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Red flowering currant (only this one is pink – probably Ribes sanguineum ’Poky’s Pink’). This is an iconic shrub of the Pacific Northwest, beloved to hummingbirds, and with pungently-scented foliage that either smells deliciously resinous or like cat spray, depending on the sniffer.

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One of many smaller manzanitas that are well-suited to life in containers. (These reside in tall, concrete planters, along with Ceanothus and other evergreen plants.) This manzanita is in full flower right now, as the hummingbirds within a mile of Ecotrust well know. Why do we not plant manzanitas in containers more often?

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Another view of the tall concrete planters with Ceanothus (due to burst into flower next month), along with Oregon grape (Mahonia , left), manzanita (Arctostaphylos , right) and other sundry good-lookin’ broadleaf evergreens.

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Moving along, from the south side planters to the west side path… this curbside planting includes creeping Ceanothus and Oregon grape (Mahonia, as well as a variety of springtime flowers which will start emerging later in April and May.

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This elegant filigree of red twigs is red-twigged dogwood (Cornus sanguineus), a native plant with year-round interest, starting with red winter stems. This display is followed by pretty chartreuse new leaves and creamy umbels of flowers later in spring. In summer, the flowers gradually develop ornamental white berries. Fall color is buttery yellow and red. And that’s just our regular native – doesn’t even include all the variations on the orange and yellow twigged forms, and the variegated leaf forms…

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The troughs along the west edge of the parking lot (on 10th Ave) are filled with a diversity of plantings – here, the handsome evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum), with pretty coral new growth at the tips in spring. Behind, you’ll see red-twigged dogwood and osoberry, a very early-flowering native with pendant, cream flowers and bright green leaves that emerge in late February.

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One of the same troughs planted with snowberry (berries still clinging – no leaves yet); Smilacina (taller foliage at left); wakerobin (Trillium ); Oxalis , ginger (Asarum ) and bleeding heart (Dicentra ).

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Our own native sword fern (Polystichum munitum) looks great in planters – elegant, simple, and nearly impossible to kill, in a shady or semi-shady spot. (See inscription in lower right granite slab.)

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An exquisite frame for some beautiful plantings. There is clearly a great story behind this piece of ingenious preservation…

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