Well, after hiking many miles and helping to chaperone around 150 5th graders I am glad to be home. I went with my daughter to their outdoor education class on Whidbey Island for 3 days and 2 nights. It was absolutely beautiful there, perfect weather and lots of activities. Look at the view we had all day. This is overlooking Puget Sound and the mountain range are the Olympic Mountains.
The camp we were in is an old Fort that is now a State Park. The kids learned about navigation, survival, marine biology, the history of the area and lots of hiking and exploring. I happened to be in a group with my best garden friend and we both had fun seeing all the native plants growing in the forests that we walked through. I tried to take pictures, but had a difficult time since the main reason I was there was to help with the kids. Probably not worth losing anyones kids for the sake of a picture of a tree. I'm far from an expert in Washington native plants but did my best to identify the ones I knew. I was actually surprised at how many I knew, some I didn't even realize were native plants here.
Here are a few of the different plants I was able to photograph.
Black gooseberry (ribes lacustre)
Serviceberry (white flowered tree) amelanchier alnifolia
Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) These were the most pretty deep pink flowers.
Groundcover growing under trees. We thought it could be wild ginger, but after looking at pictures, I don't think it is.
Tall Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium)
Unable to identify, does anyone have any ideas?
Beach Pea (lathyrus japonicas)
A few other native plants we saw were: Tellima grandiflora, salal, ribes sanguineum, many ferns, wild roses and ground covers and of course many trees. Not very much was in bloom, but I did notice quite a few buds on several plants. Some of the plants I saw turned out to be on the invasive weeds and species list: lamium and holly bushes were two that we saw.
As I tried to learn some of the plant names I found a really interesting website called Washington Native Plant Society. After reading through, it made me realize how much I really want to learn more about the native plants in my area. There is really something neat about seeing these plants growing in their natural habitat. I have quite a few in my garden now and would love to add more. I also came across a plant sale coming up May 9th at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens from 10 - 4. It's being put on by the Central Puget Sound Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society, and this is their spring plant sale.