Native Plants 101: Western Sword Fern

Sword ferns (Polystichum munitum) are the workhorses of the native plant garden. Like many creatures and plants that are common and abundant, we often forget to appreciate the subtle beauty and utility of these large, helpful, ecologically important, and undemanding ferns. In suburban, rural, and wildland area of Puget Sound, these ferns are extremely important … Continue reading Native Plants 101: Western Sword Fern

Native Plants 101: Basic Growing Information

Growing Native Plants   Native plants are best for native insects, pollinators, birds, and local wildlife. Plants and animals evolved together, so the ones that are native are always the best for local wildlife. Mix them in with your ornamentals, and you will have a diverse landscape teeming with healthy life! You will have more … Continue reading Native Plants 101: Basic Growing Information

Late Winter Bloomers

Cornelian cherry, Cornus mas is not a cherry, although it has cherry-like fruits. The common name comes from the term "cornel" used in the UK to describe the wood, fruit and plant. According to its Wikipedia entry,  "Cornus mas, 'Male' Cornel, was named so to distinguish it from the true Dogberry, the 'Female' Cornel, C. … Continue reading Late Winter Bloomers

Umbellularia californica – California bay laurel, or Oregon myrtle

I'd like to bring this plant to your attention, but first an observation about names. Common names are so interesting, because they reflect local usage - not only of the language but the plant itself. There are tons of European plants with common names that were applied to plants used daily for remedies - a … Continue reading Umbellularia californica – California bay laurel, or Oregon myrtle