Planting Local Sedges, Rushes, Iris

I'm excited to be trying out a new thing in the garden - mass plantings of sedges, Iris fernaldii, and rushes. None of these plants is attractive to deer!

Some sedges and other things established last year on the upper north slope. Sedge upper left is from a lower wetter area, but seems happy enough here on the north, shadier side of the property.

Typical sedge I collected from higher, dryer areas - probably Carex globosa
I've missed so much that's been going on in the garden -- so much happens in spring and early summer and there is so much to do that there's just no time to blog. I may have to do a photo retrospective in the lazy days of August!

However, here we are coming to the end of the possible planting season - and then some - and I've been madly planting hundreds of sedges, rushes, and iris that I propagated from local wild seed and ALL germinated! One day I'll learn to sow less seed.

I hope to replace thickets of prickly blackberry - Rubus ursinus - native, but not human friendly near the house - with more attractive and still native and local plants.

I didn't get any before pictures of the planting areas - it would just have looked like a tangled swathe of blackberry leaves and long stems and weeds. And it was a huge job to chop it all back. I intend to keep chopping it back till it gives up (in my planting areas). Wish me luck on that one!

I'm focusing the planting in a few areas so I can give them some summer water. I wish I was planting in fall - but inept management meant I had a lot of extra seedlings after doing quite a bit of earlier planting.

Iris fernaldii can be spindly so I hope that the surrounding rushes and sedges will give them a bit of support. 

My visions are lovely! we'll see what actually happens!

I hope lots of Iris Fernaldii will grow between the sedges and rushes

Back in September 2015, I started propagating, but I'm not sure of all the species I gathered. One of my labels says "That nice sedge in N. garden," for example. Identification will be a future post! I have Carex globosa probably, and some taller ones that I got above a river bank that seemed to be doing OK in fairly dry circumstances.

I got a huge germination rate - this is actually a "rescue replanting" from the congested seed tray, clumps into 4-nch pots!

I split them into small clumps of three or so to plant - so I'd get about 4 or 5 planting clumps from the above.

Meanwhile there was also a huge seed tray of left-over rushes - probably common rush, Juncus patens but possibly J. effusus. Got seed from different sources locally. Another identification post TBD!

Here's the shadier north slope. Some flags indicate some of this year's planting areas. The lower slope ferns just grow here without gardener's help but the alum root and paintbrush and western columbine and etc were planted last fall -- also fruits of local seed propagation efforts.

Cute babies, aren't they? Here you can see sedge clumps and Iris fernaldii in the middle.

Gardening with critters!

Looking from the north slope across the lower (still weedy) north slope towards the upper redwood grove (I have names for all the sections of the property!) where I have decided to try to get some understory going. The trees here are very young. I've planted areas with redwood sorrel and a bit of wild ginger. The sedges and rushes and irises are going on the edge of this area, under an oak tree and into the redwoods a little way.

Here is part of the redwood grove planting area.

Around the old slice of dead madrone are some globosa-like sedges that had grown quite large in 4 inch pots.

More critters - a really big banana slug!

I planted pretty thickly - and I fear I may want to replant some of these if they get too crowded. We'll see. It's all an experiment. Iris in front. The iris seedlings were not doing too well in their pots so I planted most of them.

I improvised path markers - later on I'll refine the selection of objets de garden maybe!

And then among a batch of old tin sheets that had gotten buried under the duff - Duncan's puppy frisbee. Oh - pang of sadness.

Duncan was my constant companion in the garden up to the day he died, a year and a half ago now, age 13. Gardening is not just about the plants.


Diana Studer said…
The different coloured flag markers are to remind you of?
I can imagine the iris will be delightful once it is happily established.
Country Mouse said…
Hi Diana - the different colors of flags were what I could get for cheapest on the internet. (OK, on Amazon - I have guilt about feeding that giant beast but it is the most convenient nexus of suppliers!) I then had thoughts of using them for different purposes but as I ran out of flags any thought of such advanced organization flew out the window! Thanks for your question!
lucio bovolini said…
Wowww this is so beautiful.. thanks for this post... I am loving it....
Country Mouse said…
Thanks, Lucio -- I'm loving it too! I'm watering less now (end July) - less than once a week (and only about 30 seconds on each plant roughly) and will continue to water only when the plants droop! It helps that the weather has been a tad cooler of late, but I know that the plants have had a chance to put some roots down too - and they're all -- well, 90%! -- doing really well.