Tag Archives: Quercus

Manzanita, Rock Roses and Friends: The Strength to Stand

Choosing the right plant is not an easy process.  We pick a design theme, make sure our plant choices are a good match for our site conditions, are compatible with their ‘bedmates’ and won’t become overly burdensome, in terms of the maintenance we are able and willing to perform.  There are a lot of variables here.  Our expectations of how a plant performs in the landscape, as individuals and as a composition, are important as we assess their performance over time and decide how we will respond to them.  Many of us are attempting to create gardens that require less of us in terms of maintenance, that fit the conditions on the ground with minimal intervention on our part.  We may chose to create a xeric garden to minimize or even eliminate supplemental irrigation.  If we do, the plant choices we make, their spacing, the size of plants we purchase, even the timing of the planting and the soil prep we do, are all important in our success or failure.  While we attempt to keep our specific site conditions and our goals in mind, we need to be prepared for the extremes of conditions, like weather, that can occur occasionally, even if only once every several years.   Continue reading

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Drought Tolerant Plantings: A Review of Riverplace and South Waterfront, Summer ‘12 (updated Aug. ’14)

 

Riverplace Esplanade Bank looking south along the Marina toward the Marquam Bridge

Riverplace Esplanade Bank looking south along the Marina toward the Marquam Bridge.  My last big xeriscape experiment.

The following is an evaluation I initially did while still working for Portland Parks and Recreation.  I’ve edited it a bit and added a few things to make it more current.  I think it’s important for people to know what others are doing, what they’ve tried and what were the successes and failures.  While kind of long it is still a brief look at the conditions on a few sites that were under my care and my observations concerning their performance.  As Downtown area Parks these landscapes are very accessible for those curious to see how these plants have done on the ground.  Now, most of you if your gardening is limited to your own backyards will never have to deal with landscapes so large, nor will your growing conditions, specifically your soil, be the same, I thought that it would be interesting to share this anyway, in addition to letting you know where you can come see how these plants can look in a landscape.  All were planted small as they tend to better adapt to their sites when small, but some are beginning to mature and show what they can do.  Anyway, I view our Parks as a public asset.  There are many valuable and important plantings around us, that the public is largely unaware of.  Part of my role here is to change this situation through promotions like this and by continuing to work with horticulturist to create some kind of database of public and private plantings that is accessible for viewing by the general public. Continue reading