Open Gardens Project – Featuring Anne’s Habitat

Site Information: Anne’s habitat in West Portland has full sun conditions

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

I wanted to have a more native environment around my house and to attract wildlife, especially birds and bees.

How would you describe your habitat?

We removed the lawn and a row of cedars to create a more natural area. Our habitat now includes several native plants which will create a habitat more in tune with our Pacific Northwest environment.

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

  • Vine maple tree in center of garden: This is a small native tree, perfect for an urban garden. It has an interesting shape that will grow and change over the years. It will have wonderful color in the fall.
  • Native dogwoods: These plants will grow and provide nice cover near our fence. They weathered the hot weather well so I expect them to do well in many kinds of conditions.
  • Western sword fern: I like these plants mostly because I really like ferns. So green.

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

Our habitat is new so we expect to see more changes over the years. Since planting in May, we have seen many birds enjoying the yard. Our neighbors out walking have stopped and commented positively on our new habitat.

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

Our landscape company had to remove the lawn which had lots of weeds as well as grass. The challenge now is keeping the stubborn weeds at bay.

What resources did you find especially helpful?

We relied on the Portland Audubon website and the knowledge of our landscape professionals.

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

We have only had our new habitat through the summer. As the year progresses, we look forward to watching the plants grow and change.

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

I am particularly proud of the rock garden on the sloped area.

Is there anything else you’d like to add about your journey?

We could not have created this habitat without hiring a very capable local landscape company.

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