The Central Oregon Ecoregion


U​nderstanding Central Oregon’s ecoregion is a key element to your garden or landscape’s success. Being an active and young volcanic landscape, our sandy soils drain well, but have a low water retention capacity. The soils of our region tend to lack macro nutrients, but typically have a good micro nutrient profile. Humus and organic material ratios are usually low. With proper amendments and care, however, we can build a healthy soil food web that improves ecological function. This means a healthier landscape for you and your family, as well as a benefit for our greater community.


Living in the Deschutes Basin, how we use water and how we understand the impacts of those uses on our greater watershed are major motivations for our approach to gardening and landscaping applications in Central Oregon. Bend’s municipal water supply comes from Bridge Creek and the irrigation districts pull from the mainstem of the Deschutes River itself. Our water supply has its limits and lowering our usage of this precious resource is vital for our communities’ long-term success and how we go about creating the greater cultural landscape we are all a part of. Be a leader in paving the way towards a more sustainable future. Not only do we have limited water resources collectively, but we also have a challenging growing climate for plants.

Plant Considerations

We live in a beautiful place! Our native plant community has grown and adapted to this region. By selecting native species as our first priority, we can reduce water usage and create durable low maintenance landscapes that benefit your living space and local wildlife with pockets of beauty. And since this is a creational space, we can add higher concentrations of native flowering perennials for increased beauty throughout the growing seasons, but also to increase habitat for pollinators. With proper design and intuitive layouts, your maintenance will decrease over time.

It’s not hard to grasp that gardening in Central Oregon can be tough. In addition to native plants, we can select from an array of plants that do well in our climate, from annuals to perennials. Our designs implement a wide range of plants, and mimic forest ecology to create a more diversified and integrated food system, whether for you or for wildlife passing through. While the plant selections in most regions is limited more often by the maximum winter chill levels, this historical grassland can face daily temperature swings during the growing season of over 50°F. It can snow any day of the year, and our winters can be droughty. Sundog Gardenworks water wise plantings and irrigation design takes full consideration for the complexities of these factors and translates the challenging climatic realities of Central Oregon into a practical and regional site-specific approach for your garden or landscape.