Snowy Boughs

Snowy Boughs

Happy 2017!

Here in Humbolt Neighborhood the Winter of 2017 will be remembered for the foot of powdery snow that kept us all house bound …and off from school…for a week.

The snow may be just a memory soon, but the damage to trees, lost limbs and among many losses, the seven whole trees down in the  northwest Park Blocks, it is a lasting loss.

Luckily our South Jefferson Field trees made it through just fine.  The advantages of drooping evergreen limbs of native Douglas Fir, Western Redcedar and Hemlocks, the flexible whip like stems of Ponderosa Pine that have had centuries to adapt to the whims of winter in the Northwest are clear: less stress on limbs weighted with snow and ice.

The storm emphasized the importance of proper pruning for all trees in the city, but most especially ornamentals that just are not evolved for our silver thaws with heavy ice for days.

The local classes on tree pruning  offered by the Portland Parks  Urban Forestry  division are wonderful and free!  And our local neighborhood Tree Teams often give workshops in the neighborhood as well.

Happily, once the snow melted, the native perrenial  Hedgerow plants  popped right back up!

Here is to Spring flowers making plans to emerge and newly planted replacement trees getting off to a great start.



Summer 2016

IMG_0871Summer in the city can be filled with flowers and wildlife, even in a dry, sunny street side.


Humboldt Hedgerow now has a few continuing blooms as our test plot flowers.

Despite soaring high temperatures in Spring, many native Portland plants continue to thrive without additional water.  Our test pilot is committed to seeing which plants will make it though the summer without any additional water.  This will help us decide what to plant more of in the Fall of 2016.

Above Right:  Oregon Sunshine full grown in the native plant nursery bed, waiting for Fall transplant.  We have two small small plants in the Hedgerow and they are hanging on


IMG_7755California Poppy

June 2016, plants and seeds Summer 2016


Going strong!

the native bumblebees are back, enjoying the return of this reliable annual.IMG_8135IMG_8100Left: Blue Gillia

from seed scattered Fall of 2015


Below: Bee’s Friend (Silky Phacelia)


This is  a near by native plant, chosen to encourage native bees to visit our site.  Our Portland Native Phacelia, Shade Phacelia, has spiked stems that can be painful, so not appropriate for a school property.

Below:  new temporary name tags added!

common names and scientific name on the reverse.

IMG_8224IMG_8225IMG_8228Penstemon serratulus waiting for fall transplant.  Also grown with no extra water.IMG_8289


Rock Pigeons are not a native bird, but they are enjoying the termites from a sweet cherry snag and maybe a few insects!IMG_8293

Working Together

February 2016

If you are anything like me, working outside with others is the best way to get to know someone really quickly.  There’s the choosing of bare hands in the dirt or gloves, spade or shovel, rubber garden boots or clogs.  The list gets longer as you  work side by side with a common goal in mind.South Field clouds Rainbow 2014

Working with neighbors and new friends in the Humboldt Hedgerow is that experience and more.

We talk about the neighborhood.

Parents share what their kids are doing and how they use the South Field.  Long term residents have stories of climbing on the original Gasometer than stored coal fired produced gas piped over from  the Linton plant. We share hopes, frustrations and a  lot of laughs. The laughing is what I notice most about a group of native plant enthusiasts working in the field.

Plants and people together are a harmonious combination, so I hope you will think about joining us for  a work day.  Or just come by to talk. Bring the kids and let them ask questions about trees, butterflies, birds and earthworms!

No experience is required.Bring your curiosity and an idea you want to put something back into the natural Oregon ecosystem to share with neighbors.

No judgements on the rubber boots or clogs or even hiking boots.  Come as you are.

Majida                                                                                                                                                                for the Humboldt Hedgerow Initiative