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Employee Garden Highlight: Jessica’s Redwood Shade/Part-Shade Garden

Jessica’s Gardening Tips:

“Before January 2018 my garden was a sea of invasive veldtgrass (Ehrharta erecta). But with lots of dedicated weeding and the right native plants, my home tucked away in the redwoods, is starting to look like the ethereal woodland oasis I always dreamed of.

“This time of year, while the soil is still wet from the rains and the temperatures are still cool, I prepare my garden for the warmer seasons ahead. I plant my potted plants, and last minute divisions like Woodland Strawberry, Yarrow, Yerba Buena, Redwood Sorrel, and Seep Monkeyflower. I spread mulch around my plants to retain the soil’s moisture and suppress pesky weeds. And with the combination of wet soil and warming temperatures I keep a close eye out for common pests like white powdery mildew, which is best dealt with early and with a solution of neem oil and water. Preparing the garden for spring is an important yet enjoyable task for keeping your natives happy and healthy for years to come.

“My favorite plant in the garden is the Woodland Strawberry because of the plentiful runners it sends out that create a lush ground cover. Woodland Strawberry, along with Yerba Buena, Red Fescue, Yarrow, and Redwood Sorrel are a great help in my garden with controlling erosion on the once veldtgrass covered areas along our stairs. You can easily direct the strawberry’s runners to the areas you want it to grow or let it choose its own adventure! Also, while the weather is still cool and misty, you can carefully dig up some of the newly rooted plants and plant them in other areas of the garden. Woodland strawberry is truly the gift that keeps on giving!”


Jessica’s Shade/Part-Shade Plant Palette:

  • Yarrow (Achillea millifolium)*
  • Crimson Columbine (Aquilegia formosa)*
  • Wild Ginger (Asarum caudatum)*
  • Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii)**
  • Bleeding hearts (Dicentra formosa)**
  • Seep Monkeyflower (Erythranthe guttatus)*
  • Red Fescue (Festuca rubra)
  • Woodland Strawberry (Fragaria vesca)**
  • Alum Root (Heuchera sp.)**
  • Pink Honeysuckle (Lonicera hispidula)*
  • Redwood Sorrel (Oxalis oregana)**
  • Mock Orange (Philadelphus californicus)*
  • Self Heal (Prunella vulgaris)**
  • Red Flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum)**
  • Fuschia Flower Gooseberry (Ribes speciosum)**
  • Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflora)*
  • Blackberry (Rubus ursinus)*
  • Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea)**
  • Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)*
  • Fringe cups (Tellima grandiflora)
  • Trillium (Trillium sp.)**

*Currently available
**Soon to be available

Woodland strawberries (Fragaria vesca), red fescue (Festuca rubra), thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus), and redwood sorrel planted along entry steps
"Woodland strawberries, red fescue, and redwood sorrel planted along my steps help prevent erosion in this area that was once covered in invasive grass."
Woodland strawberries (Fragaria vesca) and mosses in shade garden
"Woodland strawberries and naturally occurring mosses working together to keep the soil in place."
Woodland strawberries (Fragaria vesca) and stonecrop in a mini rock garden
"Woodland strawberries and stonecrop in my mini rock garden."
Thimbleberries (Rubus parviflorus), yerba buena (Clinopodium douglasii), and seep monkeyflower (Erythranthe guttatus, formerly Mimulus guttatus) on a slope
"As these thimbleberries grow they will create a low screen for our front porch. Also pictured is some yerba buena decoratively draping over a wooden embankment."
Redflowering currant (Ribes sanguineum) showing off its pink flowers in a shade garden
"Redflowering currant has beautiful pink flowers and berries that attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and fruit eating birds."
Hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea) and crimson columbine (Aquilegia formosa), not yet in bloom
"In the summer this hummingbird sage and crimson columbine will be full of magenta and crimson red flowers that the hummingbirds will go crazy for."
Redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregana), also known as redwood clover, in bloom
"Redwood sorrel has beautiful white to light pink flowers and spreads through underground runners called rhizomes to create a lush groundcover."
Alum root (Heuchera maxima) in a redwood shade garden
"As the weather warms and the sun peeks through the trees, more flowers will begin to bloom and provide food for pollinators and birds."
Photos by Jessica Calvillo


© 2019 Ecological Concerns Incorporated