It was a great honor and pleasure to be interviewed by Seattle’s Soy Source newspaper. They wanted our advice about using native plants in the gardens that we design and maintain. While we use some Pacific Northwest native plants regularly, we ironically use many plants from Japan as they are often a better size for Seattle gardens than many large natives.
Here is a link to the article in Japanese:
Here is a translation provided to us by Maho Kashiwazaki of Soy Source newspaper:
We visited Pat Reh who works at Northwest Botanicals as a general
manager in order to ask about native plant gardens. However, she told us
that they use more Japanese and Chinese plants than native plants, which
They prefer Japanese and Chinese plants because:
▪ Native plants are too big for small city gardens
▪ Native plants spread too much/easily
▪ Native plants are boring/not unique
▪ Japanese plants fit the NW environment
▪ Japanese plants such as Japanese Maple ‘Shojo’ has a beautiful array
of leaf colors according to the seasons
Northwest Botanicals is an organic company that focuses on not using
▪ Plant berries and other plants that bring birds and insects which eat
▪ Do not plant plants that attract snails and slugs
Tips for Garden Design
▪ Check the shade, wetness, types of soil
▪ Design a path to lead people to the garden
▪ Place beds along the path
*if the garden already has a tree, place those plants that grow well in
the shade of the tree like hydrangeas and ferns
▪ Plant evergreens that structure the gardens all year round
▪ Go see public gardens like “Kubota Garden” to get ideas for your garden
What to Do Now
Winter is the best season to add compost and plant because roots are growing
well even though there is no change above ground.
How to compost
▪ Do not dig and mix compost with the soil because that breaks the
structure of the soil
▪ Put the compost on the ground surface so that the gravity, rain, and
insects bring them into the soil.
Northwest Botanicals, Inc.