Native plant site in public school garden

By Ashley Randall

Cascade Penstemon, Flowering Red Currant, Kinnikinnick, Sea Blush. Do you know the three things all these plants have in common? Go ahead, read ‘em again and think about. You got all three? Okay, let’s see if we came up with the same answers:

1. They are Washington native plants.

2. They are non-poisonous.

3. They can be found in the Orcas public school garden along with 14 other Washington native plants! That’s right folks, we’ve got ourselves a native plant site.

The site was designed and planted by the Orcas Master Gardeners and funded by a grant from the Orcas Island Garden Club. The plants were chosen for their identification and educational opportunities, significance to Native American culture, and to most please the children, many of the plants will have edible fruit. The Master Gardeners helped the young plants settle into their 250 square foot home nestled in the school garden’s perennial and pollinator sanctuary. They even provided fancy nameplates for each plant variety, which includes its scientific and common name.

Now that all is in place, we invite the public to wander in and learn more about the native plants living in our back left zone of the garden. Our garden is always open to visitors (if you’ll just close it behind you, it would be much appreciated)! Another BIG thank you to the Master Gardeners and Orcas Island Garden Club for creating a demonstration site for our students, community, and pollinator friends to enjoy for years to come.