Home and Garden

Growing In The High Desert: Drought Tolerant Landscaping

If we’re speaking about dream gardens, I’d have a landscaped backyard with mountains of gorgeous flowers and naturally, a swimming pool and scorching tub. It’s good to consider, however not very practical. That’s okay; I’m proud of the way in which issues are. 

I dwell within the excessive desert of japanese Oregon. The sky is large, and the native panorama is rugged and delightful, however gardening is a problem. I might do nice issues in my backyard if I had extra time, more cash, higher knees, and a landscaper. 

For those who’re like most individuals, you in all probability suppose the Pacific northwest is lush and inexperienced, however really most of Oregon and Washington is arid. It’s because rain clouds from the Pacific open up over an extended strip of western Oregon after which they bump up towards the Cascade Mountains and the rain stops. We’re within the rain shadow. 

I must also observe that the excessive desert isn’t a real desert however is called primarily due to the minimal rainfall. We get about 13 inches (33 cm.) of rain per 12 months (in distinction with Portland’s 43 annual inches). Summers are scorching and dry, however temperatures aren’t as excessive as a real desert. Winters are a lot colder. 

So, it’s comprehensible that gardening is tough. Precipitation is briefly provide, the rising season is brief, and temperatures can swing from freezing chilly to blazing scorching, typically in the identical day. Typically, it even looks like the wind won’t ever cease. 

Studying to Develop within the Excessive Desert

Once we moved right here 4 years in the past, the massive yard was a big mess. We spent many of the first summer season pulling weeds and hauling away trash. When that was completed, we might see the earlier proprietor’s makes an attempt at landscaping, which consisted primarily of assorted shrubs planted willy-nilly all through the yard. 

We tried to avoid wasting the shrubs that confirmed indicators of life, however the second summer season we pulled all of them up (excluding a number of stunning yucca plants). We additionally planted a garden that summer season, with blended outcomes. The third summer season we planted a big strip of the yard in native prairie grass. I adore it. 

This summer season we determined to surrender the wrestle with mom nature and to cease preventing the deer. It’s been a reduction and a pleasure to welcome wildlife into our yard as a substitute of worrying concerning the injury they’ll do (they usually can do plenty of injury). 

We’re steadily altering to a drought-tolerant, deer-friendly panorama with extra evergreen and yucca, together with numerous deer-resistant native crops. I’ve by no means tried transplanting sagebrush, however I believe it’s time to present it a strive.  

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