Author Archives: naturescaping

Wildlife Botanical Gardens Newsletter

Winter 2016 Newsletter

NatureScaping Volunteers!

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped maintain the Wildlife Botanical Gardens in 2015!  The Garden Coordinators work tirelessly every week to keep the Gardens thriving and welcoming to visitors.  This year, the NatureScaping Board decided to send a photo card from Terry Covington with a $25 Fred Meyer gift certificate enclosed to five volunteers who worked many hours helping our Garden Coordinators.  These hardy volunteers are: Patricia and Ken Foster, Tami Louie, Jake Cooper, Emily LeGore, and Joshua Benjamin.

We also want to acknowledge and thank Mari Osmundsen and Sandy McGaw who volunteered many hours in the Collectors Garden in 2015.

Garden Coordinator/Apprentices are Needed

If you know of a gardener who wants a garden to find physical exercise, quiet meditation among beautiful scenery, active birds and like minded gardeners, please refer them to us by leaving us a message at 360.737.1160 or

New Positions for 2016

Welcome Larry Fletch, Development and Communications Coordinator, and Marlene Dellsy, Administrative Assistant, as they begin as paid contractors on January 1st.

Larry Fletch has the experience we need to develop new educational programs for NatureScaping.  Larry worked many years with ESD 112 as a teacher, administrator; and developed service learning curriculums as a Resource Center Coordinator and Program Manager. He has written numerous grants and educational curriculums, and conducted many workshops and conferences.   We are excited to contract with Larry to help us with grant writing and development of our mission through new educational programs.

Many of you know Marlene Dellsy from our monthly classes and Bare Root Tree, Shrubs & Perennials Sale.  As of January 1st, Marlene will be compensated for her administrative support.  She will continue greeting class attendees, sending out our monthly class announcements, quarterly newsletters and other correspondence. Marlene will be our volunteer coordinator for the Bare Root Trees, Shrubs & Perennials Sale, Home & Idea Fair, Art in the Garden, and Bird Fest. Marlene has excellent writing and organizational skills, is a Master Composter/Recycler and is passionate about the mission of NatureScaping!  We look forward to her support and sharing of her great ideas!

2016 Bare Root Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, and Native Plants Sale

Mark your Calendars! Our annual fundraiser to maintain the Wildlife Botanical Gardens and CASEE natives propagation program is set for:

April 23-24 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and

April 30 – 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

NatureScaping members can shop early on April 23rd at 9:00 a.m.! 

We will also have a booth at the Clark County PUD Home and Idea Fair.

Volunteers Needed for the Sale and Booth!  Email Marlene Dellsy at if you would like to help!  For every 4 hours you volunteer, you get a free tree or shrub!  Share this post and volunteer with your friends!

Master Composter/Recycler (MCR) Free Training

Become a Master Composter/Recycler!

Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Master Composter/Recycler training. The training is FREE and attendees receive tons of information and resources on composting, recycling, green cleaning, green building, water quality, and other aspects of sustainable living.

The 12 week class meets once a week beginning January 28 and running through April 14. Classes take place Thursday evenings from 6-8:30 pm.

All are welcome to apply! To learn more, visit: For questions, contact Erik Horngren (MCR program coordinator) at 360-882-0936 x224 or

Winter Planning for Spring

While we are inside due to winter weather, we dream of spring and this is an ideal time to start planning.  Don’t forget our wildlife…:

Useful ideas to help wildlife:

  • Put up birdhouses in March for chickadees, wrens, swallows, and woodpeckers.
  • Provide separate bird feeders for sunflower seeds, thistle seeds, and suet so birds can choose their favorite.
  • Plant specialty gardens such as flowering patches for hummingbirds and butterflies
  • Plant extra for wildlife in your vegetable garden and let it go to seed in the fall for your bird-feeding program.
  • Leave shrubs unpruned as much as possible.
  • Mulch with lawn clippings and leaf litter, and pile shrub and tree clippings under your trees.
  • Make a dust bath for birds (a shallow hollow in the ground with dry dirt).
  • “Replant” a log in a secluded spot for salamanders and for wrens, sparrows, robins, and towhees to perch on and look for bugs.
  • Keep a diary of your wildlife observations.
  • Attend our January 12th Class on Landscaping for Wildlife.
  • Attend our February 20th class on rain gardens and other storm water management best practices.
  • Attend our March 19th class on pruning.

Check out NatureScaping’s website: and our Facebook page for classes and event information, or call us at 360.737.1160

We are an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization.  Donations are appreciated!

Wildlife Botanical Gardens Newsletter

Fall 2015 Newsletter

Bee Time

By Brigg Franklin, “Bee Herder”

With fall fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about our Mason Bees and preparing them for winter. Last spring after the female bees laid their eggs and then disappeared, those eggs hatched and new larvae emerged. The larvae, or grubs, spent the next few months eating the nectar and pollen in their mud chambers and growing. By midsummer, the now fat larvae stopped eating and began to spin cocoons inside of which they then changed by metamorphosis from pupae into adult bees. With fall, the bees will now be in hibernation and will stay in their cocoons until next spring. During this late summer period, many predatory insects are looking for our bee cocoons into which to lay their own eggs that then feed on the sleeping bees. By bringing the bees in their tubes inside, we lessen the chance of losing next year’s adult bees.

Next, in mid November comes time to clean the bee cocoons, getting rid of the mites waiting to attach to the bees as they emerge next spring. We open each bee tube’s paper liner and gather the cocoons to be washed in cold water and then stored safely in a plastic dish in the refrigerator until next spring.

If this all still sound a little confusing and you want to learn more about “herding” your own Mason Bees, plan to attend NatureScaping’s November 14th  class on Mason Bees from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the CASEE center, 11104 NE 149th St., Brush Prairie, WA. You’ll get hands-on experience and may even go home with your very own bee cocoons.

Flying Flowers Garden
Written by Gary and Anita Stebbins, Flying Flowers Garden Coordinators

The Flying Flowers garden has recently been certified as a butterfly garden by the North American Butterfly Association.  It meets their requirements for certification by having:

*  At least three different native caterpillar food plants.
*  At least three different native butterfly nectar sources.
*  Use of pesticides is discouraged.

We are proud to say that this garden met their requirements and then some.

Hedgerows for Urban Landscapes
Excerpted  from blogger, Kelly Brenner’s, article at

The principles for hedgerows can easily be used in an urban setting. Hedgerows are low-cost while at the same time a high-impact design element. They can be used along many existing linear landscapes such as railways, pathways, power lines and roads where they can be used to create habitat corridors, connecting networks of habitat patches together. Homeowners can use them to surround their yard, providing all the benefits for wildlife while also providing privacy and creating a very nice space. Homeowners can work together to link stretches of yards creating a travel corridor for small mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians and insects such as pollinators.

The key to a successful hedgerow is diversity, diversity, diversity. The diversity of plants and structure ensures the hedgerow can appeal to a wide variety of wildlife by having a diversity of fruiting and flowering times. Having structural layers is important for many reasons; different species inhabit specific vegetation layers, more layers provide more refuge and more sources of food. Leaving dead material on the ground is also important because many species of wildlife forage in the leaf litter for insects and even nest and pupate there. There are a number of plant species that can be beneficial, trees will provide nesting, shelter and food for birds, and shelter for bats, moths and squirrels. Over the long term the trees will die, turning into snags, and provide another range of benefits.

Select shrubs and trees that provide fruit or nuts for wildlife and shrubs with thorns or spines to provide good shelter for many species. Choose shrubs which are known to be the larval host of butterflies and moths. Include a range of plants that flower during various times of the year to provide a constant source of nectar and pollen. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest there is a good plant list from the King Conservation District and another plant list from the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Some of the best choices for Pacific Northwest hedgerows include Pacific Serviceberry, SnowberryOregon-grapeDouglas Fir, hawthorn, wild rose, bramble, hazel, beech, dogwood, apple, elm, oak, honeysuckle and clematis. Many of these will be found growing naturally along forest edges or in thickets.

NatureScaping’s October Happenings:

Watch for our upcoming announcement via email and on our website: for our Perennials Propagation Class and Work Party hosted by Perennials Princess, Julie Carlsen, on Sat. Oct. 17th

Contact NatureScaping of SW WA at: (360) 737.1160, or PO Box 763, Battleground, WA 98606

NatureScaping of SW WA is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization.


Wildlife Botanical Gardens Newsletter

Summer 2015 Newsletter

Art in the Garden
Sunday, July 12, 2015
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

NatureScaping of SW WA and the Clark County Chapter of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon are hosting the 3rd Art in the Garden Event in the Wildlife Botanical Gardens.

Spread the word to your friends, family and co-workers to come out on July 12th to tour our beautiful gardens, hear live music, watch a spinning wheel demonstration and experience the art of 18 local artisans.

Clark County Master Composter/Recyclers are hosting their event the same day in their Compost Demonstration Site.

Written by Ruth Phillips, Board Member and Retired WSU Professor

Butterflies are not only beautiful but also important as they pollinate plants, are an important link in the food chain, as well as indicators of environmental quality for humans. Creating your own Butterfly Garden is an important act in stopping the decline of these wonderful creatures. Butterflies need host plants to lay their eggs and nectar plants for the adult butterflies to feed.

Most adult butterflies will nectar on a variety of plants, but often the females will only lay eggs on a few host plants.
We have three types of Swallowtails in SW Washington (our largest butterfly):

The Western Tiger Swallowtail lays eggs on alder, ash, aspen, poplar, cottonwood and willow.

The Anise Tiger Swallowtail lays eggs on carrot, parsley, dill, and fennel.

The Pale Swallowtail lays eggs on Ceanothus and Ocean Spray (both are native plants).

For information on these and other butterflies of Western WA, read: Butterflies of Cascadia: A Field Guide to All the Species of Washington, Oregon, and Surrounding Territories by Robert Michael Pyle.

What are Neonicotinoids and Why are People Concerned about Them?
Written by Barb Rider, Master Composter/Recycler & NatureScaping Coordinator

Neonicotinoids are a “broad spectrum” insecticide, which means they do not target a particular species of insects; they are systemic, which means they are absorbed and distributed throughout the tissues of plants treated with them. Treated plants can retain toxic residue anywhere from one day to more than a year depending upon application method and neonicotinoid type.

Neonicotinoids have become a topic of discussion recently because of a) honey bee “die offs” after application of neonicotinoids (Willsonville, OR Target parking lot) [1] , b) some studies which have linked honey bee “colony collapse disorder” with the use of neonicotinoids [1],[2],[3], c) observed reduction of bird populations after insect population reduction from neonicotinoid use [2], and d) the banning of use of neonicotinoids from some European countries [4].

Based on these concerns, there have been calls to completely stop the sale of neonicotinoids (to the public) and also calls for companies that sell flower, shrubs and trees to stop using neonicotinoids on the plants, as well, in the U.S.A. [5] Some groups, such as the “Xerxes Society for Invertebrate Conservation” have conducted their own reviews of past studies on neonicotinoids, as well [3]. Dr. Dave Smitley, PhD Entomology at Michigan State University, has created a slide show that reviews the history of neonicotinoids, including public outcry and studies [1].

What should be done? Options range widely, as do opinions. At one end of the spectrum, is the request to immediately stop the sale of all neonicotinoids. There are also calls to ramp up studies to more accurately evaluate the effects of the insecticide upon honey bees (and other insects) in hopes that proper and minimal application rates could be discovered to reduce negative impacts but still help reduce insect predation upon crops.

Perhaps the best approach we can each take is a multi-pronged approach: a) continue to educate ourselves on insecticides effects, b) reduce or even halt our own use of insecticides, c) grow more native plants that have a natural immunity to many pests, d) buy plants that are not pre-treated with neonicotinoids and e) encourage a wider range of insects in our gardens to help control the “bad” insects through the balance of having natural predators present – other insects, birds, bats and other creatures. For commercial products currently sold in stores that contain neonicotinoids, see pg. 5 of the Xerces publication “Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees?” [3]

References and for further reading:
1. pg. 4 of slide. (Re-directed from

Watch for our upcoming pollinator classes in July and August via your email and on our website:

Contact NatureScaping of SW WA at: (360) 737.1160, or P.O. Box 763, Brush Prairie, WA 98606
NatureScaping of SW WA is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization.

Wildlife Botanical Gardens Newsletter

Spring 2015 Newsletter

2015 Events at the Gardens!
Annual Bare Root Trees, Shrubs & Perennials Sale – April 25, 26, May 2nd 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Members only shop early on April 25th at 9 a.m.

We need volunteers for our annual plant sale!. To read about the different positions and to sign up, go to
Questions? Please contact Jillian Echlin, Event Coordinator at or 360.737.1160.

Art in the Garden July 12, 2015
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

NatureScaping and the Hardy Plant Society Clark County Chapter are hosting the 3rd Art in the Garden Event in the Wildlife Botanical Gardens. Mark your calendars to visit on July 12th to see our beautiful gardens and all the art!

Clark County Master Composter/Recyclers are hosting their event the same day in their Compost Demonstration Site.

Lots of fun and education for visitors for both events through a great partnership of Clark County gardening groups!

Mason Bees in the Gardens
Written by Brigg Franklin, Bee Herder

Mason Bees are one of several hundred bees native to the Northwest. Unlike the imported European Honey Bees, Mason Bees do not make honey, do not live in a colony, and do not sting; however, they are very good pollinators. Mason Bees carry their pollen on body hairs rather than pads on their legs, so this allows more of the pollen to transfer to the next flower visited. Since Mason Bees are solitary, they are not affected by the colony collapse now decimating the Honey Bee population.
However, Mason Bees are being decimated by our use of insecticides and urban growth.
Our Mason Bees are kept in two shelters in the gardens and are about ready to start emerging from their winter sleep in their cocoons. After mating, the female bees will start building mud chambers in the hollow tubes, gathering pollen, and laying an egg in each chamber. The female bee lives for about six weeks and then dies. Over the summer, her eggs will hatch into grubs that eat the stored pollen. These grubs will then build a new cocoon and metamorphose into a new bee ready and waiting for the next spring. During March and April, please feel free to stop by our Mason Bee shelters and watch the busy bees hard at work gathering and building.
Brigg Franklin will sell Mason Bee Cocoons at our Bare Root Trees, Shrubs and Perennials Sale.

Geocaching in the Gardens
Written by Brigg Franklin, Geocacher

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt game played by over two million geocachers with over six million geocaches in 184 countries. There are even geocaches on the international space station and also located 2,300 meters below sea level. One of the best geocaches is in the Wildlife Botanical Gardens! Geocaches are located using the GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates of latitude and longitude and a GPS receiver such as is found on most smart phones. Each cache contains a log book to record your visit and, depending on its size, may contain SWAG (Stuff We All Get) toys.
Our garden Geocache has been visited by over 100 geocachers and has received multiple “favorite points,” making it one of the most liked in the Pacific Northwest. This is because the gardens are such a beautiful place to visit and because the garden’s Geocache is an “offset cache,” meaning there are clues to its location in each of the eight gardens that must all be found to obtain the final coordinates. Each clue is a small tag with a picture of Signal the Frog (the Geocaching mascot) and a letter and number code. These clues are easy to find at the side of each garden path. When you find the tags, please leave them where they are. Sometimes “Muggles” (non-geocachers) make off with these tags, so they must be replaced. If you find that one has gone missing, please notify Brigg Franklin, our geocache manager at
To learn more about Geocaching, visit the website, sign up for a free membership, and visit our Wildlife Botanical Gardens cache page designated as GC1GNJR.

New Picnic Tables
Written by Martha Stephenson, Manor Garden Coordinator

The Manor Garden now hosts a brand new, round, picnic table in its entrance area and the old table that looked pretty worn and ragged has a new look thanks to Eagle Scout Braden Oehler. Braden is in Troop 367 and met with Martha Stephenson, Manor Garden Coordinator, several times to talk about design and size. Braden completed all the work independently. The new round table easily seats 6 people. That old worn and half rotted picnic table was refurbished and carried to its new home in the NW Natives Garden. Come visit the Gardens and enjoy a picnic at one of these new additions. Thank you, Braden, and Battle Ground Ace Hardware who donated the hardware for Braden’s project.

WSU Clark County Extension is currently accepting applications for Master Food Preservers. Volunteers must attend 50 hours of training. The training is for those interested in sharing their knowledge about safe food preservation at community events or classes. Applications are due by April 10th and classes start April 17th. For more information and application go to or call Sandy brown at 360-397-6060 ext 5700 or email at

Written by Meredith Hardin, President

In early March, I met with Irene Catlin, teacher with Battleground School District CASEE Center, and amphibian expert. Irene and I searched for amphibian egg masses in the NW Natives Garden pond and the Manor Garden fountain as part of the volunteer program headed by Peter Ritson, Environmental Scientist.
In fifteen minutes, we found about 15 PSRE or Pacific Tree Frog egg masses and about 25 AMMA or Long-toed Salamander egg masses. Wow…to think all these are right under our noses when we gaze into these waters! You can help next winter to search for pond breeding amphibians and their eggs. Check out Peter Ritson’s project at
May 16th, Irene Catlin is teaching a class for NatureScaping on Amphibians. Children are welcome and there will be hands on activities.
Come learn how to make your fountain, pond or wetland inviting to native amphibians. More information to come!

Support NatureScaping through your Fred Meyer Rewards Card Community Rewards Program at Select NatureScaping of SW WA and Fred Meyer will donate to us. You still earn your rewards.
When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to NatureScaping. Bookmark the link and support us every time you shop.

We are an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are appreciated!

Wildlife Botanical Gardens Newsletter

Winter 2015 Newsletter

NatureScaping Partners and Volunteers!
Thank you Master Gardener Foundation for your 2014 grant to NatureScaping of SW WA to build the educational kiosk pictured above.
In October, four Clark County Restorative Justice mentors and youth cleared the site at Wildlife Botanical Garden’s entrance by the NW Natives garden.

Building materials were purchased and some donated from Shur-way Building Center and Lowes. Volunteers, John Antell and Mitch Hardin installed the two 6×6 posts; Jim Ivy designed the roof and center display; then constructed the roof and center display.

NatureScaping of SW WA also received a grant from the Hardy Plant Society of OR for the kiosk’s Wildlife Botanical Gardens sign (created by Signs N More), and 53 “Native Plant of the Month” posters from the WA Native Plant Society. Additional education materials will be created through this grant. Thank you Hardy Plant Society of OR!

New WSU Gardening Website
Julie Carlsen and I recently met with Michael Reitenour, co-owner of NW Nursery Outlet, to plan our January 17th class, Pacific NW Trees & Shrubs. We got off topic while touring the Outlet talking about the wide spread damage to Azalea’s over the past few years due to the Azalea lace bug.

When I returned home I remembered the new WSU Extension “Gardening in Washington State” website, Mark this website to search whenever you seek information about garden or landscape questions of your own.

I searched this website for information on the Azalea lace bug. The Azalea lace bug (Stephanitis pyrioides) is a relatively new insect pest in the Pacific Northwest. The adult and larvae feed on the underside of leaves leading to mottled, stippled, yellow leaves which cannot recover. Here’s one portion of the information I found:
• Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides to preserve populations of beneficial predators which will help control lace bugs.
• Grow azaleas in shady areas to minimize damage.
• Hosing plants with a strong stream of water directed at the underside of leaves will help to remove them, and wingless nymphs will not return.

This is the time of year to do your research! Also check out:

Welcome 2015 with imagining, planning and visualizing your gardens…include native plants!

Meredith Hardin, President

Welcome Jillian Echlin, NatureScaping’s 2015 Event Coordinator
Hello NatureScaping of SW WA! As a past high school student at the Battleground School District’s Center for Agricultural Science and Environmental Education (CASEE), the Wildlife Botanical Gardens planted seeds towards my life-long interest in homesteading, bird watching, and abundant growing. Today, I’m pursuing a degree in outdoor education. My past employment includes community events coordinator for AmeriCorps, farmer, and middle school teacher. These endeavors support my future plans for my own patch of green where I can raise sunflowers, keep bees, and generally get my hands dirty.

Thank you NatureScaping of SW WA for this opportunity! I look forward to meeting you in the coming months!

2015 Bare Root Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, and Native Plants Sale
Mark your Calendars. Our Annual Fundraiser to maintain the Wildlife Botanical Gardens and CASEE natives propagation program is set for:

April 25-26 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and

May 2 – 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

NatureScaping members can shop early on April 25th at 9:00 a.m.!

We will also have a booth at the Clark County PUD Home and Idea Fair.

Volunteers Needed for the Sale and Booth!
Email Jillian at if you would like to help! For every 4 hours you volunteer, you get a free tree or shrub! Share this post and volunteer with your friends!

Educational Opportunities
The Wildlife Botanical Gardens need a Compost Demonstration Site Coordinator! Look at our happy, smiling faces at the end of our November, rainy, chipping woody materials party!

Master Composter/Recycler (MCR) Free Training –

This 10 week class meets once a week, Thursdays 6 – 8:30 p.m., beginning February 5 through April 9. At graduation, trainees are certified as Master Composter/Recyclers and become sustainability ambassadors for the Clark County community. Trainees are asked to contribute 30 volunteer hours within a year of graduation to “pay back” their free training.

To learn more visit:

For questions, contact Erik Horngren (MCR program coordinator) at 360-882-0936 x224 or

Check out NatureScaping’s website:
and our Facebook page.

We are an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are appreciated!

Wildlife Botanical Gardens Newsletter

Fall 2014 Newsletter

Step into Nature Garden Club

Terry Covington, NatureScaping Board Secretary, photographer and poet, assisted the Step into Nature Club write a “found poem”. Terry chose a small cluster of lantana berries, and everybody in the group said what it reminded them of. Terry organized the observations together in random order to create the following poem. The kids enjoyed this activity and there was a lot of laughter.


Lantana berries are elegant,
like black pearl earrings. They remind me
of balls of electricity! Looking at them,
I think of blackberries. They make me hungry!
Dr. Seuss would like Lantanas.
They look like blossoms starting to bloom.
Lantana berries are like lollipops,
a grape nucleus,
a bomb exploding!

New Garden Coordinators & Administrative Volunteer

Fran Hannah, Collector’s Garden Coordinator, past Board member and administrative assistant is retiring from NatureScaping as of November. Fran will be deeply missed and we hope she will visit us frequently.

Mari Osmundson, a long time NatureScaping volunteer has excitedly offered to step in as the Collector’s Garden Coordinator.

Jamie Reeb, Board Member and Cottage Garden Coordinator mentored Jean Meyer over the summer months to take over as Coordinator. We hope Jamie will remain on the NatureScaping Board and continue to share her knowledge and enthusiasm with us.

Michele Huffman, member and Master Gardener, is now assisting Sidne Kneeland, NW Natives Garden Coordinator.

Long time NatureScaping member, Marlene Dellsy, is now volunteering as Administrative Assistant for various needs. Thank you Marlene!

Event Coordinator of the 2015 Bare Root Trees, Shrubs and Perennials Sale

NatureScaping is now accepting proposals through Oct. 25th from experienced Event Coordinators for our annual fundraiser in late April, 2015. The link to the RFP is at or call to request an RFP through the mail.

Educational Kiosk

By the end of October, a new educational kiosk will be installed at the entrance to the Wildlife Botanical Gardens. The funding for this kiosk comes from grants from the Clark County Master Gardener Foundation and Hardy Plant Society of Oregon. Shur-way Building Center and Signs & More are providing the materials. Jim Ivy, Fred Ojama, John Antell and Mitch Hardin are building the kiosk!

CASEE Selling Native Trees and Shrubs for Fall Planting
Contact Margaret Bessert at or 360.885.5361 to purchase native trees or shrubs. She will arrange a time to meet you at the Greenhouse behind the Wildlife Botanical Gardens to shop. A list of trees and shrubs for sale will be posted on our NatureScaping website in the coming week or two.

Amazon Smile Support of NatureScaping

If you shop on Amazon, consider signing up for Amazon Smile where you can choose NatureScaping of SW to receive a donation of .5% of your purchases. Check out how to sign up at

Fred Meyer Community Rewards

Assign your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to their Community Rewards Program at Select NatureScaping of SW WA and Fred Meyer will donate to us. You still earn your rewards.

Capital Contributions for 2015
Our road through the Gardens, our two garden sheds, and educational display board for events are all showing their age. All three need repairs. As you renew your membership this year, please consider choosing a membership rate more than the $20 general membership so we can increase our budget for repairs/replacement.

Check out our monthly classes at: and on Facebook.
Columbia Springs Master Composters/Recylers are teaching a FREE Lasagna Gardening Workshop
Saturday, October 4
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
St. Andrew Lutheran Church (5607 NE Gher Rd / Vancouver, WA 98662)

Register at or 360.882.0936 x 224.

Contact NatureScaping of SW WA at: (360) 737.1160, or PO Box 763, Battleground, WA 98606
NatureScaping of SW WA is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization.

Wildlife Botanical Gardens Newsletter

Summer 2014 Newsletter

Art in the Garden!
Our 2nd Art in the Garden Show was well attended in spite of the rain, thunder and lightning. theJazzShack band got the spirits moving and everyone was full of energy!

As a member of NatureScaping, we want you to see what your dues provide. Please tour the gardens with family and friends, and come to classes! Our weekly work parties include dedicated members, youth and mentors from the Clark County Restorative Justice program, Battleground CASEE students and other high school students. The NatureScaping Coordinators and members are excellent mentors to the youth. We often hear the youth say at the end of the day, “I learned about nature today and really enjoyed working here. I want to bring my family to see the beautiful gardens!”

Education is our Mission
NatureScaping’s partnerships with the CASEE staff and Clark County’s Master Composter/Recyclers are increasing our educational outreach in SW Washington. Battleground School District Science Specialist and NatureScaping Board Member, Mark Watrin, reported over 400 elementary and middle school students, parents and staff toured the Wildlife Botanical Gardens for science projects this past spring. We also have home schoolers learning in the gardens.

Clark County Master/Composter Recyclers provide free composting and vermiculture classes throughout the year, and as part of the Art in the Gardens, had over 80 people stop by the Compost educational area!

NatureScaping of SW WA was awarded grants this year from the Master Gardener Foundation of Clark County and the Hardy Plant Society of OR to build an educational kiosk at the entrance to the Gardens and provide educational materials at the kiosk. The two projects will be completed by the end of 2014.

Our planning for next year’s classes will begin soon. Email or call us with class subjects you are interested in attending. Also, we heard some of you loud and clear and we will provide a microphone for future speakers.

Craig & Joy Johnson shared their Birds, Backyard Habitat and Beyond DVD during the June class. The Audubon Society of Whidbey Island awarded them an Excellence Award in 2012 for this DVD. The Johnson’s are co-authors of several Pacific Northwest photographic bird books and two illustrated children’s books. Check them out at:

Vanessa Gardner Nagel, APLD, NCIDQ, Nationally-Certified Designer, Author and Lecturer shared her passion at our July class for sustainable landscaping with design ideas for replacing all or part of our lawns with grasses. Part of this paradigm shift from lawns to native and ornamental grasses retrains our brains to see that green, manicured lawns are boringly monoculture, expensive to maintain with chemicals and water, and lack value for wildlife. As a number of participants stated, “it’s okay to have clover in your grass, bees love it!”
Check out Vanessa’s website for more information on wildlife friendly landscaping, and listing of her books on landscape design:

Find us: and Facebook
Contact us at: (360) 737.1160, or PO Box 763, Battleground, WA 98606

We are an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are appreciated!

Wildlife Botanical Gardens Newsletter

Spring 2014

Successful Sale!

Our Bare Root Trees, Shrubs & Perennials Fundraiser Sale raised over $14,000, more than we’ve raised since 2008! Thank you, NatureScaping members for your donations of plants and time. We have many new volunteers, members and customers through the efforts of everyone; but in particular, Holly Stept, Event Coordinator. Holly organized the sale set-up, volunteer assignments, and advertising through social media. She and her husband, Jake, and 3 year old son, Wyatt, even walked through neighborhoods distributing our sale flyers. Many Board members and Garden Coordinators put their heart and soul into the sale through many hours of planning and organizing, then worked both weekends.
Now onto enjoying our membership benefits! Our May, June and July classes promise much education on landscaping for wildlife. Our 2nd annual “Art in the Gardens” is July 13th. Master Composter/Recyclers is teaching two classes this summer at the Compost site. Check out the listing of upcoming classes and events on our website. Hope to see you this year at a class, or in the Wildlife Botanical Gardens!
Meredith Hardin, President

P.S. Consider signing up your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to their Community Rewards Program at Select NatureScaping of SW WA and Fred Meyer will donate to us. You still earn your rewards.

Featured Spring Flowering Shrub
Golden Current (Ribes aureum)

In early May in the Flying Flowers Garden – Ribes aureum yellow flowers exude an intoxicating, spicy fragrance. The flowers will turn into gold-colored, edible fruit.
Uses: Golden currant is widely planted for wildlife habitat, hedges, windbreaks and in conservation and landscape plantings. The berries are used for jam and jelly production. Pheasants, grouse, jays, robins, thrushes, and orioles eat the berries. Deer and elk browse the twigs and leaves.

written by Terry Covington

Join me in the Entrance Garden for lunch.
We shall dine on Golden Oregano
and Lingonberries. The Jolly Bee
Hardy Geranium will bemuse us with its name. Freckles Violets and Zebra Iris
will provide patterns for our delight.
Jerusalem Sage will lend us his wisdom.

The trees are blue here — Colorado Spruce
and California Lilac. Johnson’s Blue
Hardy Geraniums spread their cheer,
and Columbine in every color of the rainbow. For dessert, we shall sit
beneath the Full Moon Coreopsis
and savor Chocolate Chip Carpet Bugles
and Peach Flambe’ Coral Bells.

Later, we shall take a walk
beneath the Rose Glow Barberry,
the Giant Ironweed, and the Inula
which draws the honeybees.
The buzzing of the bees and songs
of the White-Crowned Sparrow and Spotted Towhee will lull us to sleep on a bed
of Scotch Heather and Golden Sedge.

Volunteer Opportunities

Administrative Assistant – help with emails, phone messages, and membership. May also help with creating and sending newsletters. Computer skills required!
Maintenance Co-Coordinator – help with mowing, shed and fence repair.
Project Design/Builder – New fencing design for perennials storage, educational kiosk. Must have design/building experience.
Community Relations Assistant – help with calling/emailing community organizations and building relationships on behalf of NatureScaping. Must have the gift of conversation, and experience building trust.
Business Liaison – help build relationships with local businesses to donate time/money to NatureScaping. Will schedule tours with businesses. Must enjoy meeting new people and have access to phone/email.
We rely on our awesome volunteers to help keep NatureScaping’s Wildlife Botanical Gardens a highlight of Clark County. If you know anyone who can help, email Meredith Hardin, President at

Check out our website: and our Facebook page for Wildlife Botanical Garden photos by Terry Covington.

We are an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are appreciated!

Wildlife Botanical Gardens Newsletter

Fall 2013

Garden Buzz

Busy as bees are we as we buzz around with all the tasks of life – family, work, and volunteering.  When do we get to relax and reenergize? At the Wildlife Botanical Gardens!

This year Garden Coordinators and Board Members busily shared their passion for the Wildlife Botanical Gardens with new ideas and projects.  We hosted more tours than any of us can remember in past years. 

Art in the Gardens first year was a success!  On a beautiful, warm, clear July day, over 200 people visited the nine artists who set up their art throughout the gardens.

Many members gathered at the Volunteer Appreciation Event Sept. 21st to celebrate NatureScaping, and share gifts and food.  We hope you will come next year!

Check out our website for educational and fun classes in October and November!  Hope to see you there.  Meredith Hardin, President

Contact NatureScaping at 360.737.1160,, or P.O. Box 891, Camas, WA 98607.  We are an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization.  Donations are appreciated!

The 7th Annual Apple Festival,  written by Cathy Miller Smith, Board Member

The 7th Annual Apple Festival and Heirloom Apple Tasting, hosted by Friendly Haven Rise Farm and Jacqueline Freeman, moved this year from the one room schoolhouse in Venersborg to the 78th Street Heritage Farm in Hazel Dell.  While the weather was wet, the attitude of the participants and attendees was not dampened in the least.

Organizations in attendance included the Small Acreage Program, Master Food Preservers, Home Orchard Society and our own NatureScaping.

I presented an informal, hour long seminar and discussion, All About Pollinators, covering our most common local pollinators: Hummingbirds, Bumble bees, Butterflies, Orchard Mason Bees and Honeybees.  Basic principles of food, water, shelter and space for each pollinator were discussed with many varieties of plants noted to plant for our little pollinators throughout the seasons for their year-long sustenance.

Attendees were especially interested in plants to attract hummingbirds so that feeders were not necessary most of the year.  Many plants were discussed but of special note were the cape fuchsia, hardy fuchsia and penstemon varieties.  Also of specific interest were plants used for the attraction and benefit of honeybees.  With an ongoing interest in the decline of the honeybee, many individuals are now keeping back yard hives and while they do so to help the honeybee, many are not familiar with the basic needs and requirements to facilitate a healthy hive.  Several of these basic needs also cross over to benefit both Bumblebees and Orchard Mason Bees.  Not to be left out… plants necessary for nectar, larval and cocoon stages were covered for our winged wonders, the butterfly.  Specifically noted was our native vegetation that is extremely beneficial not just to the butterflies but to all of our native pollinators as these are the plants that our pollinators have been using for hundreds of years before human society changed the overall health of the landscape.

Many questions were asked, lengthy discussions ensued and the Wildlife Botanical Gardens were used as a reference point,  I  particularly emphasized the Hummingbird and Flying Flowers Gardens targeting the plants with high nectar value.  Many people learned about the Wildlife Botanical Gardens throughout the day and it was heartwarming to speak with those individuals who were well aware of the Gardens and all they have to offer both educationally and for their beauty.

Volunteer Opportunity

Autumn is harvest time and the gardeners at NatureScaping’s Wildlife Botanical Gardens are harvesting excess perennials for our spring fundraiser.  Volunteer to dig, divide and pot up perennials and earn a free plant for every three hours that you help.

When the weather is dry and not too muddy from recent rains, we will dig up clumps of plants and stage them in a greenhouse.  When the weather turns rainy, we escape to the balmy interior of the greenhouse and spend a morning dividing and potting up the plants.  Please visit our website for contact information if you are interested.

Lee Lalone, Entrance Coordinator and Julie Carlsen, Bird Haven Co-Coordinator

Tips for Winterizing Your Garden

As temperatures drop, following are tips for Trees & Shrubs:  Water through winter when ground is nearly dried out.  Drier ground allows for plant’s hardening off for the winter.

Pull perennial weeds if you can’t stand them, otherwise let them be for wildlife (along with seed heads on perennial plants).

Stop fertilizing as fertilizing signals plants to grow rather than storing their energy for winter.

Good time to have your soil tested and adding lime or sulfur as needed for spring planting.

Late Autumn – after leaves fall, clean them off lawns and gardens…chop up the leaves and use as mulch with some compost around plants (away from the crowns of the plants though).  This mulch will protect plants over winter and add amendments to your soil next year.

The Pacific (Western) Yew, Written by Richard Palmer, Homestead Garden Co-Coordinator

Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia) is a small, slow growing, understory, evergreen (gymnosperm) tree that is widely distributed from British Columbia to California. Historically, the Yew tree was considered a waste tree by commercial harvesters.

Interest in the Yew tree grew in the 1970’s with the news that a chemical compound in its bark, Taxol, was found to have anticancer properties. As Phase I drug trials progressed into Phase II in 1985, concern was expressed by foresters and local people about the ecological impact on yew populations. In 1988 Taxol showed an effect in the treatment of melanoma and ovarian cancer. This was exciting news for cancer patients. However, the National Cancer Institute calculated 360,000 trees would be required annually to provide enough Taxol to treat all the ovarian cancer and melanoma cases in the US.

In the early 90’s several semi-synthetic production routes to Taxol were discovered which could be isolated in relatively large quantities from the needles of yew trees. It was easy to obtain the needles from the trimmings of yew trees at nurseries. In 1993 Taxol was discovered to be produced by an endophytic fungus living in the yew tree. Taxol is now known as Paclitaxel after its rights were licensed to Bristol-Meyers Squibb.

I have used yew wood in several woodworking projects and frequently hear compliments about the beauty of the wood, and surprise that it is from a native tree that many consider not very attractive. In my opinion, the yew is a good example of the need to preserve biodiversity as this “waste” tree has unique properties and has literally saved lives.

Wildlife Botanical Gardens Newsletter

Summer 2013 Newsletter

NatureScaping’s Wildlife Botanical Gardens                Summer 2013 Newsletter 

National Pollinator’s Week 

Spread the news! June 17th thru 23rd is National Pollinator’s Week. Why are pollinators so important? Our pollinators pollinate over 75% of our flowering plants and food crops! We depend on pollinators for our survival.

Our mission is gardening to provide habitat for regional pollinators: birds, bees, bats, beetles, butterflies and other animals. NatureScaping tour guides and garden coordinators are pleased to host these beneficial visitors, as well as human visitors to our beautiful gardens.

National Pollinator’s Week was unanimously approved by the US Senate six years ago. This event was initiated and is managed by the Pollinator’s Partnership. To learn more about this group, and how you can help celebrate our vital pollinators visit

Check out this U.S. Fish and Wildlife web page, dedicated to National Pollinator’s Week. Or visit the Xerces Society to learn more about pollinator conservation.

This summer—have fun, be curious, and enjoy the beauty of our natural world. And thank a pollinator visiting your garden!

Meredith Hardin, President

NatureScaping is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization. Donations to support our mission to encourage wildlife-friendly gardening are appreciated!

Upcoming Summer Tours of the Gardens: 

  • June 9 Sports Leisure from Sacramento, CA 
  • July 13 Hardy Plant Society of OR
  • July 14 Women’s Garden Group
  • July 17 Newcomers Garden Club
  • Aug 3 Hardy Plant Society of Oregon

Garden Tour Volunteer Spotlight: Ruth Phillips

Wearing a straw hat, Ruth Phillips, NatureScaping Tour Guide/Plant Identification Consultant, guides the Leisure Sports Club from Sacramento, CA through the Gardens. With a Ph.D in human genetics, Ruth has worked as a research scientist at WSU, NOAA, and other research organizations. A long-time Audubon member, Ruth has raised two daughters, sings in the WSU choir, and is an avid birder and native plant enthusiast. Ruth enjoys hiking the Gorge to view wildflowers and native plants, butterflies, and birds. She believes strongly in restoring habitat for wildlife, and notes that over the past few years, more birds indigenous to California and So. Oregon are expanding their range into SW WA.

Mark your Calendars: Art in the Gardens  
Sunday, July 14th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

At Art in the Gardens, the Wildlife Botanic Gardens will feature ten local artists, each displaying their own unique art work, which will be available for sale. Enjoy the beauty of the gardens and find an art treasure for your own garden or home. No cost to attend! Come support our Gardens and local artists.