Showing posts with label deschampsia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label deschampsia. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Retooling the back rain garden

I didn't really know what I was doing when I built the rain garden in the backyard. For starters, it's comically large. When I do something, I really do it, and I was like, "I'm gonna harvest all my rain water!" I really listened to the rain garden instructors when they told me to give the grasses plenty of room.

I also thought the Juncus effusus in the back of the rain garden would get taller than the Deschampsia cespitosa in the middle. They did not. The deschampsia is gorgeous but it probably shouldn't be smack dab in the center of the rain garden like that.

The rain garden elders really emphasize that you should only plant natives in your rain garden but I'm fudging that a little bit.

I moved the deschampsia toward the back and some will get removed to go live at Scott's soon. I grabbed the Juncus tenuis from the front rain garden, which was gorgeous until it got totally crisped in the searing summer heat. It was so pretty that I only took one single blurry photo of it:

Poverty rush (Juncus tenuis)
I planted some Geranium 'Rozanne' in the rain garden, which should appreciate the moist soil and hopefully weave through everything. Let the native purists rain down their judgement! (Just kidding, they can zip it.)

I also put in Carex comans 'Bronze' because I enjoy grasses that look dead. I also want to put in some Sedum 'Autumn Joy' toward the front, where it gets more sun in summer.

Image source: Annie's Annuals
Image source: Annie's Annuals

Lastly I put an Aquilegia chrysantha 'Flore Peno' in. We have some native Aquilegia so this didn't feel like cheating, somehow.

Image source: Annie's Annuals
Image source: Annie's Annuals

If it makes the native purists feel better, the Erythronium oreganum has naturalized under the cedar tree and I have a spreading swarm of beautiful flying nuns. I love them.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Can you see the finish line?

Greg and I hustled back from the coast this weekend to pick up plants from the last sale of the year from the Audubon Society. When you let hippies run things it can get a little confused. When I got there they didn't have all my plants because someone had miscounted and maybe people took too many plants? And then we had this conversation:

Me: I ordered five gallon-sized Juncus but there's only three here.
Him: Just take more of the pint-sized plants instead.
Me: But don't those plants belong to someone else?
Me: So it's just anarchy at this point?
Him: (smiles)

In their defense this was the biggest sale they've ever had, with over 4000 plants ordered. That's a LOT of natives to keep track of. I ordered a combination of soft rush (Juncus effusus) and tufted hair grass (Deschampsia cespitosa) and a few penstemon and stream violets to round things out. I also ordered kinnikinnick for the drier edges, which will hopefully cover the berm after a few years.

I hindsight I wish I had ordered a vine maple and incorporated some ferns but who am I kidding? I'm going to end up digging up and rearranging half of these anyway. It's what gardeners do, even gardeners who really know what they're doing. Greg raked up the leaves from the dogwood in the front yard and I deposited them into the beds around the yard as mulch. I don't have compost bins built yet but I couldn't bear to give up my leaves to the city compost. They'll just have to compost in place and I'll have to deal with the fact that I'm now a hoarder of leaves, in addition to everything else.

I ran out of fine bark mulch for the rain garden but once I get that covering everything this baby will be DONE. And then I've promised Greg I'm done with garden projects until next spring.

And I think I actually mean it.