We have recently started up with the Portland Audobon’s Backyard Habitat Certification Program and picked up plants from one of their seasonal sales this last weekend. We started a couple of months ago by signing up and having someone come out to evaluate our yard… While we consider ourselves fairly knowledgeable about native plants, its nice to have an extra set of eyes to tell us whats good and whats terrible. The verdict was mainly that we’re generally on the right track for building habitat into our yard, we mostly just need to fill in more. Which we pretty much suspected.
Which brings us to the new plants and one of the big benefits to starting the program, discounts on native plants.
Our main spots that we’re trying to fill in are the park strips, one of which is quite large. One of the suggestions we got for a quick groundcover and weed suppressant is strawberries, which for some reason hadn’t occurred to us, despite rampantly spreading feral wood strawberries on other parts of our yard and our successful coastal strawberries on our ecoroof. So priority this spring is going to be to transplant as much as we can while the strawberries are sending out runners. This weekend however, we picked up a nice largeish snowberry for what we intend to turn into a more shady woodland area, and well as camas and nodding onions for our more meadowy area.
For the Shade
In addition to our park strips, we have an area just to the north of our house that we are trying to populate that, thanks to our house and our large tulip tree, never sees direct sun. We have been pleased to find volunteer violets, False Solomon’s Seal, and Sword Ferns, but its still a little sparce. For now, we just picked up some more groundcover, but we were encouraged to get something more shrubby in as well like a red huckleberry… Which fulfills two of our needs, native and tasty. So expect it to be planted shortly.