|Balsamroot and lupines at Columbia Hills State Park|
|Flower tapestry including castillejas and penstemons at Johnston Ridge, Mt. St. Helens|
|Flower field at Johnston Ridge, Mt. St. Helens|
|Flower field at Crater Lake|
|Phlox, lupines, and balsamroot at Columbia Hills State Park|
|Penstemons and castillejas at Crater Lake|
|Lewisia rediviva in my garden|
|Flower tapestry at Johnston Ridge, Mt. St. Helens|
|Calochortus on the John Day River, Oregon|
|Close Up of Calochortus on the John Day River|
|Castillejas, balsamroot and delphiniums at Rowena near The Dalles, Oregon|
|Lupines and Balsamroot at Rowena|
|Dichelostemma Pink Diamond in my garden|
|Lupines and balsamroot at Rowena|
|Mimulus lewisii at Crater Lake|
|Mimulus lewisii close up|
|Pacific Coast Iris Hybrid in my garden|
|Penstemon barretiae at Derby Canyon Natives in Peshatin, Washington|
|Penstemon rupicola in my garden|
I am growing more and more native plants in my new garden. For those people who have known me for a long time, this is something new, since I have, in the past, been a champion of exotic plants from all over the world. And I still like those exotic plants, and I still have many of them in my new garden. But in my travels around the western United States, I have discovered that there is a wealth of beauty in our native plants, and that many of these plants are hard to come by in the nursery trade. To me, that represents a new challenge in gardening!
When I refer to native plants, I generally mean plants which are native to the western United States. If a plant is native to Washington and Oregon, so much the better, but I don't want to limit myself to just those places in my search for beautiful, garden worthy plants. I know there are some who think we should put blinders on and look only at plants which have historically grown on the little patch of land which is our garden, but I think that approach is not only boring, but it ignores all the great, beautiful plants which might thrive on our little patch. I am limiting myself right now mainly to those plants which are native to the western United States simply because I am looking for drought tolerant plants, and this is the area which has those kinds of plants. But if I find a plant from the Great Plains, for example, which will thrive and be beautiful in my new garden, I will also want that plant.
In future blog posts I will talk about some of these plants and my experiences in growing them. Some of the ones I am particularly enamored of presently include penstemons, particularly the shrubby ones, castillejas which I have already written about here, lewisias, various bulbs including calochortus and dichelostemma, Lomatium columbianum, astragalus, oxytropsis, Pacific Coast Iris, opuntias, and balsamroot.