Oregon Snakes

One of many nice qualities about living in Oregon, is its non-poisonous snakes, well all but one!

crotalus_viridis_02.jpg

Western Rattlesnake –   Photo By Gary Stolz, U.S. Fish & Wildlife/Wikimedia

Snakes are beneficial to gardeners, they eat mice, voles, rats, slugs, Japanese beetle grubs and other gardening pests.  Only one snake species in Oregon can harm humans, and that is the venomous Western Rattlesnake.

The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) reported,  “there are two sub-species of the Western Rattlesnake in Oregon, the Northern Pacific subspecies, found in southwestern Oregon, in the middle and southern Willamette Valley, as well as the Columbia Plateau. The Great Basin subspecies is found in Oregon’s south central areas and the southeastern region. ”

ODFW says Gopher Snakes (Pituophis catenifer) are often mistaken for Rattlesnakes, because Gopher Snakes shake their tail, hiss and strike out with their head, but Gopher Snakes are not venomous, nor do they have rattles on their tails.  Other snakes in Oregon are also harmless to humans and they are beneficial to the environment, too.

Gopher snake

Gopher snake – Photo by Julia Larson/Wikimedia

Oregon snakes:

  • Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer)
  • Western rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis)
  • California Mountain Kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata)
  • Common Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula)
  • Northwestern Garter snake (Thamnophis ordinoides)
  • Pacific Coast Aquatic Garter snake (Thamnophis atratus)
  • Common Garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)
  • Racer snake (Coluber constrictor)
  • Western Terrestrial Garter snake (Thamnophis elegans)
  • Ground snake (Sonora semiannulata)
  • Striped whipsnake (Coluber taeniatus)
  • Sharp-tailed snake (Contia tenuis)
  • Ring-necked snake (Diadophis punctatus)
  • Night snake (Hypsiglena chlorophaea)
  • Rubber Boa (Charina bottae)

 

Charina_bottae _ Rubber Boa _ USDA Forest Service

Rubber Boa – photo by USDA Forest Service

To learn more about Oregon’s snakes, click on the links below:

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/snakes-slither-through-garden-eating-slugs-grubs-and-other-pests

http://www.oregonlive.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2015/06/meet_the_snakes_of_oregon.html

Download Oregon’s Fish & Wildlife Brochure … Oregon_Living With Snakes pdf

 

By: Carlotta Lucas

Filling in the Spaces: Part 2

moss phloxCreeping Phlox/ Moss Phlox (Phlox subulata): Vigorous mat-forming 6” high plant that rambles through rocks and drapes over rock walls. Dense ground cover excellent for controlling erosion on slopes.  Note: Not for pathways, it does not tolerate foot traffic.  Perennial,  Full sun,  Flowers can be white, rose, hot pink or magenta, Deer Resistant. USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9.

Hen _ChicksHens-and-chicks (Sempervivum)
Ground-hugging, cold hardy, sun loving, drought tolerant succulent.  Leaves form in rosette shapes, propagate by offsets (chicks). With 3,000 cultivars available leaf colors range from shades of green, to silver-blues,  to dark purple, and delicate pink. Use in rock gardens, containers or areas you want to “fill-in”.  Perennial,  Full sun to Part Sun,  Likes Sandy/ Gritty Soil,  Drought Tolerant, Deer proof. Groundcover. USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 10.

Irish moss Sagina_subulataIrish Moss/Corsican Pearl Wort (Sagina subulata)
Handsome lush low-growing green moss that forms a carpet-like foliage 1″ tall. Tiny translucent star-shaped white flowers. Irish Moss is prefect for rock gardens, between stone or paver pathways. Perennial,  Evergreen, Full or Part Shade,  Needs Water & Well-Draining Soil, White Flowers, Deer Proof, Groundcover. USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 10.

Article by Carlotta Lucas

Garden of the Month: August 2017

The garden that Jacob Gougé has created around the home he shares with his wife and LR 5-17daughter at 240 N. First St. reflects both his creativity and his respect for living things.  It is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for August.  Over the 17 years they have lived there, Gougé has salvaged and bartered the materials to create terracing in the back, define garden beds, build a fire pit, display interesting artifacts, and more on this small lot.   It was bare dirt when they moved in.  He is very resourceful.

But Jacob has a generous spirit as well that prompts him to offer lilacs to passersby, share cuttings of his many succulents with those who ask, and invite admiring strangers inside the gate to see the whole garden.

IMG_2993Along with two smaller lilacs elsewhere in front, there is a huge lilac bush in the northwest corner of the fenced area.  Many of the branches of this lilac are five or more inches in diameter and have an unusual shredded bark.  This lilac bush is strong enough to support one end of two hammocks!

There are extraordinary ceramic pieces throughout the property, most of them created by Gougé.  He also pursues all manner of artistic expression via painting, sewing, beading,and other media. In addition, Jacob makes interesting planters for succulents out of stones or gnarled wood in which he drills holes to plant materials and for drainage.

FullSizeRender

Food crops are concentrated in the back yard, that Jacob calls his “in town farm.”  This garden is 100% organic.  He grows lettuce all year, protecting the yield from the blazing sun at this time of year with a colorful umbrella.  He also grows asparagus, squash, carrots, snap peas, herbs of many varieties, and much more, often in recycled containers. He starts most plants from seeds in a hot box.  The family has three healthy chickens that provide eggs as well as droppings for compost.IMG_3001FullSizeRender 3

Save

Filling in the Spaces

The small spaces between rocks, and stone pathways are tough area to grow anything except weeds, but here are a few plants that thrive between the cracks and crevices.

Thymus serpyllumCreeping Thyme  (Thymus serpyllum):  Excellent for pathways,  grows flat and tolerates foot traffic.  Likes well-drained soil.  Soft fuzzy Appearance. Herbaceous Perennial, Fragrant, Pink flower, Sun/Part Shade, Deer Proof, Attracts Bees. USDA Hardiness Zones  4 to 9.

 

Wooly thymeWooly Thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus): Durable plant perfect for filling in between stepping stones, or rock gardens. Soft foliage creates a low, lush mat with pink flowers.  Herbaceous Perennial, Attracts Butterflies & Bees,  Sun/Part Shade,  Drought Tolerant/ Water Wise Groundcover, Deer Proof.  USDA Hardiness Zones  5 to 8.

Blue Star Creeper.jpgBlue Star Creeper (Isotoma fluviatilis):  A wonderful creeping perennial for filling in. Use between stepping stones, under shrubs, in rockery, around ponds.  Tiny green leaves form a dense, low mat ½ inches high.  Produces tiny light blue star-shaped flowers which cover the plant late spring into fall.  Perennial, Evergreen, Full Sun/Part Shade,  Tolerates Foot Traffic, Like Moisture, Deer Proof.  USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 9.

Dappled Japanese Willow

Plant Name: Salix Integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’Salix integra Hakuro nishiki
Common Name: Dappled Japanese Willow
Plant type:  Deciduous shrub
Height:  4-6 ft
Spread:  5-7 ft
Bloom Time:   March- April
Flower Color:   Yellow with small catkins (insignificant)
Exposure: Full Sun (with afternoon shade) – Part Shade
Soil Requirements:  Fertile well-drained
Water Needs: Medium to Wet
Attributes:   Colorful Variegated Leaves which are pink in the spring, then mature to variegated shades of pink, creamy white & green, Fall Color of yellow leaves

Uses: Hedge, Shrub Borders,  Stream or Pond Edges, Rain Garden, Wet areas, Erosion control, Winter Interest with gray/green bark
Note:  Tolerates Black Walnut, Tolerates wet areas
Native to: China, Japan, Korea & southeastern Siberia
USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9