Biome is a fancy word that describes the type of environment that you have. It could be woodland, stream bank or desert. To consider the biome for this garden, it is necessary to consider both what was once there, and what is there now. Originally, the lot was filled with pine, fir and a few other evergreen trees. Then it had an under-story of Salal, Huckleberry, Salmonberry. Plus a few intermediate shrubs such as Ironwood – a small tree related to the Birch. On either side of the yard, it continues to have that tree canopy.Read more “Biome”
To some, the question of native or exotic is almost religious. I think extremes are unnecessary – there is room for everything if done with consideration for the environment.
To start with, what is native has changed over time. Ever since the dawn of time, birds and animals have spread plants, climates have changed. Evolution allowed them to adapt to their local environments and since man has been active, plants have started to shift around the world.
We could look back 50 or 100 years and claim that only those plants that existed then are native. Everything since then has been introduced in an unnatural manner. Let’s face it, Western Caucasians are not native to the Americas even though they have been here for about 400 years.Read more “Native, Exotic or Pest”
Almost every gardening book starts by looking at what plant hardiness zone you are in. This is important because it determines what plants will die in winter. That’s right – the hardiness zone is all about how cold tolerant a plant is and at what temperature its cell structure breaks down.
The USDA publishes a map that divides the US down into 13 zones, each separated by 10°F. In more detailed maps, those zones are split into sub-zones separated by 5°F. The map was last updated in 2012 and there are websites where you plug in your zip code and your zone will appear.Read more “Garden Zones”