Everyone who attended our March meeting thoroughly enjoyed the entertaining and informative talk given by Eva Lusk on using native plants to attract wildlife to our Spokane area gardens. (Now, by “wildlife” we mean the good kind, i.e. hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, etc., not deer.)
Eva gave us a wonderful presentation on the many plants native to our area that will make our gardens more friendly places for birds, butterflies and other beautiful creatures. Her presentation was illustrated beautifully with photos of the plants she recommended taken in her own yard, a designated Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary due to her passion for using native species.
The plants Eva recommends have the added bonus, as native plants, of being easier to grow and maintain than plants from other geographical areas. Native plants are adapted to our local soil and weather conditions, and are more likely to be resistant to local pests and diseases.
Beautiful and Unusual Native Plants
Here are a few examples of plants she recommended. (Photos are from the University of Washington Library Digital Collection.)
A good example of a lovely native vine is Orange Honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa) – a vigorous climber, 6 to 18 feet, blooms in May, produces berries in September. Attracts hummingbirds.
Another native is Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum) – a shade loving plant, 6 to 24 inches, blooms April through May.
Another native shade plant is Wild Ginger (Asarum caudatum) – an evergreen shade plant, 4 to 6 inches, it produces unusual brownish-maroon blooms April through July.
A fine example of a beautiful native wildflower is the Grass Widow (Sisyrinchium douglasii) – 6 to 12 inches, blooms early April though June.
If you missed the meeting or would like to request a handout compiled by Eva with her recommendations and descriptions and uses for each, call or visit the Spokane County Extension Master Gardeners at 222 N Havana in Spokane just south of the Spokane Fairgrounds and the Indians Ballpark, phone: 477-2181. They are open Monday – Thursday from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm and Fridays from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. You can also visit the Master Gardeners website or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For More Information
If you would like more information on gardening with native plants you may want to visit some of the following sites.
Spokane County Conservation District: Landscaping With Native Plants
Washington Native Plant Society
WSU Extension Guide to Native Plants