Woodland nursery offers native plants year-round in special section

Local foliage an option for gardeners with busy lives


Tsugawa Nursery in Woodland recently landed hard-to-find native plants for gardeners who desire to use Pacific Northwest plants on their properties. 

Sherrie Diamond, sales specialist and manager at Tsugawa Nursery, began the venture of adding a native plant section in 2019 and rebuilt the area in 2021 after an absence from the plant nursery. Since 2021, Diamond has grown the native plants section significantly to provide customers species that are sometimes hard to find for garden uses. She started by ordering from one vendor and is soon going to have three supplying native plants to Tsugawa Nursery. 

Diamond also thanked Brian Tsugawa and the Tsugawa family for allowing her to build the native plant department and have it grow to what it is today. 

“There’s so many non-natives being planted that it’s choking out or natives,” Diamond said. “It’s hurting our native pollinators and our wildlife, especially with the overuse of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, all of that. So we’re trying to bring that back and bring awareness and think, gosh, April is Native Plant Awareness Month.”

Diamond grew up in upstate New York and has lived in the area since 2009. She has gained her love for native plants by spending a lot of time in the woods. 

“I’m so immersed in nature, and being able to watch how native plants work as a community — they’re not fighting against each other, they’re all supporting each other,” Diamond said. “Everybody has a job to do and they’re absolutely supportive of each other, and I think we as humans can learn so much from the native plant world how to live cohesively and help each other out.”

As for native plants to choose for the landscape of the region, Diamond said she sells a lot of clay-loving plants as “that’s our very special soil here.” 

Common native plants for the region include Pacific ninebark, ocean spray, Indian plum (Osoberry), black twinberry, evergreen huckleberry and snowberry, among others. 

Recent additions to the nursery have been exciting for customers and Diamond, alike. Two dozen more species of native plants are slated to go on sale at Tsugawa Nursery this month, Diamond said. 

One hot seller from the recent additions include the Western trillium. Diamond said she bought 257 bare root trilliums from Scholls Valley Native Nursery in Oregon. With the help of a coworker, Diamond saw a 100% success rate with the 2-year-old trilliums. Trilliums are special, however. It may take upward of seven years from seed to maturity for a flower to bloom, various sources state. Trilliums can be found in the wild across Clark and Cowlitz counties. Battle Ground Lake State Park features a robust total of flowering Trillium plants. 

Mary Kinney, communications and outreach lead for the Clark Conservation District, is also an advocate for the use of native plants around the landscape. 

“Native plants are adapted to our particular climate of being very dry and warm in the summer and very, very, wet in the winter months,” Kinney said. “It’s much easier to just kind of set it and forget it., not having to water as frequently in the summertime and not having to worry about them getting too soggy and dying. So, it’s a cost-effective way.” 

Along with easier use compared with exotic plants, native plants support wildlife and pollinators, which can lead to better production in other garden applications. 

“Having native plants also benefits our native pollinators and gives them lots of food and that kind of thing, and there’s also the added benefit of having native plants,” Kinney said. “If you have a vegetable garden, for example, the native plants will attract native pollinators, which will then help your crop production, essentially.” 

Kinney loves goldenrod, a late-season blooming plant for pollinators, Ponderosa pine, a quick-growing conifer that is hardy to local conditions, and the Oregon white oak, a tree of concern as their oak savannas have declined along the Interstate 5 corridor. 

Tsugawa Nursery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m.- to 5 p.m. on Sundays, at 410 E. Scott Ave. in Woodland. Call 360-225-8750 for more information.

For more information about the Clark Conservation District and further plant information, including their annual native plant sale, go to clarkcd.org/.