Native grasses Gambier Island

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwest Native Plants' started by Jessy Fraser, Mar 17, 2020.

  1. Jessy Fraser

    Jessy Fraser New Member

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    Hello good people,

    I am looking to plant native grasses or plants on Gambier Island. Partly shaded by cedar trees. Property is northwest facing. I think ferns will populate naturally and I'm also wondering if there is a grass seed or quickly propagating native species that will help hold some big stretches of soil (soil is acidic under cedar trees). Would love to hear guidance.

    With thanks,

    Jessy
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Esteemed Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Wood-rush (Luzula parviflora) springs immediately to mind. In addition to what I have observed myself A.L. Jacobson writes in the 2008 edition of his self published book Wild Plants of Greater Seattle that "wood-rush is common in Seattle-area woods, on dry mossy banks under conifers and along shady trails", observes additionally that "This species is pretty enough to plant in shady gardens".

    That said the effectiveness of any new planting there will depend on what is the exact nature of your erosion problem. If you have significant movement of soil taking place an engineered solution may be required.
     
  4. Jessy Fraser

    Jessy Fraser New Member

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  5. Jessy Fraser

    Jessy Fraser New Member

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    Thank you, Ron! I will check Luzula parviflora out -- woodrush as well. Will see if ground covers ++ can handle the soil movement. If not, Plan B as advised. Best, Jess
     
  6. Margot

    Margot Well-Known Member

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    Here's a pretty grass that grows in a native area of my garden where nothing else much does - dry and fairly shady. For some reason I've always suspected it may be a native grass but I've never taken the time to track it down. Thinking it looks like Deschampsia, I looked it up on E-Flora BC and found that there are at least 2 varieties - Deschampsia cespitosa ssp. beringensis and D. cespitosa ssp. cespitosa which look similar to mine but I can't tell for sure. In any case Deschampsia may be a grass you could use to some effect but I don't know where you'd buy the seed.

    Cedar tree roots, being close to the surface, do a good job of stabilizing the soil themselves. Groundcovers like salal (Gaultheria shallon) and Oregon grape (Mahonia nervosa) as well as sword fern could be useful and can hold their own with cedars.

    Note: The first picture is of the grass in my garden and the second, from Wikipedia, is identified as Deschampsia cespitosa.
     

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  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Tufts of fine hair like blades are often fescues.
     
  8. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    i am familiar with Gambier

    how large is the area you are hoping to plant the grass or other remediation in?

    how steep is it?

    what is the exact current problem (as Ron B asks above)

    are you on a well? I know people who have places there who run extremely short of water in the summer there --- a few calls around on the mainland side (Gibsons) will get you to the supplier of water tanks. Maybe there is a group buy for the island at some point soon - it looks like the coast is in for a long stretch of dry (unusual for spring)

    here is a link (I am not associated with this enterprise) Rain Farmers Canada: rain water storage systems, Sunshine Coast, BC

    and I always ask - is this your septic field - or future septic field - because as you likely already know - you cannot have deep roots (invasive roots) or paving on septic systems

    are there properties with similar situation as yours? go and have a look to see what they have done.

    remember the risk of interface fire is significant too - and not a lot to do about it once it starts. So practice the FireSmartBC rules (guidelines) - I assume you would need to contact the Regional District tho here is a recent article about efforts in the Town of Gibsons Gibsons encourages residents to get FireSmart

    Gambier is very diverse - from dry rock outcrops in hot sun (or cold arctic outflow winds) --- to deep forest esp looking toward Port Mellon etc

    I am with Margot on the Sword Ferns which you should be planting now before summer --- and they tolerate dry shade once established. They do not usually start themselves so you will have to ask around for anyone clearing land there (the large plumes of smoke coming off the island as one passes by on the ferry would indicate lots of land clearing in spring) and ask if you can dig up the ferns and replant at your place

    salal takes many years to establish tho is lovely once you have it going
     
  9. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    IDEA - maybe go and ask the grounds manager at Camp Latona what they seed their meadow area with Camp Latona


    Also - isn’t there a kayak pull-out type little provincial camping park on a nearby NW Gambier shore (cougars in Aug 2019 I think )

    Maybe the contractor site manager knows what is planted there (or you go and observe)

    AND - maybe Gambier already has a policy about introduced species - but please do not get talked in to ivy or periwinkle (Vinca) or some invasive so-called wildflower mix seeds, etc.

    Look fwd to updates!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2020

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