Testing Xera Plants for Wildlife in North Portland
Welcome to Part 1 of a 2 part blog series on drought tolerant plants for North Portland front yards. As a Portland landscape designer, I understand how important it is to choose drought tolerant plants to help conserve water and beautify your landscape.
Record breaking plant sales for both Xera Plants in Portland and Cistus Designs, a nursery on Sauvie Island, are just one indicator of the way Portlanders are embracing low water plants. 90% of prospective clients who contact me for Portland Landscape Designs ask for plantings plans that take into account our climate change and are planning for a much lower water usage in their landscape.
Test Landscape for Drought Tolerant Plants in St Johns Portland
Our associate garden designer, Hilary Hutler, uses her hot, west facing front yard in St. Johns neighborhood to test and explore the new wave of low water plants. She has a personal interest going back many years and has become well versed with drought tolerant plantings to include Pacific Northwest Native Plants and cold hardy Mediterranean plantings.
Today I’m sharing five of her current favorite low water plants that are drought tolerant, pollinator and bird food and have year-round interest.
5 of Hilary’s Favorite Drought Tolerant Plants
Oregon Grape, Mahonia ‘Charity’- Hummingbird show and food source puts on a dramatic show in early winter.
Mahonia Gracilipes- This evergreen shrub has leathery, glossy dark green foliage and clusters of fragrant, yellow flowers in late winter or early spring.
Manzanita ‘John Dourley’- is a great smaller shrub and is favored for it’s more manageable size and overall good looks and yes the flowers.
Manzanita ‘Austin Griffiths’- for it’s beautiful and sinuous multi stem shape, attractive bark and late winter flowers.
Grevillea- This small tree/shrub is best known for the hummingbird show it puts on along with bright tropical looking flowers.
These are just a few of the many drought tolerant plants that can help you create an attractive and visually exciting, low-water landscape.
Special Care for Drought Tolerant Plantings in Portland, Oregon
Most drought tolerant plants must be planted in soil that is well draining. You can still plant them in our native clay soils but not in a low spot. Some of the drought tolerant evergreens like Arctostaphylos (Manzanita) and Grevillea need special neglect in order to thrive. Never fertilize these plants even when you are planting them. Add no composts or mulches to the soil at planting. Plant them in the native soil whenever possible. To read more about how to care for Arctostaphylos and Grevillea at the Xera Website.
In Part 2 of this blog series, I will share more of our favorite drought tolerant plants and give you tips on how to properly care for them. Stay tuned for more!
Do you want to have a landscape that uses less water and embraces plantings that support pollinators and gives your landscape a new up to date style? We are uber practical but also will release our plant nerd side when that is a benefit to our clients who enjoy plants and want to have an interesting and successful drought tolerant landscape.
Contact us. We would love to work with your landscape wish list and give you a landscape to enjoy throughout the upcoming years which are probably going to be hotter and dryer than we would all prefer.