waterwise plants at Sunshine Coast garden centresThe following garden centres and nurseries offer a 10% discount on the pl...
waterwisesome gardening terms                                                                              Protecting our ...
ENGLISH LAVENDER              LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIAperennials                                                            ...
EVERGREEN HUCKLEBERRY                    VACCINIUM OVATUM                                                                 ...
trees                                                                                                                     ...
COSMOS         COSMOS BIPINNATUS                                                                                          ...
GRAPEVINES          VITIS VINIFERA CULTIVARSgroundcovers & climbers                                                       ...
GIANT NEEDLE GRASS              STIPA GIGANTEAornamental grass, ferns & cycads                                            ...
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Waterwise Plant Guide: Beautiful Plants for Sustainable Sunshine Coast Gardens - Canada


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Waterwise Plant Guide: Beautiful Plants for Sustainable Sunshine Coast Gardens - Canada

  1. 1. waterwise plants at Sunshine Coast garden centresThe following garden centres and nurseries offer a 10% discount on the plantsfeatured in this guide. Please present the guide to cashiers before making a purchase. Thisoffer can not be used in combination with other promotions.B & K SOILS & LANDSCAPE SUPPLY HALFMOON BAY NURSERY629 Pratt Road, Gibsons 7820 Fawn Road, Halfmoon Bay604-886-0924 604-885-2760CASEY’S COUNTRY GARDENS JURASSIC PLANTS NURSERY (by appointment5612 Wharf Avenue, Sechelt only)604-885-3606 11269 Sunset Cove Road, Halfmoon Bay WATERWISE PLANT GUIDE 604-883-0079DELUXE GARDEN CENTRE & LANDSCAPESUPPLY QUALITY FARM AND GARDEN SUPPLY6037 Sechelt Inlet Road, Sechelt 325 Pratt Road, Gibsons Beautiful plants for sustainable Sunshine Coast gardens604-885-9070 604-886-7527EDIBLE LANDSCAPES (by appointment only) WILSON CREEK NURSERY1732 Pell Road, Roberts Creek 1709 Ward Court, Wilson Creek604-885-4505 604-885-7699 Printed and distributed by the Sunshine Coast Regional District. For more information on water conservation, please call 604-885-6800 or go to www.scrd.bc.ca. DESIGN AND WRITING BY CANDICE MARTINS
  2. 2. waterwisesome gardening terms Protecting our water supply for a growing population.Fertile soil: Soil rich with organic matter and plant nutrients. Most of us don’t worry about water conservation when we choose plants for our gardens. After all, the Sunshine Coast–despite its name–gets a lot of rain. But ourFull sun: At least six hours of direct sunlight per day from May through August. summers are dry and our ability to store water is limited. During seasonal dry spells,Humus: Decayed plant material that contributes to soil fertility. household water consumption soars as we irrigate thirsty lawns and plants. In 2006, for instance, the Chapman water treatment plant distributed 677,942 cubic metres of waterMulch: A layer of material that covers the ground between plants. Mulch helps conserve soil in July compared to 303,110 cubic metres in February. This high water demand drainsmoisture while allowing water and oxygen to reach plant roots. It also discourages weeds and reservoirs and draws on resources intended for drinking water and fire fighting.protects plants from fluctuating soil temperatures. Plant-based mulches (commonly referred to asorganic mulches) include compost, well-rotted manures, and shredded bark, leaves, and coconut conserving water in the gardenfibre. Rock, gravel, and pebbles also make great mulches. To reduce water consumption in the garden, select plants that can survive dry summer conditions. They help conserve water for more important uses andwaterwise gardening resources shelter water customers from expensive infrastructureBennett, Jennifer expansions. They also free-up time that wouldDry Land Gardening normally be spent watering less efficient plants.Chatto, BethThe Dry Garden cultivating sustainability The plants in this guide are adapted to seasonal dry spells, provided they are grown asCanada Mortgage and Housing Corporation described in their preferred conditions. All of the plants are attractive and easy to grow,Landscape Guide for Canadian Homes while most sustain birds and butterflies, and a number produce food crops.Rubin, CaroleHow to Get Your Lawn off Grass growing knowledge There are many other water-thrifty plants suited toSunset Books the Sunshine Coast besides the ones listed in thisWaterwise Gardening guide. Our local garden centres have experts thatwww.scrd.bc.ca/infrastructure_water.html can help you pick the best plants for your site.www.xeriscape.org To learn more about conserving water in the garden, see the resources listed on the previous page.1 2
  3. 3. ENGLISH LAVENDER LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIAperennials English lavender needs well-drained soil and a sunny place in the garden. To promote new growth and limit unproductive woody stems, Daniel Mosqin/UBC prune back stems in mid-spring to 10-15 cm. Grow English lavender enPerennials invigorate landscapes with colour and texture year after year. Whether used in masse or with other drought-tolerant edibles like sage, thyme, oregano,exuberant abundance or reserved elegance, they always enhance gardens. and rosemary.The Sunshine Coast’s mild climate allows us to grow perennials from all over the FALSE SOLOMON’S SEAL MAIANTHEMUM RACEMOSUMworld. Nevertheless, “the-right-plant-in-the-right-place” maxim should guide plantselection. Exposed areas with full sun and sharp drainage need plants adapted to hot arid Naturally occurring throughout much of BC, false Solomon’s seal grows Irmgard & Gerald Carter in full or part shade and is drought-tolerant once established. It hasconditions. Woodland settings, on the other hand, call for shade-lovers that prefer cool, smooth, tapered leaves and arching stems, which bear clusters of fragrantmoist environments. Choose perennials that match your site’s conditions and they will white flowers in mid-spring and small red berries in late summer. Growthrive with little maintenance beyond supplemental watering for the first year and regular false Solomon’s seal in humus-rich soil with ferns, vine maples, hostas, or rhododendrons.mulching afterwards. LADY’S MANTLE ALCHEMILLA MOLLISDivide perennials when they show signs of decreased productivity (such as weak centre Lady’s mantle adapts to a variety of soil and light conditions butgrowth). Plants can be divided in any season, but they generally respond best in early fall. tolerates dry weather best when planted in fertile, well-drained soilLift plants from the ground and section them into small clumps with a sharp spade, cutting and protected from strong summer sun. With time-is-money attitude, it Candice Martinsinto the old, woody growth at the centre. Replenish the planting area with fresh soil and quickly establishes clumps 35 cm high and twice as wide. Sprays of tiny chartreuse flowers bloom in May and June. Mulch lady’s mantle withkeep divisions cool and moist until they are replanted. organic material each spring. CORSICAN HELLEBORE RUSSIAN SAGE Carolyn Jones/Great Plant Picks HELLEBORUS ARGUTIFOLIUS PEROVSKIA ATRIPLICIFOLIA Corsican hellebore is an evergreen perennial that blooms in late winter Found from Afghanistan to Tibet, Russian sage needs fast-draining soil and early spring. It grows up to 1 m high and wide and is suited to full to make it through wet Sunshine Coast winters. It has fine grey foliage sun or part shade. Plant Corsican hellebore in well-drained soil with and produces clouds of small purple-blue flowers in late summer. Cut Candice Martins dwarf conifers, hebes, and summer-flowering perennials such as Russian stems back hard in spring to keep plants from developing long bare sage and showy stonecrop. Cut faded blooms back at the base. stems. Grow Russian sage in hot, sunny locations and mulch it with rock, gravel, or pebbles. CUSHION SPURGE EUPHORBIA POLYCHROMA THRIFT/SEA PINK ARMERIA MARITIMA No shrinking violet, this bold plant adds bolts of bright green and yellow This charming evergreen perennial survives dry, windy conditions thanks to gardens. It forms low rounded mounds 30 cm high and produces to its tough taproot. In spring, papery pink flowers top wiry stems that showy bracts (modified leaves that look like flowers) in April and May. reach up to 45 cm. Don’t be discouraged by a lackluster performance the Candice Martins Candice Martins Set plants 45 cm apart in full sun and well-drained soil. Handle cushion first season; like all perennials, thrifts need some time to settle in before spurge carefully, as its milky sap irritates the eyes and skin. Mulch plants cranking out blooms. Great cutting flowers, thrifts thrive in full sun and with gravel, rock, or pebbles. well drained soil. Set plants 30 cm apart.3 4
  4. 4. EVERGREEN HUCKLEBERRY VACCINIUM OVATUM Richie Steffen/Great Plant Picks An adaptable shrub, this Sunshine Coast resident grows in full sun to fullshrubs shade. It has glossy evergreen leaves and produces pale pink flowers in late spring, followed by edible berries in summer. Evergreen huckleberry can grow more than 2 m high and wide but can be pruned for size. PlantShrubs are garden workhorses. They anchor seasonal plantings and soften buildings, driveways, and it in well-drained soil amended with humus. Apply a generous mulch ofretaining walls. Commonly used as hedging or screens, shrubs also provide privacy and establish organic material each spring.boundaries. What’s more, they are a valuable wildlife resource, providing food and shelter for animalssuch as birds and butterflies. GREY’S SENECIO SENECIO GREYI Perfect for exposed sites with sharp drainage, Grey’s senecio (also known www.asperupgaard.dk as Brachyglottis greyi) is an extremely drought-tolerant evergreen. ItsTo create a dynamic element in the garden, choose shrubs with features that change with the seasons. silvery leaves and bright yellow flowers are well-suited to colourfulFor instance, select plants that produce flowers and berries or ones with leaves that turn a different groupings of California lilac, showy stonecrop, and Russian sage. Grey’scolour in fall. Add layers of texture and year-round colour with a variety of evergreens. senecio forms soft rounded mounds 1 m high and wide. To promote new growth, cut back old stems by two-thirds in spring.Some shrubs prefer dry, sunny locations while others grow best in soil that retains moisture and in RED-FLOWERING CURRANT RIBES SANGUINEUMa partly shaded place. Pick plants that suit your site’s conditions and amend your soil if necessary. An important food source for humming birds, red-flowering currantHelp drought-tolerant shrubs establish healthy roots by watering them deeply during dry conditions starts blooming in March when most other plants are hitting the snoozefor their first two years. In spring, add a mulch of organic material, rock, or pebbles to help keep plant button. This indigenous shrub isn’t fussy about light levels but prefers Candice Martinsroots cool and moist through summer. Spring is also a good time to apply a slow-release fertilizer to well-drained soil. Growing up to 3 m high and 2 m wide in sun, red- flowering currant is deciduous and has edible blue berries. Plant it withshrubs. evergreens, spring-flowering bulbs, and summer-flowering perennials. CALIFORNIA LILAC CEANOTHUS ‘VICTORIA’ RUGOSA ROSES ROSA RUGOSA CULTIVARS Richie Steffen/Great Plant Picks A very drought-tolerant evergreen, California lilac thrives in sheltered Rugosa roses are as tough as they are pretty, thriving in hot sun and spots with hot sun and fast-draining soil. The cultivar ‘Victoria’ has a sandy soil. There are many flower colours and scents to choose from, dense, rounded shape and grows 1 m wide and 2 m high in ten years. In with bloom times extending from spring to fall. Rugosa foliage resists Candice Martins late spring it is covered with blue flowers that attract bees, hummingbirds, disease, tolerates salt spray, and takes on gold hues in autumn. A favourite and butterflies. Tolerant of salt spray, California lilac is suited to seaside of birds, bees, and butterflies, rugosa cultivars vary in height and spread gardens. It can be sheared for hedging or left unpruned. from 1-2 m and produce large orange-red hips. DAVID’S VIBURNUM VIBURNUM DAVIDII IRISH YEW TAXUS BACCATA ‘FASTIGIATA’ This low-mounding shrub has leathery evergreen leaves, pink flower Yews are the elegant beauties of garden parties, lending a sophisticated www.oregonstate.edu buds, white blooms, and blue berries. A lovely plant that grows in a air to seasonal revellers. Irish yew is a slow-growing columnar shrub that range of conditions, it does best in light shade and fertile, well-drained eventually reaches 6 m but can be kept smaller with pruning. It is useful Candice Martins soil. David’s viburnum commonly grows 1 m tall and wide but can get for hedging and does well in shade or sun but needs well-drained soil. twice as big over many years. It works well with deciduous trees, hardy The fruit, leaves, and bark of yews are poisonous. geraniums, hostas, and spring-flowering bulbs.5 6
  5. 5. trees GINKGO GINKGO BILOBA ‘AUTUMN GOLD’ Ginkgos have been around since the days of dinosaurs, proving they are as resilient as they are attractive. Their soft fluttery leaves contrastTrees add scale to landscapes by breaking up large spaces and framing focal points. They define beautifully with their strong pyramidal forms and rough bark. The Great Plant Picksand compliment other features like entryways, paths, and sitting areas while enriching gardens with cultivar ‘Autumn Gold’ grows 4 m tall in ten years (reaching 12 m atform, texture, fragrance, and colour. Trees have practical value in the home landscape too, sheltering maturity) and lives up to its name with exceptional fall foliage. Plant ginkgos in full or part sun and fertile, well-drained soil.households from sun and wind, and filtering air-borne particles and noise. Numerous trees alsoproduce food crops, or serve as a link to the natural world by providing shelter and sustenance for HAZEL TREE CORYLUS AVELLANA g.a. cooper/smithsonian institutionwildlife. While some plants nourish the soul with beauty, hazel trees feed the belly with tasty nuts packed full of protein and vitamins. Trees reach 6Select landscape trees carefully. Choose ones suited to your site’s soil, light, and dimensions. Keep m tall and almost as wide, requiring full sun and well-drained soil. Theyin mind that roots can extend past a tree’s branches and that trees should not be planted close to don’t compete well with weeds, so keep the nuisance plants at bay with a mulch of cardboard or bark. Encourage young plants to form a shrubbyunderground structures (such as septic fields) and paved areas. Buy plants with healthy leaves or growth habit by pruning back their previous year’s growth by half.buds, undamaged bark and roots, and well-spaced branches. ORNAMENTAL PLUM PRUNUS CERASIFERAFall and early spring are the best times to plant trees, when weather is cool and rainy. Prepare a Often mistaken for cherries, ornamental plums bloom earlier in springplanting hole that is at least twice as wide as your tree’s root ball and as deep. Backfill the planting and tough-out dry spells better than their famous cousins. With short trunks and rounded tops, they make great climbing trees for kids. Self- Candice Martinshole with the original soil, amended if necessary. Tamp the soil firmly and water the tree. Apply a sufficient, ornamental plums do not need pruning beyond the removal oflayer of mulch to the soil surface, ensuring that the material does not touch the tree’s trunk. Water damaged or rubbing branches. They ask only for a place in the sun anddrought-tolerant trees during dry spells until they establish (typically three years). well-drained soil. Small cultivars grow 5 m high. CORNELIAN CHERRY CORNUS MAS PINE TREES PINE SPECIES Growing approximately 3 m high and wide, this pretty tree is perfect for Old souls, pines are immensely adaptable. Sometimes overlooked for their small spaces. It has scented flowers in early spring, tart red fruit by late lack of blousy blooms, these dependable trees contribute architectural Great Plant Picks summer, and jewel-toned leaves in fall. Cornelian cherry grows in full strength and attractive texture to landscapes. Grow them in ordinary soil Candice Martins sun or part shade and prefers humus-rich, well-drained soil. It is a good and full sun with spring-flowering groundcovers, ornamental grasses, companion for rhododendrons, camellias, boxwood, spring-flowering and summer perennials. Selections vary in size, so check your local bulbs, hardy geraniums, and summer-flowering perennials. garden centre for plants that suit your space. FLOWERING CRABAPPLE MALUS CULTIVARS VINE MAPLE ACER CIRCINATUM Cheerful little trees, flowering crabapples provide months of interest with Native to the Pacific Northwest, vine maples are great for small spaces colourful flower buds, blooms, and fruit. ‘Adirondack’, ‘Snowdrift’, and or for visually linking low-growing plants to sky-scraping conifers. They Candice Martins ‘Strawberry Parfait’ are disease-resistant cultivars that grow 3 m in ten produce showy fall colours when planted in sun but grow equally well in Candice Martins years and reach 6 m high and wide at maturity. Not particular about soil shade. Provide vine maples with humus-rich soil and an organic mulch types, they perform best in full sun. Remove leggy vertical shoots that each spring. Trees grow approximately 5 m tall in ten years. sprout from the tree’s base or from horizontal-growing branches.7 8
  6. 6. COSMOS COSMOS BIPINNATUS Hailing from Mexico, cosmos bloom in late summer and fall on the http://biotech.tipo.gov.twannuals & bedding plants Coast, providing late-season nectar for butterflies and humming birds. Start seeds indoors in April or sow them outside in May. Cosmos grow about 1 m tall and prefer full sun and soil amended with organic matter.Annuals are plants that complete their life cycle in a single growing season. Many are well-suited to Do not fertilize or over-water cosmos, as they will produce fewer blooms.waterwise gardens as they sprout with spring rains and set seed during dry summer weather. They These flowers are easy to grow and lovely for cutting.are also good plants for those who do not wish to spend time watering and fertilizing since excessivemoisture and nitrogen cause many of them to produce lush foliage but few flowers. Use hardy, self- FIELD POPPY/FLANDER’S POPPY PAPAVER RHOEASseeding annuals in naturalized areas or informal gardens where they can propagate freely. Tender Thin wiry stems support the field poppy’s crimson petals and dark http://jeluf.mormo.organnuals should be started from seed indoors in April or purchased as young plants from garden centre. Plants grow 60 cm tall and 30 cm wide and prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They suit informal gardens, where they can be growncentres in June. en masse for spectacular colour from June to August. Sow seeds outside in March or April.Bedding plants are tender perennials, shrubs, and sub-shrubs from hot climes. They grow throughour summer months but must be over-wintered indoors or replaced the following year. Most are not MOSS ROSE PORTULACA GRANDIFLORAsuited to sustainable gardening as they often require supplemental water and nutrients to put on a Moss rose has narrow fleshy leaves and grows about 15 cm high and http://biotech.tipo.gov.twshow by summer’s end. Some, however, are extremely drought-tolerant and provide a water-thrifty 30 cm wide during the Coast’s summer season. Plants are available insplash of colour, especially when carried over to the next year. Don’t set bedding plants out early; a range of flower colours, from strong red and yellow to soft pink andthey will suffer pitiably through cold rain and likely require fresh recruits to take their place. white. Native to Brazil and Argentina, moss rose needs hot sandy soil and full sun. Do not set plants out before the weather is warm, as they do poorly in cold rainy conditions. CALENDULA CALENDULA OFFICINALIS PETUNIA PETUNIA X HYBRIDA Calendula flowers emerge in May with daisy-like, edible petals. Purchase These punchy plants have been hybridized to produce a range of blooms. www.villamussalo.com plants in late spring or start them from seed in March. Transplant Some petunias are large with flamboyant ruffles, stripes, and speckles, calendulas to a location with full sun or part shade and ordinary well- while others are small and demure. Some are fragrant and some hold Candice Martins drained soil. Seeds can be sown outside again in June to ensure plenty of up well in rain, but all flower profusely through summer and fall. Grow blooms for fall. Calendulas grow 60 cm tall and about half as wide. They them in full sun and well-drained soil. Cut plants back halfway in mid- make good cut flowers. summer to promote compact growth. CALIFORNIA POPPY ESCHSCHOLZIA CALIFORNICA ZONAL GERANIUM PELARGONIUM X HORTORUM Technically a perennial, this tough plant thrives on sandy sun-drenched Geraniums are synonymous with summer. They grow well in containers, soil. Sow seeds on flowering sites in spring, when abundant rainfall in full sun and well-drained soil, happiest when their roots are a bit Candice Martins allows plants to germinate and begin flowering. California poppies grow restricted. Young plants purchased from garden centres bloom from May Candice Martins approximately 30 cm high and wide, with vibrant blooms appearing in until frost and can be over-wintered indoors in a cool location. Zonal late May. They readily self-seed and are suited to naturalized plantings. geraniums are named for the dark green circles on their leaves.9 10
  7. 7. GRAPEVINES VITIS VINIFERA CULTIVARSgroundcovers & climbers Plant a grapevine and you will have fruit for munching and wine-making, Daniel Mosquin/UBC leaves for dolmathes, and twigs for barbecue skewers. Provide vines with full sun and deeply cultivated soil that contains lots of compost and someLow-growing groundcovers prevent soil erosion, steal space from weeds, and decorate gardens with lime. Grapevines can be grown up the side of a house or kept low. Readblooms, foliage, and berries. Many—including the ones featured here—also attract birds, bees, and up on pruning techniques for maximum fruit production. Water plants deeply during dry conditions for their first year.butterflies. KINNIKINNICK/BEARBERRY ARCTOSTAPHYLOS UVA-URSIGroundcovers are most effective when used in mass plantings. Space plants according to nursery Kinnikinnick is a low-growing evergreen shrub found in sunny sandytag instructions and mulch the planting area afterwards. Woody groundcovers like salal, cotoneaster, locations throughout much of the province. Its small pinkish flowersand kinnikinnick need supplemental watering for their first two summers. Beach strawberry and herald spring and attract hummingbirds, while its red berries add colour Candice Martinsstonecrop will not need extra watering if they are planted in fall or early spring when there is plenty of to winter landscapes. Kinnikinnick branches set root in soil, allowing plants to spread wide over time. Mulch kinnikinnick with crushed gravelrain. Avoid planting invasive exotics such as English ivy and periwinkle, as they often invade natural or pebbles.habitats and disrupt ecosystems. RAMBLING ROSES ROSA ‘PAUL’S HIMALAYAN MUSK’In contrast to groundcovers, climbers make great use of vertical space. Most are strong, heavy plants Richie Steffen/Great Plant Picks With their prolific blooms and free-spirited growth, rambling roses arethat require the support of solid structures. Help climbers that twine through or scramble over supports mainstays of cottage gardens. Cultivars like ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’(as opposed to ones that attach to surfaces) get started by securing young plants with ties and by are vigorous growers and drought-tolerant once established. They need full sun and strong support structures, such as a stone wall or a sturdytraining new shoots. Encourage horizontal growth (which produces flowers and fruit) by wrapping arbour. Plant ramblers in well-drained, humus-rich soil, and water themplants around pillars, or by letting them spread across structures. deeply during dry conditions for their first summer. BEACH STRAWBERRY FRAGARIA CHILOENSIS SALAL GAULTHERIA SHALLON As its name suggests, beach strawberry is adapted to sunny sites and Salal is a shrubby, slow-growing evergreen that eventually forms metre- sandy, fast-draining soil. It has glossy evergreen leaves and produces high thickets. A true Coaster, it appears everywhere from exposed white blossoms and small red berries. Beach strawberry grows up to 20 shorelines to darkened woods. Clusters of pinkish-white flowers bloom Candice Martins Dave Ingram cm tall and propagates by runners, which extend over the ground to form May through June, with purple berries ripening over summer. Plant salal new plants. Native to the Sunshine Coast, it grows well among ornamental in fertile, well-drained soil. Water plants during dry weather until they grasses, rugosa roses, potentilla shrubs, and California lilacs. are established and apply a mulch of organic material each spring. BEARBERRY COTONEASTER COTONEASTER DAMMERI GOLDEN STONECROP SEDUM ACRE ‘AUREUM’ Bearberry cotoneaster is an evergreen with white spring blooms and An extremely hardy plant, golden stonecrop shrugs off freezing scarlet berries that last through winter. It hugs the ground, spreads about temperatures and dry conditions. It grows 8 cm high and 30-45 cm wide, 2 m wide, and looks splendid spilling over retaining walls or splashing producing star-shaped yellow flowers in June. Set golden stonecrop in Candice Martins up against rocks. Grow it in full sun or part shade and well-drained soil. full sun and well-drained soil along the edge of beds, in rock gardens, Sten Porse Its vibrant red fruit contrasts nicely with blue-leaved plants like Colorado between pavers, or in containers. spruce and blue oat grass.11 12
  8. 8. GIANT NEEDLE GRASS STIPA GIGANTEAornamental grass, ferns & cycads Lisa King/Great Plant Picks The seed heads of giant needle grass soar on stems over 2 m tall, creating a dramatic statement in the garden. Native to Spain and Portugal, the grass needs a hot, sunny location and fast-draining soil. Plant giantOrnamental grasses provide year-round appeal with attractive foliage and seed heads. They rustle needle grass where it will be backlit by sun, or contrast it against theand sway in the breeze and look beautiful when backlit by sun. Some produce fiery fall colours that dark bark of pines. Over-fertilization causes weak, floppy stems.contrast against dark skies and sparkle with frost. Others have blue leaves that work well with thewarm-coloured foliage of plants like purple smokebush, or with the red fruit of kinnkinnick and LITTLE BLUESTEM SCHIZACHYRIUM SCOPARIUMcotoneaster. In winter, ornamental grasses provide relief from bleak landscapes with tan foliage and Little bluestem is a prairie grass adapted to full sun and well-drained soil.seed heads that attract birds. Provide grasses with good drainage and water them during dry weather Excessive watering and fertilizing cause it to flop, ruining its upright www.parktrust.orguntil they are established. growth habit. Growing 1 m tall and half as wide, little bluestem has green leaves that take on rusty hues in fall. It looks best in mass plantings that sway in the breeze and capture the sun’s glow.While ornamental grasses evoke prairie landscapes, ferns are always associated with lush environments.Nevertheless, some ferns are remarkably drought tolerant. Such is the case with the sword fern, whichgrows all over the Sunshine Coast. The secret to its water-wise ways is afternoon shade, humus-rich MOSQUITO GRASS/BLUE GRAMA BOUTELOUA GRACILISsoil, and a protective mulch of organic material. Mosquito grass is named for its nodding flower heads, which resemble the pesky insect. It is native to North America and grows in sandy, fertile www.bluestem.caYou won’t see cycads on any other drought-tolerant plant list even though they handle dry spells well. soil and full sun. Mosquito grass blooms from June through fall and forms clumps approximately 40 cm high and wide. Its leaves are finely-That’s because the Jurassic-era plants are hard to find. Fortunately, they are available on the Sunshine textured and grey-green.Coast. BLUE OAT GRASS HELICTOTRICHON SEMPERVIRENS FEATHER REED GRASS CALAMAGROSTIS X ACUTIFLORA ‘KARL FOERSTER’ With its arching, oat-like seed heads and attractive blue-green foliage, blue oat grass is an excellent grass for coastal gardens. Plant it in a sunny Feather reed grass is an adaptable plant that can tolerate dry spells once spot with well-drained soil and the company of heaths, heathers, and established, though it may go dormant during prolonged drought. Voted Candice Martins www.wctc.net pines, or summer-flowering perennials such as purple coneflower and Perennial of the Year in 2001, the cultivar ‘Karl Foerster’ grows 1.5 m goldenrod. Blue oat grass forms clumps 0.5 m high and wide. It should tall and is prized for its dependable good looks. Grow it in humus-rich, be cut back in late winter or early spring. well-drained soil and full sun. Cut back plants in early spring. CYCAD CYCAS PANZIHUAENSIS SWORD FERN POLYSTICHUM MUNITUM Bored with geraniums? Got lots of lavender? Then try growing a cycad. This Northwest icon is well-adapted to our region’s seasonal downpours An ancient plant that withstands frost and snow, it does best on a raised and dry spells. An evergreen that can reach over a metre in height and mound of sandy, fast-draining soil, where it is protected from excessive width, it naturally occurs in moist woodland settings. Plant sword fern Candice Martins Lori Pickering rain. Cycads prefer full sun but will also grow in dappled shade. Long- in well-drained, humus-rich soil and full to part shade, and mulch it lived and slow-growing, they resemble ferns for the first 20 years, after regularly with organic material. Tidy plants in spring by cutting the which they look more like palms. previous year’s leaves back at the base.13 14