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Seattle garden

Get the Look, Part One: Pacific Northwest

This month, we’ll be focusing on different landscaping styles each week, via our “Get the Look” blog series. First up is the Pacific Northwest style; how can you bring these elements into your landscaping, and what will work in our climate?

Use native northwest plants. If you’ve visited the Pacific Northwest, or simply viewed pictures, you have probably cultivated a specific image in your mind already. Some of the more popular varieties include:

  • Ferns (any of the varieties)
  • Helleborus (if you have some shade)
  • Japanese Maples (if you have some shade)
  • Ornamental grasses (lots of them in all heights and colors)
  • Rose bushes
  • Pine trees (and other conifers)
  • Trees and plants with fall color
  • Birch Trees
  • Strawberry Trees
  • Redbud Trees
  • Gingko Biloba Trees
  • Saucer Magnolia Trees
  • Flowering fruit trees (Peach, Cherry, Plum, Pear)
  • Hydrangeas (traditional and Oak Leaf varieties)
  • Camellia Shrubs
  • Azalea Shrubs
  • Forsythia Shrubs
  • Lilac Shrubs
  • Gaura
  • Peruvian Lily (Alstromeria)
  • Flower bulbs hidden throughout the gardens (daffodils, leucojum, dahlias etc.)
  • Cranesbill ground cover
  • Ivy ground cover
  • Cotoneaster ground cover

Research growing preferences. Some stereotypically “Northwest” plants might require a damp environment, while others can tolerate more dryness. Our climate tends to be more dry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use those that require more water. As with most landscape styles in California, an irrigation system with a dedicated watering schedule is an absolute must.

Vary your selections. A few stunning varieties (ideally a mixture of those that bloom at different times) can alter the entire ambiance of your landscape. You can certainly mix Northwest-style selections with a more standard Southern California landscape, and still achieve the look you want.

Consider your soil. Non-native species might require soil amendments before planting, for optimal health. Give us a call, and we can help you decide which types of plants will work best in your landscape, and make recommendations to incorporate a few of your Pacific Northwest favorites.