Bert’s usually the one who posts on native plant news, but since he’s not in Seattle he will have missed this one. So Bert, sit back and enjoy!
I just got an email from Seattle Public Utilities, who are having an open house to discuss “high efficiency landscapes” through their Green Code Provision Boards. One of the changes has to do with invasive species (a good thing). But these are the proposed changes:
Invasive Species and Native Vegetation (Regional Plan)
Who it Applies To: For all new vegetated landscapes, or those being replaced
• Existing invasive plant species shall be removed and no invasive species planted.
• 75% of all new plantings will be native to Western Washington.
• A vegetation plan must be submitted for review.
• Existing native plant species shall be protected whenever possible.
I really don’t like the second bullet point. 75% natives? Many of our Western Washington natives are understory plants adapted to the cool, moist coniferous forests that in no way resemble urban developments. The few species that are able to tolerate hot, sunny, dry conditions won’t make for a very interesting or diverse palette. And we already know that a biologically diverse landscape is better than otherwise.
What’s wrong with using well-chosen nonnative plants that will tolerated urban conditions, support wildlife, and add some aesthetic interest?