You are currently viewing Gardening for climate change

Gardening for climate change

The rains have finally come to Olympia, Washington. It’s been a very dry and warm fall. Climate change is happening in my yard. I’m trying to figure out how to adapt. Some of the go-to plants in the Pacific Northwest are struggling. Drought tolerant aren’t words you associate with the “rainy” PNW, but drought tolerant plants have been featured prominently in recent gardening classes

Twice a year, the Native Plant Salvage Foundation holds a native plant sale. This was our third sale, so we are regulars now. We didn’t go too crazy. Here’s what we got:

Hellebores are the star of our yard, especially in winter. Who doesn’t love a flower that blooms in winter? Plus they are drought-tolerant, container-friendly and deer- and rabbit resistant.

The Northern Red Oak is my first oak in this yard. It tolerates drought and dry soil. It’s tiny. But stuff grows! An interesting tidbit about the Northern Red Oak is that it doesn’t have a significant tap root. That makes transplanting easier.

We have several acers, including big leaf maples and maple vines, which are actually more of a small tree/large shrub. This is our first Douglas Maple; it’s more drought-tolerant than vine maples.

Baldhip rose is a small rose, about two feet high, that grows in shade. I love roses, and I have been trying different types. My favorite so far is a Rosa chinensis ‘Mutabilis’ (China Rose), also a Native Plant Salvage find from the spring sale, which we have growing in a giant pot. It blooms continuously from spring to frost. It’s probably tripled in size since May. Full height is 5-6 feet (maybe taller?) hence the giant pot.

The Western Spicebush is just cool. It looks like a plant you would find in Maui, not Olympia. It’s my latest “let’s try it” plant.

Native Plant Salvage also reuses nursery pots! We have a few of those to spare.