Greenbelt Restoration: Planting Time is A-Coming

On October 22, our GreenFriends group planted 37 trees in our Greenbelt Restoration site (Tree Planting Day). That was a major development in this project, and another one is coming soon. On November 15, a corporate group from DocuSign will be planting more than 330 shrubs and ground covers for us. We’ve been busy preparing for that day.

Our fall plant order was submitted to the Seattle Parks Department in early May.  The plants would be delivered the end of October or early November. Prior to then we  needed to decide where to plant each of the plants. I identified eight planting sites and marked them with green and white or yellow and black tape. Then Ananya and I created a planting plan.

In June, I had taken a plant identification course. During the course, the instructor mentioned that when the plants were delivered, they would not be marked. I panicked. How would I be able to identify 360 plants when I only knew a few of them? To make matters worse, by that time we received them many would be in their winter state and might not even have leaves. I calmed myself down by reminding myself that we had been required to order everything in groups of 10 so I only had 26 different plants to identify. I didn’t know how I would do that either, but it definitely seemed more doable than 360. I also knew I could ask for help if I needed it.

As the date drew closer, I made a label for each plant, writing the name of the plant and how big it will get on each of the sticks.

It was possible that our plants wouldn’t be delivered until the second week in November. Since our planting day was scheduled for November 15, I was nervous about how I would do all that needed to be done to identify and mark the plants before that date. I was ecstatic when I looked out my window late in October and saw a Seattle Parks Department truck in front of my house. The plants had arrived!

As I had been forewarned, the plants were unmarked. To further complicate things, they were carried into the Greenbelt by hand and/or in a wheelbarrow. Some remained in their groupings but many were placed on the ground randomly. When the delivery crew left, I started to sort them. I discovered that I was able to identify quite a few of the plants. When I knew what the plant was, I placed the appropriate stick in the pot.

I doubted some of my identifications. Jayanand, a friend who lives on the Olympic Peninsula, came to mind.  I knew Jayanand had worked for 18 years as a botanist and ecologist for the National Park Service. I sent photos of the plants I was concerned about to him. He was able to correct some of my mistakes as well as identify some that I hadn’t been able to figure out. With his help, it wasn’t long before all of the plants were labeled.

Today (November 11)  we had a big work party to finish preparing the land for the November 15 planting. It was a wonderful work party, one that I will tell you about in my next post!

3 thoughts on “Greenbelt Restoration: Planting Time is A-Coming

  1. I look forward to your next post, Karuna. Here in Quebec we usually plant trees and shrubs by end of October the latest…it gets too cold and eventually the gound will freeze. We are at -8 C and I am waring all my winter clothes now.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It is just the beginning…I need to get used to it and wear warmer gloves or mitts, my hands are already rough and peeling. I do find, however, at even colder like -15 C with lots of snow, it is tolerable.

        Liked by 1 person

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