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Water Transition zones 2013-notes

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  • 1. 8/6/2013 1 © Project SOUND Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden Gardening with California Native Plants in Western L.A. County Project SOUND – 2013 (our 9th year) © Project SOUND Natives on the Edge: Native plants that can survive near the lawn C.M. Vadheim and T. Drake CSUDH & Madrona Marsh Preserve Madrona Marsh Preserve August 3 & 6, 2013 It’s August – the month for discussing water © Project SOUND Usually we focus on water-wise gardening © Project SOUND
  • 2. 8/6/2013 2 But sometimes we’re faced with the opposite problem - too much water © Project SOUND Common situations with a ‘little extra water’  Areas that get overspray from sprinklers  Areas near a neighbor’s well- watered garden  Areas near pools, ponds, birdbaths, fountains  Low-lying areas of the garden  Slowly draining areas © Project SOUND Transition areas between Water Zones Let’s say you have a large backyard lawn © Project SOUND http://www.doityourself.com/forum/lawns-landscaping/464275-turning-lawn-into-natural-area-good-idea.html Formal gardens appeal to you © Project SOUND …as does lots of green!
  • 3. 8/6/2013 3 The reality is, you need to cut back on water use © Project SOUND http://treepm.com/properties/listings/2511-borton-drive-santa-barbara-ca-93109/ …but you don’t want a landscape that would be more appropriate in Palm Springs http://museum2.utep.edu/exhibits/exhibits.htm Can we design a semi-formal, green, water-wise garden for our backyard? © Project SOUND Challenges  Plants/hardscape must have semi-formal appearance  Retain some green lawn (or lawn-like) areas  Decrease water use by ½  Have area be evergreen (or at least appear so)  Some plants are going to get a little extra water – those near the ‘lawn’ areas  Requires careful choice of design and plants © Project SOUND Base map - backyard © Project SOUND house 32 ft walkway VegetablegardenVegetablegarden See Mother Nature’s Backyard blog for more on drawing a base map N
  • 4. 8/6/2013 4 Current Design - backyard © Project SOUND house walkway VegetablegardenVegetablegarden 32 ft We find some pictures that inspire us © Project SOUND http://www.ub.uit.no/baser/arkinord/details.php?image_id=222 http://whimsicalhomeandgarden.com/what-garden-style-do-you- favor/httphouseandhome-comdesigncountry-garden-parterre/ http://www.cupolahouse.org/gardens.html © Project SOUND http://www.mooseyscountrygarden.com/garden-journal-07/spring-garden-journal-701101.html http://mysuburbanchateau.blogspot.com/2010/05/le-jardin-magnifique-parterrepart-1.html http://barrysbog.blogspot.com/2011_11_01_archive.html http://barrysbog.blogspot.com/2011_11_01_archive.html What do we like?  Swaths of grass – part of design  Semi-formal look; curved shapes  Tree(s) provide shade  Large shrubs as screen ; rest of plants are smaller  Plants form borders for beds  Seating/dining area (8 ft) © Project SOUND http://jsiegeldesigns.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html http://www.cupolahouse.org/gardens.html http://st.houzz.com/simgs/5d8158fc01058bbd_4-7952/traditional-patio.jpg
  • 5. 8/6/2013 5 Oh yes, we also like pink & purple flowers © Project SOUND How to fit these desires into our available area © Project SOUND house walkway VegetablegardenVegetablegarden 32 ft Let’s begin by decreasing the grass area © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden Seating area walkway Add a shady seating nook – and more paths © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden Seating area
  • 6. 8/6/2013 6 ..and we end up with a workable plan © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden  Swaths of grass – part of design  Formal look; curved shapes  Tree(s) provide shade  Large shrubs as screen ; rest of plants are smaller  Plants form borders for beds  Seating/dining area (8 ft) Final design – decreases grass by ~ 1/2 © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden 7 ft 3 ft 10 ft 5 ft We’ll water the grass with low-flow sprinklers © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden There will be many areas with over-spray © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden
  • 7. 8/6/2013 7 What could we do to make the garden more water-wise (and our task easier)? © Project SOUND We could limit grass to the perimeter areas © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden But this class is about transitional Water Zones, so we’ll stick with the plan © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden © Project SOUND Planning ‘Water Use Zones’ should be an early step in planning your garden http://www.taunton.com/finegardening/pages/g00101.asp Pretty dry drought- tolerant plants Regular water ‘Water-wise’ ; occasional summer water
  • 8. 8/6/2013 8 © Project SOUND S. CA gardens have three Water Zones (hydro-zones)  Zone 1 – no supplemental water; soils are dry in summer/fall  Zone 2 – occasional summer water; soil is allowed to dry out between waterings  Zone 3 – regular water; soil is usually moist to soggy, even in summer. © Project SOUND Zone 1 – no summer water  Includes many S. CA native plants (coastal & desert):  Many native grasses  Native wildflowers  Native bulbs & corms  Many locally native perennials  Many locally native shrubs & trees  Includes non-native ‘Desert Plants’ from desert areas throughout the world This is the ‘natural condition’ for S. CA lowlands, even along the coast © Project SOUND Zone 2 – occasional summer water (soil is allowed to dry out between waterings)  Many S. CA native plants: both ‘opportunists’ and plants from slightly wetter CA climates  Trees  Large and small shrubs  Most native groundcovers  Some native grasses  Plants that experience ‘summer monsoons’ © Project SOUND Zone 3 - regular water; soil moist even in summer  S. CA native wetland plants:  Ponds, lake-sides & wetlands  Stream sides & canyon bottoms – Riparian Community  Mountain meadows & seeps  Plants from more Northern climates  Some cultivars with natural ability to take regular water  Most non-native ‘Old CA Garden’ plants :  Lawns  Trees and shrubs from:  Tropical areas  Any place that gets plenty of summer rain  Vegetable gardens
  • 9. 8/6/2013 9 Today we are particularly interested in Water Zone 2 to 3 transition conditions © Project SOUND Let’s determine our actual Water Zones © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden Water Zones - backyard © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden 2-3 to 3 2-3 to 3 2 2 1-2to2 1-2to2 2 to 2-3 2to2-3 Choose a ‘water-wise’ lawn grass  Fine textured and summer/ evergreen  Perhaps a Fescue blend  Needs to take sun (mostly) and some shade  Water 1-2 times per week – will decrease water use slightly  Mow high and occasionally – will also decrease water use © Project SOUND http://redwoodbarn.blogspot.com/2012/08/rethinking-lawns.html
  • 10. 8/6/2013 10 Then choose a shade tree that provides some ‘value added’ fruit © Project SOUND *Western Chokecherry – Prunus virginiana var. demissa http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/dan-rademacher-and-tamara- schwarzs-garden Dwarf ‘Santa Rosa’ plum 8-10 ft tall & wide Water/shade Zones - backyard © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden N Next we choose some background shrubs © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden When choosing plants that can tolerate a little extra water (Water Zone 2-3)  Look to plants from:  Central and Northern CA, particularly coastal areas  Higher elevations – particularly local mountains  Riparian /wetland areas  Cultivars – particularly those from ‘moister than usual’ areas © Project SOUND http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/California/San_ Francisco-755471/Things_To_Do-San_Francisco-Point_Reyes_National_Seashore-BR-1.html
  • 11. 8/6/2013 11 In fact, there are a surprising number of possibilities © Project SOUND Peripheral shrub choices: Sun/ Water Zone 2 to 2-3  ** Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Harmony‘  ** Ceanothus ‘Ray Hartman’  Cornus glabrata  * Amorpha fruticosa  * Frangula/Rhamnus californica  * Holodiscus discolor  * Mahonia (Berberis) aquifolium  * Philadelphus lewisii  * Ribes malvaceum  Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus © Project SOUND Evergreen, proper size and ‘added value’ © Project SOUND Common Snowberry – Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus © 2007 Neal Kramer © Project SOUND Common Snowberry – Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus  Western N. America from Alaska to CA, east to CO  In CA:  Foothills and lower mountain slopes  Locally: Catalina, San Fernando Valley  Shady woods, canyons, stream banks, N-facing slopes  Favors well-drained, moist, fertile soils but also grows on dry or rocky soils  Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle family) http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_JM_treatment.pl?2874,2898,0,2899 © 2004, Ben Legler
  • 12. 8/6/2013 12 © Project SOUND Characteristics of  Size:  3-8 ft tall (usually 3-6 ft)  3-6 ft wide; spreading  Growth form:  Winter-deciduous shrub  Many thin, arching branches  Mounding, then trailing/climbing  Foliage:  Often blue-green; delicate looking  Important cover plant for birds, small wildlife  Deer eat it; larval food for Vashti sphinx moth © 2002 James B. Gratiot © Project SOUND Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: any, including heavy clays; best on well-drained  pH: any local (6.0-8.0)  Light:  Full sun to full shade; part- shade is probably ideal  Would work well in/around other plants in a hedgerow  Water:  Winter: takes seasonal flooding  Summer: quite adaptable – depends on light conditions; best with occasional (Zone 2)  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: fine with wind; maritime exposures© 2004, Ben Legler © Project SOUND Flowers are small & sweet  Blooms: summer; usually May-July in western L.A. County  Flowers:  Little and sweet; somewhat ‘manzanita-like’  Bell-like clusters  Near white to quite bright pink  Pollinated by bees, flies, other insect pollinators; hummingbirds visit  Seeds: best sown fresh in fall; long moist-cold treatment for stored seeds  Vegetative reproduction: spreading via rhizomes; not a ‘monster-invader’, but need to take out suckers © 2001 Lynn Overtree © 2004, Ben Legler © Project SOUND The name says it all : ‘Snowberries’  Ripen late summer/fall (often just before leaf drop in cooler climates)  Showy white clusters; remain on branches through winter  Palatable to thrushes, robins and other birds  Native peoples used as a mild soap or anti-perspirant – contain saponins (like Yucca; Soap-plant)  Many parts of plant were used medicinally – often for skin conditions, eyewash © 2004, Ben Legler
  • 13. 8/6/2013 13 © Project SOUND Snowberry: often used as a traditional shrub  Door-yard or foundation plant  As an accent plant in moist areas of the year  In dry shade under trees  In mixed shrub borders  Even in large planters, particularly mixed w/ other, contrasting shrubshttp://www.hort.uconn.edu/Plants/s/symalb/symalb1.html © Project SOUND Snowberry takes well to hedging  Shape makes a natural medium-sized hedge  Can be used as a tall groundcover on slopes  Easy to prune/shear into more formal hedge in late fall/winter  Nice addition to hedgerow – will climb up through other plants http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/symphoricarpos-albus-laevigatus http://www.botany.cz/cs/symphoricarpos-albus/ Could also use Creeping Snowberry (Symphoricarpos mollis) near coast © Project SOUND Oregon Grape – Mahonia (Berberis) aquifolium © 2006 Louis-M. Landry © Project SOUND Oregon Grape – Mahonia (Berberis) aquifolium  Much of western N. America: Mexico to British Columbia  In CA:  Mostly N. CA  Also mountains & foothills throughout Ca – locally in San Gabriels  Slopes, canyons, coniferous forest, oak woodland, chaparral  In the Barberry family http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_JM_treatment.pl?Berberis+aquifolium http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=233500223
  • 14. 8/6/2013 14 © Project SOUND Oregon Grape: sized for the garden  Size:  3-8 ft tall  3-6 ft wide  Growth form:  Evergreen shrub; medium-slow growth  Stiff, upright branches; overall irregular or mounded form  Foliage:  Very attractive – leaves ‘holly-like’  Shiny dark green above; may give red color in fall/winter  Overall – coarse texture  Roots: spreads via rhizomes © Project SOUND  Soils:  Texture: pretty much any  pH: any local  Light:  Best in part-shade; can take full sun to very shady  Water:  Winter: likes water; can take some flooding  Summer: best with some supplemental water – Zone 2 to 2-3 (even 3)  Fertilizer: likes a good organic mulch; renew yearly Oregon Grape: not demanding at all © Project SOUND Flowers are a cheerful sight during rainy season  Blooms: winter/spring  Usually Feb-Apr in S. Bay  Blooms for 3-4 weeks  Flowers:  Bell-shaped & buttery yellow  In dense clusters – very showy against the darker leaves  Honey-like fragrance  Seeds:  Relatively large © Project SOUND Berries are tart but delicious  Can be eaten directly for a tasty zing!  Can be fermented with sugar to wine  Make nice, tart jellies – good with meats  Boil berries in soup to add flavor  Use to make sauces and marinades for ham, pork, chicken
  • 15. 8/6/2013 15 © Project SOUND Oregon Grape is a popular home shrub  foundation plant  mass plantings  shrub border  mixes well with other broadleaf evergreens  useful in shady spots  desirable for spring bloom, high quality summer foliage and blue fruit in fall Water/shade Zones - backyard © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden N Many potential ‘shady fillers’ on the list  Woody groundcovers  * Berberis (Mahonia) aquifolium var. repens  * Ceanothus gloriosus (and cultivars)  Ribes viburnifolium  * Spireae splendens  Herbaceous groundcovers and perennials  Achillea millefolia  Anemopsis californica  * Aquilegia formosa  Clinopodium (Satureja) douglasii  * Mentha arvensis © Project SOUND http://www.wildgingerfarm.com/Spirea.htm © Project SOUND * Rose Meadowsweet – Spiraea splendens ©2011 Kelsey Byers
  • 16. 8/6/2013 16 © Project SOUND * Rose Meadowsweet – Spiraea splendens ©2001 Carol Mattsson ©2010 Neal Kramer http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_cpn.pl?45211  Central CA north into Canada and extending east into Central Montana.  Along streams, lakes, in moist rocky areas, or open subalpine forests; elevations between 2000-11,000 ft  In Rose Family (Rosaceae); AKA: Dense Flowered Spiraea/ Mountain Spiraea © Project SOUND Rose Meadowsweet: sub-shrub or groundcover?  Size: (depends on conditions)  2-4+ ft tall  3-4+ ft wide  Growth form:  Many-branched shrub or sub-shrub  Erect to spreading habit  Winter deciduous; red- brown bark is attractive  Foliage:  Medium green  Simple leaves – rounded, look like garden plant © Project SOUND Flowers: pink  Blooms: in summer – usually June-July, but may be later  Flowers:  Individual flowers small; but densely packed into mounded clusters at branch ends  Color: medium to dark pink/magenta  Very pretty – a garden favorite  Nectar attracts wide range of butterflies Flowers appear ‘fuzzy’ because of extended stamens (like Phacelias) © Project SOUND Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: no special needs  pH: any local  Light:  Best flowering in full sun (with adequate water)  Part-shade also fine; give some afternoon shade in hot, dry gardens (it’s a mountain plant!)  Water:  Winter: supplement if needed  Summer: best with moderate watering (Zone 2-3); will take more or less  Other: organic mulches help keep soil moisture constant ©2010 Neal Kramer
  • 17. 8/6/2013 17 © Project SOUND Rose Meadowsweet: a garden favorite  In woodland garden with others that like a little moisture  As a groundcover under trees  In large containers – accent  In a butterfly garden Gary A. Monroe @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database http://www.nwplants.com/business/catalog/spi_spl.html Photo credit: cascade hiker / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA © Project SOUND Western (Red) Columbine – Aquilegia formosa © Project SOUND Western (Red) Columbine – Aquilegia formosa http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=233500105  Western N. America from Baja CA to AK  Locally – San Gabriel Mtns.  Streambanks, seeps, moist places, chaparral, oak woodland, mixed-evergreen or coniferous forest to 8000 ft elevation“var. hypolasia” “var. truncata” http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_JM_treatment.pl?6434,6448,6450 © Project SOUND Characteristics of Western Columbine  Size:  2-3 ft tall  2-3 ft wide  Growth form:  Clumping, mounded perennial  Dies back in late summer/fall  May be short-lived (3-5 yrs)  Foliage:  Open, rounded leaves are deeply incised  Delicate appearing  Color: medium green to blue- green  Roots: used medicinally – somewhat toxic
  • 18. 8/6/2013 18 © Project SOUND Hummingbird flowers are distinctive  Blooms: spring-summer; often June-July in local gardens  Flowers:  Red petals & sepals; yellow reproductive parts  Shape distinctive to Columbines  Flowers nod on graceful stems  Attract hummingbirds!!  Seeds:  Sweetly fragrant; can be used in sachet Image © 2004, Ben Legler © Project SOUND Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: most  pH: any local – pH 4.5-8.0  Light: best with some shade  Dappled shade, under trees  Afternoon shade  Won’t flower well if too shady  Water:  Winter: needs adequate  Summer: best with near- regular water – Water Zone 2-3 or even 3  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: likes leaf mulch http://www.elnativogrowers.com/Photographs_page/aqufor.htm © Project SOUND Columbines work well in many gardens  In a shady woodland garden with ferns  Under trees (including oaks, if summer-dry)  Combined with other water-loving garden plants http://www.paulnoll.com/Oregon/Wildflower/plant-Columbine-Red.html http://encinitasnatives.blogspot.com/2013/04/perennial-herbs.html http://www.edelbrandbrennerei.at/page11.php What do we want around our bench? © Project SOUND http://www.wildgingerfarm.com/Spirea.htm http://sjgbloom2012.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/spirea-japonica-alpina-%E2%80%A2-alpine- spirea-3/ http://www.doakcreeknursery.com/images/Aquilegia-formosa.jpg http://www.growiser.net/aquilegia-formosa-western-columbine.html http://www.edelbrandbrennerei.at/page11.php http://www.houzz.com/photos/9 20328/Campania-International- Autumn-Leaves-Cast-Stone- Backless-Garden-Bench- contemporary-outdoor-stools- and-benches-
  • 19. 8/6/2013 19 © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden 7 ft 3 ft 10 ft 5 ft Now to the formal beds: size is an issue Let’s plan the shady moist south beds first © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden We’d like to plant a living border the beds: neat appearance – but not a lot of work  Plant characteristics  Evergreen (if possible)  Small size - < 2 ft  Compact, mounded form  Interesting/contrasting foliage  Won’t require too much maintenance to keep it looking like a neat border © Project SOUND http://www.mooseyscountrygarden.com/chelsea-flower- show/chelsea-flowers-on-show-2.html Two groups of CA native plants stand out as potential border plants  Heuchera species – Coral bells  Some Carex species - Sedges © Project SOUND http://www.dovetail-design.co.uk/Low_Maintenance http://www.anno2000tuinen.nl/tuinontwerp-groenadvies-hovenier- tuinonderhoud-tuinplanten/diensten/plantadvies/siergrassen.html
  • 20. 8/6/2013 20 Island Alumroot – Heuchera maxima http://kristamaxwell.com/garden/photos.html Heuchera maxima (tall), sanguinea (dark) & elegans Island Alumroot – Heuchera maxima  The genus Heuchera: 50 species: found only in North America & Mexico; 13 in California  Name origin: honors J.H. von Heucher, German professor of medicine and botany, 1677–1747  A very difficult genus, highly variable at many levels and needing much additional research.  Island Alumroot is found naturally only in the northern Channel Islands http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_JM_treatment.pl?Heuchera+maxima Island Alumroot in nature  Moist shady areas in chaparral and coastal sage scrub on N. Channel Islands:  moist, shady, north-facing canyon bottoms,  Canyon walls  Moist cliffs  Seacliffs  Low elevations http://www.centerforplantconservation.org/ASP/CPC_ProfileImage.asp?FN=2240a Plant characteristics: Island Alumroot  Growth form: clumping – low mounds of leaves on long petioles  Foliage: leaves rounded or heart-shaped, may be variegated  Roots: long taproot – more drought tolerant than non-CA species Flowers: late winter-mid-spring  White to light pink  Bell-shaped  On long stems well above the foliage
  • 21. 8/6/2013 21 Island Alumroot: Easy to grow  Sun: full sun on the coast, part shade anywhere; can take quite shady  Soils:  Any well-drained – sandy is best  Any pH except very acidic  Nutrients: organic supplements, mulches are useful  Water:  Regular water to establish  2-4 times a month (especially in summer and at inland locations) to keep plants looking green and lengthen bloom.  Fairly drought tolerant in shady sites – just look a little raggedy with summer drought  Maintenance:  Mulch  Remove dead foliage  Divide every 3-5 years – when flowering decreases http://www.thegardengeek.com/content/heuchera-maxima-giant-heuchera Heucheras in the garden  Woodland and shade gardens or borders  For cut flowers  Habitat for bees and hummingbirds  As a groundcover in shady parts of the garden, including under trees (oaks & pines)  In pots  To line walkways  Attractive foliage as well as flowers – plant where you can enjoy it  And it even re-seeds itself! http://www.elnativogrowers.com/Photographs_pag e/heuchera_maxima.htm Heuchera hybrids  Bred for both foliage and flower color characteristics  Active area in horticulture  Some of best known (and now widely available) were developed by Dr. Lee W. Lenz at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens  Heuchera maxima x H. sanguinea hybrids:  'Genevieve‘ – large marbled leaves with pink & white flowers  'Opal‘ – large green leaves with pale pink-white flowers  'Santa Ana Cardinal‘ – dark, shiny leaves with rose-red flowers  'Susanna‘ – red flowers  'Wendy' - compact with bright pink flowers Heucheras will border the shady moist south beds © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden
  • 22. 8/6/2013 22 Now to fill the beds with something easy © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden What to combine with Heuchera border smaller plants (< 3 ft) – moist shade  Ferns  Adiantum  Aquilegia  Dryopteris arguta  Low herbaceous groundcovers  Fragaria – strawberries  Yerba Buena; other mints  Whipplea modesta  Other perennials  Oxalis oregana  Apocynum cannabinum – Indian Hemp  Many others © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Modesty – Whipplea modesta ©2004 Steve Matson  AKA: Yerba de selva (woodland plant)  Northern CA coast to OR  Whipplea : monotypic genus (contains the single species) Whipplea modesta  Family: ?? Philadelphus/Hydrangeaceae © Project SOUND Modesty – Whipplea modesta ©2012 Gary A. Monroe Gary A. Monroe @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
  • 23. 8/6/2013 23 The Hydrangeas - Family Hydrangeaceae  ~ 115 species; 10-12 genera  Some taxonomist include closely related Philadephus & Carpenteria; others separate out these into Philadelphaceae (Mock Orange family)  Widespread North temperate and subtropical – Asia, N. America & Europe; Andes from Mexico to Chile  Includes shrubs, perennials and vines  Common garden plants: Hydrangea; Broussaisia (Hawaii) © Project SOUND http://msl-methods-09- 10.wikispaces.com/Hydrangea+macrophylla++(Tara+Hill) Hydrangea macrophylla common garden plant - Japan http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/carr/images/bro_arg_mid.jpg © Project SOUND Modesty is, in many respects, modest  Size:  < 1 ft tall  3-4+ ft wide  Growth form:  Varies with conditions: perennial herb to shrub or vine; usually groundcover-like  Partly-herbaceous; evergreen with water  Many-branched; will root  Foliage:  Simple leaves; aromatic  Attractive in it’s simplicity – complements other plants ©2009 Terry Dye ©2004 Steve Matson © Project SOUND Sweet little flowers  Blooms: in spring - usually in May-June in our area  Flowers:  Small white flowers  In clusters at ends of erect stems  Plants can be literally covered in blooms – very unusual for native groundcover  Fruits: leathery capsule; eaten by birds  Vegetative reproduction: ©2004 Steve Matson © Project SOUND Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: likes well-drained, but not really picky  pH: any local  Light:  Part-shade to quite shady  Dappled sunlight under trees  Water:  Winter: adequate  Summer: needs some water to look good – Water Zone 2-3 would be good  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils; would accept light fertilizer  Other: organic mulch ©2013 Larry Beckerman
  • 24. 8/6/2013 24 © Project SOUND Modesty is charming  On slopes; good stabilizer  Under trees; other shady areas  Pair with Heucheras, ferns, Douglas Iris, Yerba Buena  As an attractive pot plant ©2011 Dylan Neubauer http://www.baynatives.com/plants/Whipplea-modesta/ On to the sunny northern beds © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden © Project SOUND * Brown/ Rusty Sedge – Carex subfusca ©2006 Steve Matson  Western U.S., usually mountains in California  Locally – San Gabriels  Seasonally moist mountain meadows, along watercourses < 12,000 ft  Pine forests, Southern Oak Woodland, Foothill Woodland © Project SOUND * Brown Sedge – Carex subfusca http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx ?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242357566 http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_JM_treatment.pl?7928,7931,8065 http://www.forestryimages.org/browse/subthumb.cfm?sub=26803
  • 25. 8/6/2013 25 © Project SOUND Brown Sedge is an attractive Carex  Size:  < 1 ft tall  2-4+ ft wide, spreading  Growth form:  Spreading – ‘sod-forming’ sedge  Fast-growing  Becomes like a natural lawn  Foliage:  Fine textured; grass-like  Roots:  Spreads via rhizomes ©2006 Steve Matson Sedges: two main types  Bunching sedges  Remain as a mounded clump – like a bunch grass  Have very short/no rhizomes  Expand slowly  Running/sod-like sedges  Spread – like sod; often quickly  Become like a sod lawn © Project SOUNDhttp://search.linders.com/12070003/Plant/4425/Gray's_Sedge http://rwa.watersavingplants.com/eplant.php?plantnum=174&return=l1 http://vinesandgroundcovers.blogspot.com/2012/02/carex- pansa.html Carex tumulticola Carex pansa © Project SOUND Showy among sedges  Blooms: spring – when weather is warm  Flowers:  Typical, wind-pollinated flowers of sedges  At tips of stems  Seeds:  Large; turn red-brown and are quite attractive  Eaten by water birds ©2011 Dylan Neubauer USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Hurd, E.G., N.L. Shaw, J. Mastrogiuseppe, L.C. Smithman, and S. Goodrich. 1998. Field guide to Intermountain sedges. General Technical Report RMS-GTR-10. USDA Forest Service, RMRS, Ogden. © Project SOUND Brown sedge is easy to grow  Soils:  Texture: any  pH: any local  Light:  Full sun to part-shade; adaptable  Water:  Winter: can take flooding  Summer: adaptable; very drought tolerant in shade. Looks best with moderate water in summer  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: spreads; may need to contain ©2006 Steve Matson
  • 26. 8/6/2013 26 © Project SOUND Versatile Brown Sedge  In rain gardens, dry swales  As an easy-care lawn substitute  Around ponds, pools  Under trees http://www.smgrowers.com/products/plants/plantdisplay.asp?plant_id=2329 http://www.bloomingadvantage.com/Ca rex-subfusca.html http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/plants- c/bio414/species%20pages/Carex%20sp.htm http://www.sm.watersavingplants.com/eplant.php?plantnum=24602&r eturn=l6_aK Berkeley Sedge – Carex tumulticola © Project SOUND Consider size and growth characteristics before choosing a plant Finally we can use some water-wise Zone 2 plants as fillers  Wide selection to choose from:  Shrubs  Sub-shrubs  Perennials  Ferns  Grasses/grass-like plants CA Fuschia – Epilobium canum Ashy-leaf Buckwheat California Marshlavender Limonium californicum Lilac Verbena © Project SOUND Lilac (Cedros Island) Verbena – Verbena lilacena
  • 27. 8/6/2013 27 © Project SOUND Lilac (Cedros Island) Verbena – Verbena lilacena  Found only on Cedros Island, off Baja CA (an ‘island endemic’)  In the wild, grows in canyons and on coastal bluffs in an ocean-influenced desert scrubland  This island has many interesting plant & animal species http://www.search.com/reference/Cedros_Island © Project SOUND Lilac Verbena is well suited to the home garden  Size:  2-4 ft tall  3-5 ft wide  Growth form:  Perennial sub-shrub (small; partly woody/ partly herbaceous)  Mounded and slightly spreading  Yearly pruning can keep it very neat looking  Foliage:  Attractive gray-green color  Lacy leaves  Evergreen with water; drought deciduous  Roots: net-like Fortunately, Lilac Verbena does well in many S. CA gardens © Project SOUND What will really attract you is the showy flowers!!  Blooms:  usually April- Sept. in S. Bay  Long bloom season; flowers open sequentially along the stalk Flowers:  Lilac to pinkish  Tiny; many on each flowering stalk  Held above the foliage  Spicy-fragrant  Attract butterflies like a magnet  Seeds:  Small; in papery capsule  Birds eat them http://www.calflora.net/losangelesarboretum/whatsbloomingjan 07.html#verbena_lilacina © Project SOUND Lilac Verbena enjoys a wide range of garden conditions  Soils:  Texture: any but clay  pH: any local  Light: full sun best in most gardens; part shade is ok  Water:  Winter: normal for season; don’t let it get water-logged  Summer:  Tolerates anything from very little to regular water  Probably does best with infrequent (every 2-4 weeks) deep water – will keep it green & blooming  Fertilizer: none needed  Other: does best in areas with good air circulation Light summer pruning will encourage fullness; prune to shape and remove spent blooms in fall – if un-pruned it will become woody
  • 28. 8/6/2013 28 © Project SOUND Uses in the garden  Makes a great container plant  A must for butterfly gardens – be sure to plant where you can enjoy them  In mixed beds; look nice even when not in bloom  Good for gardens with either red or blue color schemes  Excellent bank cover or massed as a tall groundcover  Perfect small-scale foundation plant  Even looks magnificent in hanging baskets Verbena lilacina 'De La Mina' is a readily-available cultivar with darker flowers & slightly larger size Final Garden Plan - backyard © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden We’ve taken a backyard that was mostly lawn © Project SOUND Base map - backyard © Project SOUND house VegetablegardenVegetablegarden walkway Water Zone 3
  • 29. 8/6/2013 29 And added some water-wise Water Zones © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden We’ve learned how to choose plants that can tolerate a little extra water (Water Zone 2-3)  Look to plants from:  Central and Northern CA, particularly coastal areas  Higher elevations – particularly local mountains  Riparian /wetland areas  Cultivars – particularly those from ‘moister than usual’ areas  Plants that have a broad range of water tolerance © Project SOUND http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/California/San_ Francisco-755471/Things_To_Do-San_Francisco-Point_Reyes_National_Seashore-BR-1.html Plants with a broad range of water tolerance have a better chance of thriving… © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden …in complex irrigation situations like this Fortunately, many CA native plants are more adaptable than we first thought… https://nwwildflowers.wordpress.com/tag/spiraea-splendens/ http://www.researchlearningcenter.org/bloom/species/Dryopteris_arguta.htm
  • 30. 8/6/2013 30 …but Water Zone gardening makes gardens sustainable © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden We’ve considered ways to make the garden even more water efficient © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden walkway We’ve created a more water-wise solution © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden That meets the goals we set for ourselves © Project SOUND house Vegetablegarden walkway Vegetablegarden  Swaths of grass – part of design  Formal look; curved shapes  Tree(s) provide shade  Large shrubs as screen ; rest of plants are smaller  Plants form borders for beds  Seating/dining area (8 ft)
  • 31. 8/6/2013 31 © Project SOUND Let’s get going – out with the old lawn!