Open Gardens Project – Featuring Renita’s Habitat

Site Information: Renita’s habitat in Vancouver has part sun to shade conditions, with dry soils. For an even deeper dive into Renita’s habitat, check out Clark County’s 2021 Natural Garden Tour feature on Renita’s garden, Smeatley Glen. It includes video of her yard and professional photos!

What inspired you to enroll in the Backyard Habitat Certification Program?

Yard signs and beautiful gardens.

How would you describe your habitat?

Catio, rain garden, disconnected downspouts, snag, mason bees, and grass removal.

What are your top three favorite native plants and why do you love them?

  • Fringecup – I love the fresh spring flowers and that’s is semi evergreen.
  • Sword fern – so tough and can handle so many garden conditions and just screams PNW.
  • Cascara – birds love this tree and I love everything about it from the bark to the berries.

What changes have you observed as a result of creating habitat?

We’ve noticed more bird activity, not just at the feeders, but enjoying the habitat as well.

What were the two most significant challenges you encountered while creating habitat, and how did you address them?

Dry soil. I moved my paths to the driest places.

How do you enjoy your Backyard Habitat throughout the different seasons? What are its highlights in each season?

Spring is the best. I love the fresh green growth. Summer is great for the berries.

What part of your backyard habitat are you most proud of?

Starting from bareroot plants.

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