What a wet month! During March, Jan Johnson one of the Park Rangers at Juanita Bay and a Native Plant Steward walked through the Park with me. Here she is pointing out Cherry Laurel. There are some huge Laurels and Holly trees to get out. Jan created and submitted a report on the park condition, it’s posted on another page. The plant list and consultation is very thorough and very interesting. Surprisingly there is quite a bit Red Huckleberry. Salal is growing abundantly along the length of a downed tree. The report also identifies “The Spring” as “a unique microhabitat in the park.” The springs on both the East and West side run all year long. It’s really quite beautiful to see. Jan said the Overstory is reaching old age and as it comes down there is little natural regeneration taking place because of the ivy infestation. She said: “By planting saplings of the four main species already there, you provide a nursery middle story for natural regeneration as well as get a head start on reforestation with your plantings. Since you have such wonderful nurse logs, I would suggest you emphacize Western hemlock (T. heterophylla), followed by Big-leaf maple (A. macrophyllum) and Western red cedar (T. plicata), and in the open, drier areas, Douglas fir (P. menziesii). “
Here she is pointing to some of the abundant Red Huckleberry. She said about the Middle Story: “You are already planning to add vine maple (Acer circinata ) to your understory. This is a good choice. Beaked hazelnut (Corylus cornuta), service berry (Amelanchior alnifoliaz), and oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor) might also do well in drier areas of the site. Encourage your salmonberry (R. spectabilis) and Indian plum (O. cerasiformis) to spread. Some red flowering current (Ribes sanquineum) by the steps entering the park would be a nice entrance addition.”
I ordered Vine Maple and Oceanspray bareroots from the King County Conservation Districts Annual Bareroot Plant Sale. The bareroots come in bundles of 10-12 and are roughtly $1-$2 apiece. This is a great way to get natives into your yard or in a park. Go out to www.kingcd.org and check it out.