Ginger) Blechnum spicant (Deer Fern) Erigeron glaucus (Beach Aster) Fragaria chiloensis (Sand Strawberry) Iris douglasiana (Douglas Iris) Mahonia repens (Creeping Oregon Grape) Penstemon serrulatus (Cascade Beardtongue) Polystichum munitum (Sword Fern) Ribes sanquineum (Flowering Currant) Rubus parviflorus (Thimbleberry) Sambucus racemosa (Red Elderbery) Tellima grandiflora (Fringecup) & Tolmiea meinziesii (Piggyback Plant).

There are many places to find native plants in Seattle.  Many nurseries have sections devoted to native plants.  There are a number of native plants that are commonly used in gardens.  Those are available almost anywhere & include Acer circinatum (Vine Maple) Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick) Blechnum spicant (Deer Fern) Erigeron glaucus 'Sea Breeze' (Beach Aster) Polystichum munitum (Sword Fern) Ribes sanquineum (Flowering Currant) & 3 species of Mahonia (Oregon Grape) M. aquifolium, M. nervosa & M. repens.  An excellent source of native plants is at the annual Washington Native Plant Society plant sale.  The West Seattle Nursery had an excellent collection of native plants this year.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

Cobble Beach at Yaquina Head.  All photos were taken in April 2014.

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is truly outstanding.  The head is a model of scenic beauty.  Cobble Beach is an excellent place to peer into tide pools surrounded by birds & seals on the rocky islets & towering headlands.  The visitor's center is polished & informative.  It is set in a beautiful little valley between the high outcroppings of basalt that comprise the headlands.  There is ample parking.  Yaquina Head is easy to find just north of the Newport, OR city center on US Hwy 101.

View from the Visitor's Center.