Thursday, September 25, 2014

Good advice from WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife about getting your garden ready for winter.


September 2014 

Fall "To Do" list from your backyard wildlife family 

Your family may be making those fall outdoor chore lists, as daylight hours shrink, temperatures drop, and the urge grows to "batten down the hatches" in the yard and garden. 

Here's another "to do" list from your local wildlife "family" that you may find easier to check off: 

Leave some "dead heads" on your flowering plants to provide seeds for some of us birds and other animals 

If you must rake leaves off grass lawns, just pile them under some shrubs, bushes or other nooks and crannies to provide homes for those insects that we birds love to eat; leaves make great mulch to help your plants, anyway! 

Keep that dead or dying tree right where it is (unless, of course, it's truly a hazard to you), so we can feast on the insects in the rotting wood or make winter roosts or dens in its cavities 

Give yourself and your mower a rest for at least a portion of your lawn so we've got a patch of taller grass to hide and forage in 

Save just a little of that dead bramble thicket for us - it makes great winter cover and we don't need much! 

Fall is a good time to plant shrubs, so replace invasive, exotic Himalayan and cutleaf blackberries with native plants of higher wildlife value like blackcap (native black raspberry) or red raspberry; native currants or gooseberries found in your area; or native roses such as Nootka or baldhip. 

Pile up any brush or rocks you clear around your place to give us another option for nests and dens 

Take it easy on yourself and let go of the "perfect" garden image; we wild animals like less tidy, "fuzzy" places because there's usually more food and shelter there 

Get yourself a comfortable chair, sit back, and congratulate yourself on having made a home for wildlife and a haven of relaxation for yourself!

Garden for wildlife

Garden for wildlife by purchasing native plants from the Washington Native Plant Society
Central Puget Sound Chapter
Fall Native Plant Sale
Saturday, October 4, 2014
7740 35th Ave NE, Seattle in the Wedgewood neighborhood
Quantities are limited; last minute changes possible
Sale Chair: Kathleen Winters
Volunteer Coordinator: Marissa
Donations Coordinator: Rick Thompson

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

 Plant Propagation on a Shoestring
by Jeanie Taylor, native plant propagation expert and owner of Taylor Gardens
Eastside Subchapter of the WA Native Plant Society
 Tuesday, September 16, 7:30pm
Redmond Regional Library Meeting #1
15990 NE 85th Street, Redmond

If your green thumb is itching to get to work, this native plant propagation talk and hands-on seed demonstration will get you started. Jeanie Taylor will discuss...
some simple rules of seed propagation. Beginning with seed collection and processing guidelines, her talk and demonstration will include how to handle different types of fruits and methods of extracting and cleaning seeds. She will also provide basic information on seed dormancy and why knowledge of this is important in the germination of native plant and why knowledge of this is important in the germination of native seeds.

 Upcoming Program – Attracting Birds with Native Plants by Connie Sidles. Date: January or February – exact date and location to be determined. Watch for details in the Native Plant Press, on this Facebook page, (
and in upcoming emails. (If you would like to have your name added to our Eastside email list, contact

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Photo: Please join the Sammamish Community Wildlife Habitat Group and Sammamish Native Plant Stewards at this week's Sammamish Farmer's Market, 4:00 to 8:00 PM Sept. 10th. Information sheets, kids' activity sheets, and Ranger Rick magazines, and free native plants will be given out. See you there!

Please join the Sammamish Community Wildlife Habitat Group and Sammamish Native Plant Stewards at this week's Sammamish Farmer's Market, 4:00 to 8:00 PM Sept. 10th. Information sheets, kids' activity sheets, and Ranger Rick magazines, and free native plants will be given out. See you there!
It's Habitat Restoration Season!
Come join your neighbors in restoring Sammamish city parks.
Illahee restoration Fall, 2013
Below are a listing of work parties that have been scheduled so far this fall.
Illahee Park Trail on 9/20/14 9-noon

Come volunteer at Illahee Park Trail! We will be working to remove invasive plants in an area recently planted with native trees and shrubs. Help restore the Illahee wetland and learn about native plants!

Ebright Creek on 9/27/14 1-4, 10/11/14 & 11/8/14 9-noon

The Ebright restoration project consists of steps to improve the ecosystem functions of the urban forest surrounding Ebright Creek. Volunteers are needed in one of the following three important tasks.

1.    Remove invasive species such as Himalayan blackberries to give existing native plants a chance to thrive and make a comeback.

2.    Populate areas cleared of blackberries with native plants to aid the comeback of native plants and to prevent the re-growth of weeds and invasive species.

3.    Maintain the site to keep invasive species at bay.
Sign up for all of these at the city event calendar

Sammamish Landing 10/18/14 & 11/15/14 9-noon

 Volunteer to improve habitat at Sammamish Landing with Friends of the Cedar River Watershed and City of Sammamish! Sammamish Landing contains invasive plants that threaten to spread and degrade habitat. Volunteers will work to restore this important shoreline to a more natural and sustainable state by planting and mulching native trees and shrubs in an area cleared of invasive blackberry and ivy this summer. Join us along the lake this fall to continue progress!

The Friends of the Cedar River Watershed works hard to engage people to enhance and sustain watersheds through restoration, education and stewardship.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cleaning Your Birdbath

If you ever wondered the best way to maintain your birdbath, here are some tips from Emily Bishton, a local landscape designer and environmental educator :

Cleaning your birdbath

 Plain water is usually sufficient, but if there is a lot of algae buildup or it feels slimy to the touch, then continue with the following:
Soak a large rag in a 50/50 water/white vinegar mix 
  • Lay the rag so it is in contact with as much of the birdbath surface as possible, and let sit for 1-2 minutes,
  • Wring out the rag into the birdbath and then scrub the birdbath with the water/vinegar solution, then soak up the solution with the rag again
  • Rinse and scrub the birdbath one more time with plain water, and rinse off all surrounding plants with plain water too
Vinegar can harm plants by making the soil too acidic for their roots, so this method puts as little of it as possible on them.

If there has been a lot of fecal matter around the edge of the rim or you feel that more is needed, then soak a rag in a 10:1 solution of water:bleach and follow the same process, but be super careful about getting any of the bleach solution on surrounding plants, even for a few minutes.
Emily Bishton

Rev. 7/12/14


Friday, June 13, 2014

Free Bird Walk June 14th

Red-breasted Sapsucker, by Mick Thompson

Eastside Audubon is sponsoring a family oriented bird walk tomorrow at Lake Sammamish State Park from 10:00 AM to noon.  Check out their web page below for more details and enjoy the beautiful picture of the red-breasted sapsucker Mick Thompson took at the park!