Landscaping Your New Vancouver, WA Home

Landscaping Your New Vancouver, WA Home

  • David Merrick
  • 10/5/23

Transforming a house into a home involves more than just interior design; it extends to the outdoors, defining your space in the embrace of nature. For those who have recently invested in new Vancouver, WA real estate, this is an opportunity to make your home truly yours through thoughtful landscaping. Whether you're a green thumb or new to the gardening world, Vancouver, WA, with its rich soil and diverse climate, offers a fertile ground for your landscaping dreams. Let’s dive into how you can create an outdoor oasis that complements your new home.

Understanding the Local Climate

Before you purchase plants or draft a garden layout, it’s crucial to understand the local climate. Vancouver, WA enjoys a temperate climate with wet winters and warm, dry summers. This offers a broad palette of plants that can thrive here, from evergreens to seasonal flowers. Knowing the climate will help you make informed choices that will not only beautify your home but also be easy to maintain year-round.

The climate in Vancouver, Washington, is classified as temperate oceanic, characterized by wet, mild winters and warm, dry summers. This Pacific Northwest locale receives a fair amount of rainfall, particularly between November and March. The summers are pleasantly warm, with temperatures rarely exceeding the mid-80s, making it ideal for outdoor activities.

Vancouver, Washington is generally considered to be in USDA Hardiness Zone 8b. This information is based on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, which is used by gardeners and growers to determine which plants are most likely to thrive in a particular location. Zone 8b indicates that the area experiences minimum winter temperatures between 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. These zones can sometimes shift due to long-term climate trends, so it may be useful to check the most current maps for the latest information.

Start with the Basics: Lawn Care

A lush, green lawn serves as the canvas for any landscaping endeavor. If your new Vancouver, WA real estate comes with an established lawn, you might only need to fertilize and regularly mow to keep it looking fresh. However, for new constructions without a lawn, you'll need to start from scratch. You can choose to lay sod for an instant lawn or go the seeding route, which, although time-consuming, can be rewarding.

Incorporate Native Plants

One of the best ways to ensure your garden is low-maintenance and eco-friendly is to use native plants. These are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions and require less water and care than exotic species. Native plants also attract local wildlife like birds and butterflies, bringing a dynamic element to your garden.

The temperate climate and fertile soil of Vancouver, Washington, make it a hospitable environment for a variety of native plants. Native plants generally require less maintenance and water, and they're beneficial for local ecosystems. Here are some native plants that tend to thrive well in the Vancouver, WA area:


  • Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) - A dominant tree species in the region, well-suited for larger landscapes.

  • Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) - Known for its resistance to decay and aromatic wood.

  • Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) - Recognizable for its large leaves and excellent shade-providing capability.


  • Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium) - This evergreen shrub produces yellow flowers and bluish-black fruit.

  • Red-Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea) - Attractive red stems make this shrub a year-round interest plant.

  • Salal (Gaultheria shallon) - A versatile understory shrub with leathery leaves and small purple berries.


  • Camas (Camassia quamash) - Known for its striking blue flowers, Camas bulbs were historically a food source for Native Americans.

  • Western Columbine (Aquilegia formosa) - This flowering plant produces delicate red and yellow flowers and attracts hummingbirds.

  • Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum) - A hardy fern that thrives in the shade and provides excellent ground cover.

Create Outdoor Living Spaces

With the backdrop of natural beauty that surrounds many homes in Vancouver, WA, it would be a missed opportunity not to create outdoor living spaces. Consider building a patio, a deck, or even a full outdoor kitchen where you can entertain guests or enjoy quiet family dinners. Choose materials that complement your home's exterior for a harmonious look.

Add Water Features

Nothing brings tranquility to a space like the sound of flowing water. A fountain, pond, or even a small artificial waterfall can add a peaceful ambiance to your garden. Water features also offer the chance to incorporate aquatic plants and attract more wildlife, enhancing the natural ecosystem of your outdoor space.

Hardscaping Elements

While plants and lawns are essential, hardscaping elements like pathways, stone walls, and pergolas can define your garden's structure. These add both functionality and visual interest. Opt for materials and designs that are in harmony with the rest of your home to create a seamless indoor-outdoor experience.

Seasonal Blooms and Ornamental Trees

Investing in new Vancouver, WA real estate often means starting with a blank canvas that you can mold into your dream home. To add seasonal colors and textures to your garden, consider planting a mix of perennials and annuals. You might also plant ornamental trees that offer not just shade but also blossoms or interesting foliage.

A Garden That Grows With You

A well-planned garden isn’t static; it evolves. As you spend more years in your new home, your needs and preferences might change, and a flexible landscaping design allows for these adaptations. Whether it's adding a vegetable patch or creating a children's play area, your garden should be able to grow and change with you.

Landscaping your new Vancouver, WA home is a rewarding endeavor that pays dividends in enhanced curb appeal, increased property value, and the sheer joy of living in a beautiful space. From native plants to hardscaping, a variety of options can suit your aesthetic and functional needs. It’s not just about making your home visually pleasing, but also about creating a sanctuary where you can unwind and connect with nature.

If you're looking for your dream home in Vancouver, WA, look no further than David Merrick. With an unparalleled understanding of the new Vancouver, WA real estate market, David can guide you to properties that offer not just a beautiful house but also the potential for a stunning garden. Don’t let your dream home remain a dream; reach out to David Merrick today to turn it into reality.

Work With David

With more than 25 years of corporate retail experience (sales, buying and district management), I strive to give every client the personal service and attention to detail that they deserve. I would love to work with you on your next real estate adventure. Contact me anytime.