Friday, December 17, 2010

Pacific Northwest Dry Forest Garden

Arbutus unedo October 2010

Pinus monticola August 2008

Mahonia repens July 2010

Trillium ovatum March 2010

 Ribes sanguineum March 2010

Unless you have very many acres, this garden would more accurately be called a bosque, than a forest.  A bosque is a grove of trees, either in nature, or in landscape design.  I’m not sure how the word crept into landscaping.  It is a Spanish word meaning forest in the larger sense, as in the bosque amazonico, the Amazon Rain Forest.  In American landscape design, the word is pronounced ‘bosk,’ while in Spanish it has 2 syllables.  The French use the word ‘bosquet’ to describe a grove, usually contrived.  There are famous bosquets at the château de Versailles

This garden (or bosque) is designed entirely with plants from dry forests of the coastal Pacific Northwest, although some also grow in moist forests.  Plant this garden in sun with some slope (so that is sure to drain) or on ground that is already known to be dry.  The understory (everything but the trees) will grow in shade.  The trees want sun.  This is intended to be a garden of light, dappled shade.  Don’t plant the trees too close together.  Arbutus menziesii (Madrona) does not form a dense canopy.  Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine) is an open & slender tree.  Thuja plicata ‘Fastigiata’ (Hogan Cedar) is a columnar form of Western Red Cedar.  Pinus monticola (Western White Pine) & Quercus garryana (Garry Oak) are more spreading.  Use fewer of them, spaced widely apart.   This garden won’t need irrigation beyond the 1st few summers.  

To read more about these plants, get a copy of Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Jim Pojar & Andy MacKinnon.

Pacific Northwest Dry Forest Garden Plant List
Acer circinatum (Vine Maple)
Amelanchier alnifolia (Saskatoon)
Arbutus menziesii (Madrona)
Pinus monticola (Western White Pine) Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine)
Quercus garryana (Garry Oak)
Thuja plicata ‘Fastigiata’ (Hogan Cedar)

Gaultheria shallon (Salal)
Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape) Mahonia nervosa, Mahonia repens
Holodiscus discolor (Oceanspray)
Juniperus communis (Common Juniper)
Oemleria cerasiformis (Indian Plum)
Philadelphus lewisii (Mock Orange)
Rhododendron macrophyllum (Pacific Rhododendron)
Ribes sanguineum (Flowering Currant)
Rosa gymnocarpa (Dwarf Rose)
Symphoricarpos albus (Snowberry)
Vaccinium ovatum (Evergreen Currant)

Achlys triphylla (Vanilla Leaf)
Allium cernuum (Nodding Onion)
Festuca idahoensis (Idaho Fescue)
Lilium columbianum (Tiger Lily)
Polystichum munitum (Western Sword Fern)
Tellima grandiflora (Fringecup)
Trillium ovatum (Wake Robin)
Viola adunca (Early Blue Violet)

Groundcovers & Trailers
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick)
Dicentra formosa (Bleeding Heart)
Fragaria vesca (Woodland Strawberry)
Lonicera hispidula (Hairy Honeysuckle)
Maianthemum dilatatum (False Lily of the Valley)
Smilacina stellata (aka Maianthemum stellatum)

Pacific Northwest Dry Forest Garden Plan
ACE = Acer circinatum (Vine Maple)
AME = Amelanchier alnifolia (Saskatoon)
ARB = Arbutus menziesii (Madrona)
PINE = Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine)

GAU = Gaultheria shallon (Salal)
MAH = Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape)
HOL = Holodiscus discolor (Oceanspray)
PHI = Philadelphus lewisii (Mock Orange)
RHO = Rhododendron macrophyllum (Pacific Rhododendron)
RIB = Ribes sanguineum (Flowering Currant)
VAC = Vaccinium ovatum (Evergreen Currant)

ACH = Achlys triphylla (Vanilla Leaf)
ALL = Allium cernuum (Nodding Onion)
ERY = Erythronium oregonum (Fawn Lily)
LIL = Lilium columbianum (Tiger Lily)
POL = Polystichum munitum (Western Sword Fern)
TEL = Tellima grandiflora (Fringecup)
TRI = Trillium ovatum (Wake Robin)
VIO = Viola adunca (Early Blue Violet)

Groundcovers & Trailers
ARC = Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick)
DIC = Dicentra formosa (Bleeding Heart)
SMI = Smilacina stellata (aka Maianthemum stellatum)

1 comment:

Alistair said...

Jordan, a very interesting and informative post. We have a small woodland setting and I love to see the woodland perennials coming through each Spring, the Trilliums are my favourite. Thanks for the visit, temperature in Aberdeen seldom gets below minus 8, much colder in land though. I think our Spring and Summers are too cool for Callistemon to survive.