Ecological Landscaping Part I: Native Plants

I love nature.  I am rejuvenated when I visit National Parks and take in their awesomeness.  Maybe you feel the same way, but did you know all of us can bring that thrill into our own corners of the Earth?  We don’t have to travel all the way to protected lands to feel their grandeur.  We can make them ourselves and make them low maintenance as well!  We can each create our own little plots of heaven without harming the environment.

You may be wondering — how can a garden be low maintenance?  Skilled gardeners do this by selecting native plants.  Native plants by their very nature are adapted to their environments so will easily survive without much attention from you.  I live in the wet western part of Oregon and our native plants include many varieties of flowers, ferns, and shrubs which I will tell you all about below.

A great place to start is with flowers.  Who doesn’t love flowers?  There are dozens of them growing in the wild in western Oregon.  Try starting with the Nodding Onion.  It has brilliant pink flowers and is absolutely beautiful!  As long as you set it in a well-drained spot in your garden, it will grow with very little effort on your part.  Plus, it will come back year after year.  How easy is that!

Nodding Onion Plant

Another great native flower to try includes the Red Columbine.  It blooms with eye-catching reddish-orange petals.   It likes the same well-drained soil as the Nodding Onion so they can grow together in the same section of your flower bed. 

The Farewell-to-Spring bloomer grows to about two feet tall with bright pink flowers having red spots.  Quite charming.

One of the most spectacular flowering plants is the rhododendron.  It can grow well over three feet and is one of the absolute loveliest plants you have ever seen.  The ones you see in western Oregon have spiral-shaped green leaves with large clusters of bright red or pink flowers.

A really fun plant is the Licorice fern. It tastes like licorice all the way down to the roots. Surprise your dinner guests with a vase of these edibles in the center of your dining table.  What a unique way to entertain!

If you’re looking for more of a tree, try planting one or more evergreen junipers.  They are a stand-out blueish-green with an easily recognizable fragrance, but many people are allergic to them, so they may not be the best choice. They thrive in central to eastern Oregon but will not survive wet environments.

As with all the plants above, your local gardener will be able to help with the specific soil and fertilizers needed for each plant. 

I hope I have given you some inspiration for creating an ecologically designed oasis for yourself. Its beauty will require little maintenance and will be a great frame around your home.  So, if you’re wanting a diversion from hanging out in your house during the COVID-19 pandemic, go ahead and try your hand at designing a beautiful landscape around your home for a satisfying yard. You’ll have a great time and a new hobby that’ll take you all the way through this pandemic and out the other side!

When preparing your house to sell, landscaping should be high on your list of improvements. Curb appeal goes a long way to making a house attractive to a buyer. Take a look at your property through the eyes of a potential house hunter. Do your shrubs need to be trimmed back? Could a few low-maintenance plants be added? Make sure there is no trash or other uninviting items lying around. Put the trash cans in the garage, as well as lawn mowers, kids’ toys, and other items that may detract from the beauty of your yard. A few simple tricks can make a world of difference to cause a buyer to simply drive past or take a second look.

It takes time and effort to make improvements on your home, list it with a realtor and wait for a buyer. It takes money to make those improvements, continue making house payments, paying for utilities, and then paying a commission fee to your realtor. I haven’t even mentioned what additional repairs may be necessary after the home inspector visits.

If you don’t have the time, money, or are not able to do the necessary work to ready your house for the sale, you might want to consider an investor who will be able to pay you cash within a few days. Let’s talk. Call us at 971-246-7954.

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