The Magnuson Community Garden
At the Warren G. Magnuson Park
Seattle Parks and Recreation
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Native Plant Borders

The Community Garden is rimmed by a Native Plant Border which provide habitat for wildlife, provide a screen, provide educational opportunity for student or others interested in native plants, and provide naturalistic aesthetic value. The border enhances the serenity and beauty of the garden and compliments the natural environment of the park.

The border serves as a wind barrier, reduces soil erosion, filters and reduces storm water run off, serves as a wildlife habitat corridor, and provides habitat for native pollinators. Additional eco-system services from the border includes: air filtration, carbon sequestration, temperature moderation, and providing human psycho-social benefits.

A small amount signage and labeling in the border enhances educational opportunity for those interested in plants or considering their use. The concentration of plants allows property owners and others to preview plantings which could provide water use reduction, conservation value, and aesthetic value in their landscaping.

Favored plantings have been selected from species native to Oregon, British Columbia, and Washington State. Not all were originally native to Seattle itself. Wild volunteer plants, some non-native, are also scattered among intentional plantings. Ill fitting, volunteer plants are removed as maintenance resources permit.

The border will continue to change over time due to plant growth, addition of more species, some plants reaching end of life, and managed enhancement of subareas.

Drip irrigation was used during first few years of garden establishment to conserve water and as a demonstration to encourage use. Present irrigation is minimal except for new plantings or during extreme droughts.

Initial plants and materials were funded via the large grant which created the Magnuson Community Garden. Since then additional plants and material has come via donations from the Magnuson Environmental Stewardship Alliance, the Green Seattle Partnership, the Washington Native Plant Society, the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, and other organizations and individuals.

The Magnuson Environmental Stewardship Alliance has cared for the site since inception. That stewardship has included planting, maintenance, and attracting and organizing thousands of hours of volunteer labor. Since 2007 the Green Seattle Partnership has helped by providing support for attracting and managing volunteers, by providing additional plants and materials, and by providing technical and scientific support and monitoring.

Almost all planting and maintenance labor has been done by volunteers. These volunteers have come individually to routine work parties or during service events organized in conjunction with corporate, religious, or other community groups.

Native Plant Border work parties are routinely held on the first Saturday of each month except November.  Work party information and pre-registration is available on the Green Seattle Partnership website:

Some but not all easy to observe plant species in the Native Plant Border are:

Abies grandis (GRAND FIR)
Acer circinatum (VINE MAPLE)
Achillea millefolium (YARROW)
Alnus rubra (RED ALDER)
Amelanchier alnifolia (SERVICEBERRY)
Anaphalis margaritacea (PEARLY EVERLASTING)
Arbutus menziesii (PACIFIC MADRONE
Calocedrus decurrens (INCENSE CEDAR)
Carex obtupna
Cornus sericea (RED-OSIER DOGWOOD)
Corius cornuta (BEAKED HAZEL )
Crataegus douglasii (BLACK HAWTHORN)
Epilobium Augustifolium (FIREWEED)
Fragaria chiloensis (BEACH STRAWBERRY)
Gaultheria shallon (SALAL)
Holodiscus discolor (OCEANSPRAY)
Juncus effusus (SOFT RUSH)
Lupinus polyphyllus (BIG LEAF LUPINE)
Lonicera involucrata (BLACK TWINBERRY)
Mahonia aquifolium (
Myrica californica (CALIFORNIA WAX MYRTLE
Oemleria cerasiformis (INDIAN PLUM)
Philadelphus lewisii (MOCK ORANGE)
Physocarpus capitatus (PACIFIC NINEBARK)
Pinus contorta (SHORE PINE)
Polysticum munitum (SWORD FERN)
Prunus emarginata (BITTER CHERRY)
Pseudotsuga mienziesii (DOUGLAS FIR)
Quercus garryana (GARRY OAK)
Rhamnus purshiana (CASCARA)
Ribes sang,uineum (RED-FLOWERING CURRANT)
Rosa pisocarpa (BALD-HIP ROSE)
Rosa nutkana (NOOTKA ROSE)
Rubus parviflorus (THIMBLEBERRY)
Rubus leucodermis (BLACK CAP RASPBERRY)
Salix hookeriana (HOOKER'S WILLOW)
Salix scoulerian
Sambucus cerulea (BLUE-_ELDERBERRY_)
Sambucus racemosa (RED ELDERBERRY)
Sorbus sitchensis (SITKA MOUNTAIN ASH)
Symphoricarpos albus (SNOWBERRY)
Thuja plicata (WESTERN RED CEDAR)
accinium ovatum (EVERGREEN HUCKLEBERRY) 

 Native Plants Information Sources

Native Plant Border in 2003: What It Looked Like

Below are photographs of the native plant borders being planted in 2003.  The  borders were laid out and various plants were acquired through donations and purchases.  Volunteers worked every other Saturday thoughout the year, rain or shine to  add the various species of plants and trees to the native plant garden.
Volunteer Planting View of border facing south

Magnuson Community Garden, Warren G. Magnuson Park - 6344 N.E. 74th St., Suite 104 - Seattle, WA 98115