Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens Roundup

Following are the last four of my posts on the Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens blog.


A Propagation Primer

Propagation has been on my mind lately. We recently moved into a house with a very bare yard and although I brought all of my plants from our apartment balcony, they hardly make a dent in the yard. I recently visited the local native plant sale and despite spending a hundred dollars, the plants are also not going to make much of an impact. I recently wrote aboutmethods for collecting native plants, which is a great way to acquire hard to find plants, but propagating from your own collection (or friends, family and neighbors) is another easy way to get yourself some more plants.

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5 Great Parks – Seattle Edition

This was originally published on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens.

Every city has parks, however not all parks are created equal. Many are used primarily for recreation, others for dogs, but some are devoted to nature. Seattle is lucky to have a lot of parks, over 400 of them (counting open spaces) and the largest is over 500 acres. Following are five of my favorites to visit for nature. Many Seattlites may strongly disagree with my list because I’ve left off  the most obvious parks such as Discovery and Seward. While they’re nice parks to visit, I like the changes of these landscapes, and how they are situated, juxtaposed with the city. I’m focusing here on parks which are more designed, parks which were previously industrial sites or other changed landscapes.



Olympic Sculpture Park

Native plants, habitat…

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How to Collect Native Plants

This was originally published at Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens.

Finding native plants can be hard work. Here in Seattle, there are a handful of nurseries which carry a few odd native plants. There are native plant nurseries, but nearly all are by appointment or wholesale only. The awesome Washington Native Plant Society has plant sales, but they’re not very often. So if you’ve been studying plant lists and reading native plant books but can’t find many, if any of those plants what are you to do?

Collecting plants is one possibility, however, by the end of this article you may decide waiting until the next native plant sale is easier after all. It’s easy to be completely unethical and illegal and just go dig up a plant in your local forest, who would ever know right? But we’re not unethical and we like to follow the proper regulations.


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Book Review:: What A Plant Knows

This post was originally published on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens.

9780374288730_custom-s6-c10If you are looking for a good book, one that will completely alter the way you view plants, What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses by Daniel Chamovitz will fit the bill. You’ll never look at, or touch a plant without thinking about how they sense the world, including you, again. The book is divided into senses, starting with the ones we share, such as sight, smell and feel, including a lengthy discussion on exactly how a plant doesn’t hear, despite common belief. It then goes on to senses which are a little more complex including what a plant remembers and how it knows which way is up.

While we can’t ever get an exact sense of what it’s like to be a plant, Chamovitz paints…

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How to Find Nature in the City

This was originally published on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens.

Perhaps you live in the city, or you’re visiting for a conference, family or vacation. We’re all nature fiends here and we need our nature fix. Even those who are not self declared nature fiends need their nature fix, they just aren’t aware of it. Worry not, it’s not as hard as you might think to find nature in the city.

How to find it

First of all, you have to change the way you think. Sure, bears and deer and mountain birds are great, but you’re not likely to find them in the city center. Although, sometimes you can be in for a treat when a Snowy Owl takes out a gull in the middle of a busy neighborhood, or if you’re lucky enough to live in a city like Seattle where Orca whales are regularly…

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The Strahov Monastery Dendrological Library

This was originally published on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens.

The beautiful Strahov Monastery, which sits on a hill overlooking the city of Prague, was one of my favorite stops when I visited a couple of years ago. While the two ornate libraries are the main attractions (and rightly so, they’re absolutely gorgeous) there is a single bookcase which contains some fascinating books for plant-lovers and the curious. It’s easily overlooked and I suspect missed by the majority of the visitors. I nearly missed it myself until one of the docents pointed it out to me as we stood huddled in the corner by the shelf waiting for tour group mobs to disperse enough to peak inside the Theological Hall. This bookshelf contains the monastery’s dendrological collection or xyloteka, books unlike any other you’re likely to have seen. Each of the 68 volumes feature one Czech tree which was common to the area…

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