Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hosta Guacamole

Hosta Guacamole

I got a nice photo of my Guacamoles today and I don't think I've ever posted them before. They really look great this year, better than ever. I love their colors and vigor and unattractiveness to slugs, especially for green hostas.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Time for Fall Haircuts

Bronze sedges, all trimmed up

The bronze sedges (Carex comans) have had a great year. The new babies all grew well and the established ones outdid themselves, growing their long, golden tresses out to amazing lengths. But when I'm out doing fall weeding and breaking up the small branches that have fallen over the summer, I can't do much without getting tangled in those strands, which are frequently as long as three feet. Last spring, just to make things easier for myself, I cut the long leaves off my three bushiest, hoping I didn't mar them for life. I didn't need to worry—those plants were fully as furry this month as they had ever been. So yesterday I broke out my heavy garden scissors and went around giving haircuts. The strands are tough enough that they could tangle and conceivably, in sufficient numbers, choke up equipment, so rather than throw them whole into the recycling bin, I just cut them into finger lengths and left them on the ground for mulch.

I usually don't have to give full haircuts to the orange sedges, because except for their seed stems (which I will cut off when they get in my way), their leaves rarely grow more than 12-14". However, over last winter I bought half a dozen seedlings at a couple of stores that were labeled "Orange Sedge" but turned out to have leaves twice as thick (1/8" compared to 1/16") and twice as long as my old standby orangies. The only thing I can guess is that the polite, refined ones I've had for years are a cultivated variety of C. testacea, and the ones I (and another friend) picked up this year are the original species, substantially larger and a bit rougher-looking. Their coloring is almost exactly the same, and the leaves on the young plants were narrow, so I was easily fooled. I've pulled my miscreants out of the small bed I'd placed them in and moved them to an area where they can compete with each other for space, and not overwhelm their heuchera neighbors, as they were doing.

Fortunately for me, my original orangies, a good seven years old now, had a bumper crop of their own babies this year, which I'm still moving to new locations in the former meadow.