NPN Newsletter Archive
From tiny spores grow mighty ferns…
The first time I grew ferns it was an accident. I had a maidenhair fern at home and noticed some fleshy green things that looked like liverworts growing in the soil below the fern one winter. Turns out, after I refreshed my memory of the fern life cycle, the fleshy bits were the result of fern spores falling on the soil below and germinate to produce a cute-as-a-button little heart-shaped structure called a prothallus. What happens next is amazing. [Keep reading…]
Let’s talk about our roots…
Many times when we think of the ideal plants for a project, we picture only half the plant. We want a certain height or number of stems, or a specific aesthetic quality of the foliage: but don’t forget to picture the roots of your ideal plant! Roots are of vital importance to a plant’s survival out in the “real world.” While the green parts above ground are photosynthesizing to keep the plant fed, down below, the roots bring in the water and nutrients that make all biological processes in the plant possible. [Keep reading…]
Happy planting season!
As a young nursery (just a little over 3 years old!), each season brings many new things: new pests, new infrastructure, new people, new systems, and my most favorite, new species grown in the nursery! We are excited to have a number of these newbies available for sale this year and would like to highlight a few below. [Keep reading…]
Happy native pollinator week
Flower blooms abound these days at Oxbow, in the nursery, on the Kids’ farm and production farm, and in our conservation buffer areas. With these blooms we see many of our beautiful native pollinators. Since we are in the middle of National Pollinator Week, I thought I would give a brief shout-out to the pollinators. While there has been much press and focus on declining honey bee numbers, it’s important to remember that we have a myriad of other pollinators around us that are native to the Puget Sound region… [Keep reading…]
It’s that fun Christmas-in-February time in the nursery, when fall-sown seeds are starting to germinate and I am constantly noticing new species poking their green heads up into the world. It is especially exciting each year to see the species that we are growing for the first time pop up. Pictured below are cow parsnip (Heracleum lanatum) and sickle-keel lupine (Lupinus albicaulis). [Keep reading…]
Fall is planting time!
As we (finally!) move into some wetter, milder weather, we begin to say goodbye to many of our plants in the nursery. After being fostered here for one or two years, they are off to be planted in their permanent homes. It is gratifying to think of all the valuable services these natives will perform out in the world: providing food and habitat for animals, holding soil in place, creating shade that cools water and soil, filter storm water and making natural and landscaped areas beautiful. [Keep reading…]
Seeds all around us!
Summer and fall are the seed-collecting season for us in the nursery, an activity that we enjoy very much! Many things are ripening earlier than usual in this warm, dry year, and lately, we are out seed collecting at least one day a week. It is a constant game of driving to sites, hiking around, checking places where you know certain species to be growing, and trying to catch things when they are ripe but haven’t been devoured by wildlife yet. At Oxbow, we are lucky enough to have a good deal of both open riparian and wooded foothill areas…[Keep reading…]