August 29th, 2010

Plantings for the Front

We’ve been slow to start getting our park strips in order, but with summer feeling like its turning into fall, its time to start getting plants in the ground. Our yard need a lot of work at the moment, and the park strips seem like the right place to start… They’re smallish well defined areas, something that is psychologically easy to to tackle. Right now we’re focused on the Ash street park strip, its sunny and always will be. With the street to the south and limited options for planting trees due to a stop sign and power lines it is destined for full exposure as well as moderate foot traffic. So the organizing theme that we are working with is that we are planting a small meadow. Last weekend we made a trip out to Bosky Dell Natives and picked out some plants to start with, some Streambank Lupine, Western Columbine, Idaho Fescue, and Great Northern Asters with tufts of Kinnikinnick.

We prepped an area to start with this afternoon, but the ground is extremely hard, so we’re going to wait for a few days until after the incoming rain to see if it softens up a bit before planting. Our plan is to get a start with this, and then later this summer fill out the park strip with more native grasses and wildflowers including Indian Paintbrush and Common Camas.


Our cardoons are blooming and who knew, they are bee magnets.


  1. It’s true, so many bees on cardoons. It makes sense though if you stick your nose in there. They smell really sweet! This was the second year that I grew cardoons, last year I kept trying to eat them, but was underwhelmed by the ratio of work to flavor & texture that resulted. This year I just let them be pollinator magnets. Did you cook any? Any recipe recommendations? The best thing I came up with was on top of a pizza.

    Comment by S@sha — August 30, 2010 @ 09:51
  2. Thanks for the link to Bosky Dell Natives…I’ve been looking for a local source for Epilobiums all summer…and it looks like they carry them! How were the prices…I don’t see them listed online. Make sure you keep the Lupines watered…they do tend to get Powdery Mildew if stressed (especially after flowering, it seems.) Can’t wait to see everything planted…we’ve got some nice, cool weather coming up, which should help ease them in…fall is certainly the best time to plant here in Portland.

    Comment by Scott Weber — September 3, 2010 @ 10:16
  3. S@sha — We have let our cardoon and artichoke plants all go to flower this year, so they can get established (plus, it’s nice to have the extra color in our garden!). It seems that you aren’t the only one to share that sentiment about cardoons — there’s a good post on Homegrown Evolution about growing and blanching cardoons. Next year, when I harvest, I’m going straight to Alice Water’s Chez Panisse Vegetables cardoon chapter. Cardoon fritters and bagna cauda are on the top of my list.

    Comment by Katherine — September 4, 2010 @ 11:12
  4. Scott — We paid $6-8 for 1 gallon pots. They had a couple of sizes for most plants. If you are looking for something specific it may be a good idea to call ahead to make sure they have what you’re looking for in stock. We also just ordered some native flower seeds, since those 1 gallon pots do add up quickly. We’re getting two kinds of lupine, Western columbine, nodding onion, camas, paintbrush and penstemon. We’re not sure how difficult this will prove to be, but we plan to direct seed our park strip in October or November. From what we’ve read, most plants will take about three years to become fully established.

    Comment by Katherine — September 4, 2010 @ 11:34
  5. […] began planting the park strips earlier in the summer and plan on continuing to develop them as fall continues. Our plan is to put […]

    Pingback by harpoon house » Fall Harvest — November 9, 2010 @ 19:51

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