November 29, 2009

Favorite Plant: A Sedge for the Edge

There are few plants in the garden that are virtually maintenance-free. My favorite foliage plant is carex hachijoensis 'Evergold' that can be used in sun or part shade, zones 5-10 and is both deer and rabbit resistant.

I have several varieties of carex in my garden, and 'Evergold' is the best for hot summer sun in my zone. The plants along my waterfall have been growing for four years and are shaded only in the late afternoon.

Other great sedges growing in my garden include Carex dolichostachya 'Kaga nishiki', Carex morrowii 'Silver Sceptre' and Carex testacea 'Orange New Zealand Sedge' - though all require more shade and less sun than 'Evergold'. Shade is rare in my young garden, so all of the sedges are having to tough it out while waiting for shade to grow! Nonetheless, they have been surviving these harsh conditions for several years.

While I have not cut back my sedges at all so far, they can be cut back in very early spring to prevent seed heads from forming. I have had no problem with reseeding, so I don't concern myself with this chore.

The sedges are growing in normal garden soil, moist soil and even wet soil, in my garden.

The graceful, large mounds are wonderful for ground cover as well as edging a garden or as an accent companion plant. The blooms of an orange rose really stand out against the backdrop of carex 'Evergold'.

The thin, colorful foliage works well with plants with wide leaves such as hosta (if you don't have deer) or calla lily (growing in the waterfall).

How much do I like carex 'Evergold'? Enough to recently plant an entire flat of it! More about that project in the future...

Words and photos by Freda Cameron; Home garden; all photos taken November 2009 unless otherwise indicated.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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