How to Rewild Your Seattle, Washington Yard

Home Tips

In the past, landscaping has been all about order.  Perfectly planted lines of small bushes and tight compact flowers all surrounded by freshly laid mulch. 

But in 2022, a new landscaping trend called rewilding is beginning to emerge and it is growing in popularity among home buyers.

Over 22% of real estate agents surveyed believe rewilding techniques are valuable to promote a listing.  Rewilding simply means to return an area of land back to its natural uncultivated state.  Rewilding is an approach to conservation that requires nature to take care of itself and allow natural processes to shape an area.  

While Seattle, Washington may be a thriving city of businesses, transportation, and high-tech design it is also an area known for its natural beauty. 

Seattle has been a leader in rewilding within its most urban areas where native plants are often scarce and concrete is plentiful.  With its Pollinator Pathway, Bee City certification, and support of pollinator habitat across its many park areas, Seattle is a leader in eco-friendly environment practices. 

How can you apply rewilding to your landscaping?  Here are a few ideas that are easy to apply and will quickly bring your yard back to its natural state.  

The first step to rewilding is to acknowledge the damage and harm that some gardening practices are doing to the natural world. 

Practices such as spraying pesticides, using harmful plastic pots that do not decompose, and keeping up with overly picky plants that need constant watering are just a few of the current gardening methods that harm the environment. 

Go Native

Every region of the country has plants that are native to it.  These plants grow and thrive without intervention.  Native plants are much easier to maintain and do not require watering which helps conserve water. 

In addition to maintaining themselves without the use of chemicals and extra watering, native plants also attract and support local wildlife and pollinators. 

Attracting and supporting pollinators is one of the main benefits of rewilding.  Pollinators such as bees and butterflies will thrive in a native garden. 

Plants that are native to the Seattle area include the Pacific bleeding heart, red columbine, common camas, and tall mountain shooting star.  Shrubs that are local to the Seattle area include the red-osier dogwood, red flowering currant, and evergreen huckleberry.  

Add Wildflowers

One of the easiest ways to rewild all or part of your landscaping area is to simply remove the cookie-cutter, pristine rows of shrubs, bushes, and mulch.  Replace these items with a simple wildflower garden. 

Growing wildflowers requires nothing more than an open area that gets plenty of suns and a packet of wildflower seeds. 

Common wildflowers that thrive in the Pacific Northwest region are baby’s breath, bachelor button, foxglove, coneflowers, poppy, cosmos, daisies, and phlox.  Wildflower seeds are best distributed onto tilled soil, pressed in slightly, and watered daily until sprouts begin to form.  

Make Room for Wildlife

Part of the beauty of rewilding your yard is watching all forms of wildlife arrive to partake in nature.  You can make sure they find your yard by installing homes for a variety of animals. 

Birdhouses, bug hotels, and unground nests for bumblebees are particularly useful to draw in beneficial pollinators.  You can also leave piles of debris or the base of sunflower stems where insects can hide during the winter.  

Further Watching:

Ditch the Lawn

Yes, a beautiful freshly mowed lawn is something that every homeowner takes pride in.  But the cost, maintenance, and chemicals involved in keeping a lawn pristine can really add up. 

For those that are truly interested in taking their yard back to its wild days, there is no better way than to switch from a grass lawn to a groundcover.  Common ground covers in the Seattle area include wintercreeper, wild lily-of-the-valley, and climbing hydrangea.  

Ditching grass and opting for a pollinator-friendly ground cover is a big change.  If you are interested in it, talk with a professional.  He or she will assist you in the proper removal of grass and advise you on the best ground cover for your particular lawn. 

Remember that while you may be excited to ditch your grass it may not be appealing to everyone.  If you are interested in selling your home in the next several years you may run into problems finding a buyer who is interested in a fully rewilded yard.  

Rewilding is not a nice and neat process.  As native plants and wildflowers begin to grow they will reach varying heights, die out and rebloom from season to season, and bring in a variety of insects and animals. 

However, as much of an untidy scene as rewilding maybe when it begins, it eventually becomes a beautiful, lush area of bright blooms and vibrant growth that returns your landscape back to nature.  

Read more:

Dream Yard: The Best Budget-Friendly Backyard Designs

3 Tips To Improve Your Front Yard’s Look