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Container gardens 2015 - notes


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Lecture notes for lecture on container gardening using California native plants.

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Container gardens 2015 - notes

  1. 1. © Project SOUND Captivating Containers: more container gardening with California native plants C.M. Vadheim and T. Drake CSUDH & Madrona Marsh Preserve Madrona Marsh Preserve November 7 & 12, 2015
  2. 2. Every garden needs an accent or two…  May be living (plants) or hardscape elements  What accents do:  Draw the eye to them – they are a focal point in the design  Help balance a design  Add interest  Contrast with other elements of the design  Accent plants: are usually striking because of their shape, texture, color (foliage or flower/fruit) or size © Project SOUND
  3. 3. 2015: Sustainable Gardening is Life-friendly gardening © Project SOUND Native plants make sense as garden accents  Provide a sense of place  Good fit for conditions  Provide habitat  Human uses: food, fiber, scents, etc. But, how can we actually use them as garden accents?
  4. 4. Containers are used increasingly as accents  The containers themselves can be decorative accents  More attractive containers are available all the time  Allow you to feature plants at their best times  Containers are versatile:  Small gardens  Patios/porches  As dividers © Project SOUND
  5. 5. Native plants in pots: good and bad  Good news  Many lovely natives will grow in pots  Can grow native even if you have very little soil (porches)  Habitat value (including for humans)  Challenges  Some natives are ‘seasonal’  Some have unusual requirements  Some – particularly those with deep taproots – may be difficult to grow in pots  Some shrubs, which need a long dry period, are also difficult to maintain © Project SOUND
  6. 6. Let’s consider some practical ways you can use native plant containers to their full potential © Project SOUND
  7. 7. Seasonal color pot as an accent – is it possible with native plants? © Project SOUND garden-design-yellow-tulips.html
  8. 8. Lets assume you’re starting with a blank slate… and an inspiring photo © Project SOUND
  9. 9. Choosing the right container – first decide who’s the star © Project SOUND For accent containers, either the plants, the pot, or both can be the focal point
  10. 10. © Project SOUND,content=231 rose Containers Plants Both Both
  11. 11. You choose a set of simple, terra cotta pots, appropriate for your home © Project SOUND How can I provide seasonal color all year long?
  12. 12. One easy solution: the ‘Cache pot’ solution (double potting) © Project SOUND addressing-beauty-function/ es/Dica0412.html Pot stand made from a cheap plastic pot Allows you to switch out plants for seasonal color bronze-26.5-tall-tapered- planter/s595512?si=2205077& aff=cj 8” wide/11” deep insert
  13. 13. Seasonal color pot using double-potted native plants  Advantages  Allows you to use attractive pots that might not be other-wise suitable (metal)  Can feature plants at their most attractive season  Can be easy to switch plants; don’t have to move heavy pots around  Can grow seasonal accents even on patios, decks, porches  Can use plants with different requirements  Disadvantages  Take more time, planning  Need place to store inner pots in the off season © Project SOUND urban-gardening/ Double potting also helps keep plant roots cooler
  14. 14. Good choices for bulb native pots  native Alliums (onions)  native Brodiaea species (Harvest lilies)  native Camassia (Camas)  native Dichelostemas (Wild hyacynths) © Project SOUND Camassia Tritelia Brodiaea Allium
  15. 15. Planting native bulbs for accent pots  A few tricks we’ve learned  Use either regular clay pots or plastic (if letting dry over summer)  Don’t worry too much about the potting soil  Plant bulbs at 2X their longest length – they will position themselves  Use as many bulbs as you can to create a spectacular pot  If bulbs are rare/expensive:  Combine with annual wildflowers first few years  Let propagate both vegetatively and by seed © Project SOUND containers/  Store container – as is – in cool dry place after blooming  Repot every few years in fall; other years just add layer of potting soil  Note bloom times in your Garden Notebook – will help you plan for seasonal color
  16. 16. Tricks for annual color plants  Plant at the right time of year (usually with first rains)  Sow thickly – they won’t mind  Keep them watered – dry out in winter Santana winds  Collect seeds or let re-seed  Serial-sow later blooming species © Project SOUND
  17. 17. Planning for year-round accent pots  Winter/spring  Spring bulbs (all except Brodiaeae & some Alliums)  Spring annual wildflowers  Later spring/summer  Brodiaeae & some Alliums  Later annual wildflowers: Clarkias; Collinsia; Gilia capitata (may serial sow)  Perennials:  Red Buckwheat  Conejo Buckwheat  Summer/Fall  California fuschia (Epilobium species)  Non-native flowering plants  Water-loving ferns, perennials  Warm-season grasses © Project SOUND
  18. 18. Perennials expand your container palette  Yarrow  Smaller buckwheats (Red and Conejo)  CA sea thrift (Armeria)  CA fuschia (Epilobium)  Monkeyflowers (Diplacus & Mimulus species)  Many more © Project SOUND
  19. 19. The ‘cache pot’ solution : many looks, many advantages © Project SOUND mettre-en-valeur-vos-plantes Can be used with any style of architecture
  20. 20. Let’s consider another option for optimizing seasonal color with natives © Project SOUND
  21. 21. What would the pros do with seasonally attractive plants?  Solution 2: The ‘Staging Solution’  Move most attractive plants to the forefront at their peak  Move less attractive plants to places where they are less noticeable (or switch with seasonal replacements)  Have some (larger, background plants) that always look good, and never need to be moved © Project SOUND
  22. 22. © Project SOUND Lot’s of people like the look of succulents in containers – they look good in many situations
  23. 23.  Can tailor the container to the plant:  Size and material  Aesthetics  Can grow plants with very different needs right next to one another [non-native succulents & Dudleyas]  Can ‘stage’ plants according to their seasonal attractiveness © Project SOUND Advantages of planting individual plants (succulents) in pots Dudleya palmeri Dudleya edulis
  24. 24. Many native succulents grow well in containers  Dudleyas (Live-forevers)  Dudleya britonii  D. caespitosa  D. farinosa  D. hasseii  D. palmeri  D. pulverulenta  D. traskiae  Lewisia  Sedums  Sedum laxum ssp eastwoodiae  Sedum niveum  Sedum spathulifolium  Sedum stenopetalum © Project SOUND
  25. 25. © Project SOUND *Bitterroot – Lewisia cotyledon ©2004 Mike Ireland
  26. 26. Growing native succulents: in containers  Choose an unglazed terra cotta planter (best)  Use a good Dudleya/succulent/cactus mix Mix 1  1 part peat  1 part commercial potting soil (something basic)  3 parts porous rock, such as pumice, lava, or a mixture of the two Mix 2  2 parts potting soil  1 part perlite or pumice  1 part lava rock, gravel or very coarse builder’s (sharp) sand (or combination)  ¼ recommended amount of time-release fertilizer (Osmacote)  Use a gravel mulch  Place in proper light condition (often part-shade) © Project SOUND
  27. 27. Pleasing designs with multiple pots  Have plenty of green foliage  Limit the colors and shapes of pots: choose a theme  Have enough variability in either the flowers or foliage to provide accents © Project SOUND
  28. 28. © Project SOUND *Mojave woodyaster – Xylorhiza tortifolia ©2010 Malia Volke
  29. 29.  Southwestern Utah south to western Arizona and southeastern California  Mojave and Sonoran Deserts  AKA: Machaeranthera tortifolia © Project SOUND *Mojave woodyaster – Xylorhiza tortifolia Gerald and Buff Corsi © California Academy of Sciences Gary A. Monroe, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
  30. 30. © Project SOUND Mojave aster: a woody desert sub-shrub  Size:  1-3 ft tall  2-3 ft wide  Growth form:  Mounded sub-shrub; woody base  Many slender branches  Drought deciduous  Foliage:  Leaves linear, gray-green, hairy and glandular  Leave margins toothed, spiny  Attractive shape and color  Nice scent – used as a ‘perfume’ and ‘clothing scent’  Roots: tap root?? ©2009 Christopher L. Christie
  31. 31. © Project SOUND Sweet aster flowers  Blooms: with rains/irrigation; main season in spring (Mar-May) but may bloom in Oct. also.  Flowers:  Very showy in bloom  Pretty little aster heads to 2” across  Ray flowers lavender to white  Disk flowers yellow  Attracts wide range of insect pollinators  Seeds: small, wind-distributed sunflower seeds ©2014 Richard Spellenberg ©1992 Gary A. Monroe
  32. 32. You may need to grow this one from seed  Seed more readily available that plants  Pretty easy to grow plants in Sunflower family  Start in fall/early winter  Start in 3-4” recycled nursery pots in part shade  Barely cover seeds  Keep medium moist  Let seedlings grow to about 2-3 inches  Carefully transplant to larger nursery containers to grow up © Project SOUND Use fresh seeds – small seeds lose their viability faster than do large seeds
  33. 33. © Project SOUND Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: well-drained  pH: any local – 7.0-8.0  Light:  Full sun to part-shade (afternoon shade fine)  Water:  Winter: good winter rains  Summer: occasional to none – Water Zones 1-2 to 2 with well-drained soils. Fine with hot. Dry conditions once est.  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: inorganic mulch; will self- sow if happy ©2014 Richard Spellenberg
  34. 34. © Project SOUND Mojave aster: pleasant seasonal accent  Pretty accent in desert-themed or rock gardens  Good for hot, dry places  Nice addition to pollinator and scent gardens  An attractive pot plant©2011 Kendra Olcott Mark W. Skinner, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database ©1992 Gary A. Monroe
  35. 35. © Project SOUND Flowering perennials & sub-shrubs add interest and seasonal color; succulents add green
  36. 36. You might want to use both seasonally dormant and evergreen shrubs to allow for ‘staging’ © Project SOUND Gary A. Monroe, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
  37. 37. © Project SOUND *Desert Sage – Salvia dorii ©2004 James M. Andre
  38. 38.  Western U.S. from WA to CA & AZ. Eastern Sierras, Tehachapi Mtns, Mojave Desert;  Sandy, rocky or limestone soil on dry open slopes, on flats or foothills  Pinyon-juniper, sagebrush, chaparral, and cool desert shrub plant communities. © Project SOUND *Desert Sage – Salvia dorii ©2008 Vernon Smith ©2013 Jean Pawek
  39. 39. © Project SOUND Salvia dorii: a mounded sage  Size:  2-3 ft tall  3-4 ft wide  Growth form:  Mounded sub-shrub; usually wider than tall  Many-branched; neat appearance  Foliage:  Gray-green  Leaves small, hairy  Aromatic of sage
  40. 40. © Project SOUND Sage flowers deluxe  Blooms: late spring/early summer; usually May-June in W. L.A. county’  Flowers:  On a distinctive flowering stalk  Typical sage/mint shape  Purple to blue colored  Surrounded by magenta bracts  Truly lovely, showy  Attract many pollinators: native bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, moths – excellent pollinator habitat plants!©2004 James M. Andre
  41. 41. © Project SOUND Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: well-drained - plant on mound or use cactus mix in pots  pH: any local; alkali fine  Light:  Full sun  Water:  Winter: rains will suffice in most years  Summer: occasional summer water (Water Zone 1-2); taper to none in fall  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: prune like other sages after blooming or in fall. ©2008 Vernon Smith ©2013 Jean Pawek
  42. 42. © Project SOUND Showy shrub for water- wise gardens  As an accent in desert-themed gardens or rock gardens  As low hedge  In pollinator & butterfly gardens  As an aromatic pot plant Image by Mary Winter
  43. 43. © Project SOUND * Apache Plume – Fallugia paradoxa
  44. 44. © Project SOUND Flowers and seeds are very showy  Blooms: in spring – April-June in our area  Flowers:  Give a good clue that this plant is in the Rose family  2 inch pure white flowers like a wild rose – ooh la la  Like a rose, attracts many insects (butterflies, bees, etc.)  Seeds:  Have fluffy tails – very showy on the plant  Fade from pink to gold as they mature © 2010 James M. Andre
  45. 45. © Project SOUND Gardeners are discovering Apache Plume © 2002 Gary A. Monroe © 2003 Charles E. Jones  As an accent plant in desert- themed gardens for beauty & habitat value  As a foundation shrub  In informal hedges/hedgerows  In very hot, dry situations (parking lots; roadways)
  46. 46. Limitations to the ‘Staging solution’  Some containers are too large to allow them to be moved easily  Less variety possible than if ‘cache potting’  Plants must be managed more – takes time, ‘fiddling’  Plants must be chosen carefully for suitability:  Growing conditions  Size  Aesthetics  Role in overall design  More appropriate for some architectural styles than others© Project SOUND garden-ideas-10.jpg
  47. 47. Some situations call for containers that look dramatic all year long… © Project SOUND
  48. 48. …and some plants are lovely all year long © Project SOUND extravaganza-part-1.html Dudleya brittonii Agave species like Agave shawii
  49. 49. Designer Solution 3 - the ‘architectural pot’ approach.  Container & plants are permanent architectural elements © Project SOUND downtown-austin-condos-outdoor-space/ container-plants-copper-roof-deck-grass-lawn-metal-roof-porch-potted- plants/
  50. 50. Some native plants are naturally dramatic… © Project SOUND
  51. 51. © Project SOUND *Coastal Agave – Agave shawii © 2005 Vince Scheidt
  52. 52. © Project SOUND * Banana Yucca – Yucca baccata
  53. 53. © Project SOUND Banana Yucca: dramatic accent  Size:  2-6 ft tall (flower stalk taller)  2-10 ft wide (spreads slowly)  Growth form:  Evergreen perennial ‘sub-shrub’ – typical Yucca form  Many strap-like leaves in basal rosette  Foliage:  Leaves 1-3 ft long – depends on water  Sharp spines on tips  Roots: forms offsets (‘pups’) along rhizomes; long-lived
  54. 54. © Project SOUND * Bigelow’s Beargrass/Nolina – Nolina bigelovii
  55. 55. © Project SOUND Nolina: nice accent  Nice accent plant in any dry garden  Right at home in desert gardens, rock gardens, hot places  Leaves used green or bleached in basketry; young flowers stalks can be baked and eaten
  56. 56. Architectural native plants: more variety than you might think © Project SOUND
  57. 57. Pete Veilleux - East Bay Wilds Native Plant Nursery © Project SOUND Arctostaphylos bakeri
  58. 58. Manzanitas for containers  Arctostaphylos bakeri  Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Howard McMinn'  Arctostaphylos edmundsii ‘Bert Johnson’  Arctostaphylos nummularia (including ‘Pennies from Heaven’)  Arctostaphylos pajaroensis 'Myrtle Wolf‘& ‘Warren Roberts’  A. uva-ursi © Project SOUND Arctostaphylos edmundsii ‘Bert Johnson’
  59. 59. How big a pot?  Good rule of thumb: big enough for 2-3 year’s growth (learn enough about the plant’s growth to judge)  Go big - the smallest (for small plants) should be 2.5 gallon  Bigger can be better:  Allows room for plants to grow  Easier to maintain correct soil moisture  Easier to maintain temperature © Project SOUND ed-Mud-Hut-planter.jpg
  60. 60. What’s the deal with CA natives in tall pots? © Project SOUND  Advantages of tall, square pots  Good for small areas like patios, balconies  Easier to keep roots cool (in shady location)  More soil – square pot holds 50% more soil than round  Easier to water properly  Allows native plants with deep roots to develop more normal root systems
  61. 61. Advice on size: tailor size and shape to plant’s root system © Project SOUND
  62. 62. © Project SOUND There are many native architectural plants flying-dragon.html?m=1 Remember: you’re trying to create a dramatic accent for a specific space
  63. 63. Visit the container garden at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden © Project SOUND
  64. 64. Some S. CA families with architectural shrubs  The Spurge family (Euphorbiaceae)  The Rose family (Rosaceae)  Roses  Prunus species  Heteromeles  The Buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae) © Project SOUND
  65. 65. © Project SOUND Spurge family (Euphorbiaceae)  Large - > 6000 species worldwide  Occur mainly in the tropics  Most are herbaceous plants - some tropical shrubs and trees  A number of plants of the Spurge family are of considerable economic importance. Prominent plants include Manioc, the Castor bean, and the Para rubber tree. Many are grown as ornamental plants, such as Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima).  Local species: Chamaesyce; Croton; Euphorbia, Acalypha  There is a greater variety in the genus Euphorbia than any other group of succulents in the world.
  66. 66. © Project SOUND Cliff (California) Spurge – Euphorbia misera © 2005 TRNERR P. Roullard t
  67. 67. © Project SOUND Cliff (California) Spurge – Euphorbia misera  Primarily a Mexican species  Limited distribution:  in Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties;  on San Clemente and Santa Catalina islands in Los Angeles County;  on the mainland and Isla Guadalupe in Baja California, Mexico.  Grows on sandy coastal bluffs, south facing slopes of coastal scrub, coastal bluff scrub and Mojavean desert scrub (rocky) Gary A. Monroe @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
  68. 68. © Project SOUND Cliff spurge is an interesting little shrub  Size:  2-4 ft tall & wide  Growth form:  Shrub or sub-shrub  Unusual stem-succulent plant; looks like a miniature tree  Many-branched with grayish bark  Foliage:  Leaves bright green fading to dull green, rounded  Drought-deciduous  Looks like a succulent
  69. 69. © Project SOUND Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: sand or sandy best (but doing ok in Madrona Garden clays – so far)  pH: best 6.0 to 7.0  Light:  Full sun to part shade (in hot gardens)  Water:  Winter: no flooding?  Summer: wide range of tolerance (Zone 1 to 2-3); best as 2 w/ occasional spray  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: likes seaside conditions
  70. 70. © Project SOUND Flowers are fantastic  Blooms: usually Jan-June in our area  Flowers:  What appears to be a single flower is in reality a cyathium, a cup-shaped involucre in which there is a single female flower with one pistil surrounded by male flowers consisting of one stamen each.  Small but really showy close up – place where you can appreciate  Nectar attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds  Seeds: wrinkled seeds in round capsule © 2006 Steve Matson Gary A. Monroe @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
  71. 71. © Project SOUND Garden uses for Cliff Spurge  As a specimen shrub – very unusual  As an attractive pot plant; popular for bonsai  In a Baja plant garden or rock garden  Suitable for xeriscaping  Small scale makes it good choice for small areas
  72. 72. Keys to successful ‘Architectural pots’  Choose pots appropriate for architectural style  Limit the container palette: all the same or similar size, shape or color  Choose plants that look good year round  Choose plants that are large and/or dramatic in some way – ‘plant divas’  Manage the plants: always look good © Project SOUND planter/s391046?si=2205077&aff=cj
  73. 73. Repetition: an easy design element © Project SOUND organizing/gardening/outdoor/easy-container- gardens-0 activity.html/outdoor-potted-plants
  74. 74. © Project SOUND * California Copperleaf – Acalypha californica
  75. 75. © Project SOUND * California Copperleaf – Acalypha californica  Peninsular Range of San Diego County and the western Colorado (Sonoran) Desert.  Rocky slopes and along washes to about 4000 ft.  Chaparral, Southern Oak Woodland,3619,3620 © Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Mary's College ©2012 Gary A. Monroe
  76. 76. The Copperleaves: genus Acalypha  Family: Euphorbiaceae  One of the largest euphorb genera: approximately 450 to 462 species  60% of species native to the Americas and about 30% in Africa  Species primarily tropical or sub- tropical  Some species grown as house or garden plants; some, indeed, have copper leaves  Many used in traditional medicine (for wide range of ailments) © Project SOUND
  77. 77. © Project SOUND California copperleaf: an attractive shrub  Size:  3-4 ft tall  3-4 ft wide  Growth form:  Mounded sub-shrub with many slender branches  New bark red; older is gray  Evergreen  Foliage:  Leaves small, simple with wavy edges  Very neat appearance © Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Mary's College ©2012 Gary A. Monroe
  78. 78. © Project SOUND Flowers are dramatic  Blooms: off & on with rains/irrigation; main bloom seasons in spring and fall  Flowers:  Separate male, female flowers along spikes  Female flowers have long, slender, red/pink styles, leafy bracts  Male flowers darker, with white pollen visible  Very pretty in bloom!  Seeds: small, dark, pitted
  79. 79. Medicinal qualities of CA copperleaf  Foliage extracts used as anti-cancer drug by Pima Indians (AZ) and Mexican native peoples  One recent study: ‘Because of the antiproliferative activity observed, our results provide a rational basis for the use of extracts of A. californica in treating various types of cancer in traditional medicine from Mexico. The extracts induce apoptosis via activation of caspases.’ © Project SOUND © 2003 Michael Charters
  80. 80. © Project SOUND Easy garden plant  Soils:  Texture: adaptable; clays OK  pH: any local (6.0-8.0)  Light:  Full sun to part-shade (afternoon shade best in hot gardens, pots)  Water:  Winter: needs good rains  Summer: very adaptable; Water Zones 1-2 to 2-3; looks best 2 to 2-3  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: nice natural shape; wear gloves when handling – sap may cause rash ©2012 Gary A. Monroe fornica_26523.html
  81. 81. © Project SOUND Nice green shrub  Useful as small, evergreen shrub or accent plant  Sometimes used as low hedge  Looks great with local native plants or in desert-themed garden  Attractive in planters or large containers
  82. 82. Native shrubs with dense foliage can be trimmed formally © Project SOUND © 2003 Michael Charters pots.jsp?cm_sp=TOPNAV-_-HOME-_-GARDEN-POTS#/
  83. 83. Accents don’t need to be floral © Project SOUND They just need to provide interest and contrast with surrounding plants & hardscape
  84. 84. © Project SOUND Grasses & grass-like plants add a sculptural element… al_grasses_as_a_decorative_element/
  85. 85. © Project SOUND Leafy (Mendocino/ Dwarf) Reedgrass - Calamagrostis foliosa J.S. Peterson @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
  86. 86. © Project SOUND Leafy Reedgrass - Calamagrostis foliosa Pacific Reedgrass - Calamagrostis nutkaensis  Both are CA natives:  Leafy: North Coast, Outer North Coast Ranges  Pacific: Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, North Coast to AK  Leafy: Uncommon on bluffs, cliffs, coastal scrub, forest  Pacific: Wet areas, beaches, dunes, coastal woodland < 1000 ft Leafy Reedgrass,8886,8890 Pacific Reedgrass
  87. 87. © Project SOUND Pacific Reedgrass – in N. California Can be treated as either a ground cover or a specimen grass
  88. 88. © Project SOUND Choose the Reedgrass that best fits your garden needs  Leafy (C. foliosa):  1-2 ft tall; flower stalks are taller  Dense gray-green foliage; purple tinge in winter  Finer texture, scale than Pacific Reedgrass  Rare in nature: CA state rare list  Excellent in dry streambed, swale  Pacific (C. nutkaensis):  3-4 ft tall; 3 ft wide – flower stalks are taller  Striking as accent plant or as background in "grass gardens".  More common  Good as a large accent or foundation plant
  89. 89. © Project SOUND Reedgrasses: versatile like Rye grasses  Light: full sun to heavy shade  Water: green (and probably look best) with some summer water but quite drought tolerant  Foliage: somewhat coarse, but always has some color  Flowers showy: like Pampas Grass  Good for meadows, erosion control, banks/slopes  Good in coastal settings, as it tolerates wind and salt spray.
  90. 90. © Project SOUND Grassses/P7210001b.jpg al_grasses_as_a_decorative_element/
  91. 91. Grasses & grass-like plants can provide stunning, evergreen accents © Project SOUND ed-joy/ Note how the choice of pot helps determine the style of these accents
  92. 92. © Project SOUND Fiber Optic Grass – Isolepis cernuus USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
  93. 93. © Project SOUND Fiber Optic Grass – Isolepis cernuus © 2002 Margo Bors  Coastal West from British Columbia to Texas, Baja and S. America  Wet, freshwater to brackish places on beaches, dunes, marine bluffs, sandy areas, mostly coastal  ?? LA River native
  94. 94. © Project SOUND Fiber optic grass: grass-like sedge  Size:  to 1 ft tall; ‘Dwarf’ is < 6 inches  1-3 ft wide  Growth form:  Mounded, grass-like plant  Evergreen; looks good year-round  Spreads slowly via short rhizomes  Foliage:  Leaves/stems slender, grass-like  Bright green color – fresh, almost tropical  Note: All parts of plant toxic if eaten
  95. 95. © Project SOUND Flowers add to the charm  Blooms: late spring through fall in S. CA. Good for summer interest  Flowers:  Typical, understated flowers of the sedges – wind pollinated  At tips of stems – like Spikerush  Pale in flower, becoming darker  Young flowers look like glowing tip of fiber optic cable – hence common name.  Seeds: eaten by birds  Vegetative reproduction: slow
  96. 96. © Project SOUND Likes its water!  Soils:  Texture: very adaptable  pH: any local  Light:  Full sun if in/near water  Part-sun to fairly shady otherwise  Water:  Winter: very moist soil; shallow flooding  Summer: moist soils; regular water or plant around a pond/pool  Fertilizer: occasional ½ strength fertilizer if grown in container  Other: wear gloves when handling; may cause rash © Jamie Fenneman (Photo ID #4101) Cut back yearly for best appearance
  97. 97. © Project SOUND Plant for moist areas  Pond or pool side; even in containers slightly submerges  Bog/wetland gardens  Very attractive pot plant – super shape, color  Any other place with moist soils
  98. 98. Grasses & grass-like plants: architectural alternatives for succulents © Project SOUND architectural-plants-in-the-garden/ Several shapes appropriate for ‘Architectural Pots’
  99. 99. Another use of containers: barrier/screen © Project SOUND -oranamental-grass/ Architectural containers can provide green barriers in challenging situations
  100. 100. © Project SOUND erior-planters/ mage/176884/ Containers for barriers/screen: more good choices all the time May not be cheap, but they’re an investment (like a piece of garden sculpture)
  101. 101. Grasses aren’t the only plants being used for barriers/screens © Project SOUND Huntington Gardens m/?p=67011 ail/Bamboo-zled-9065000000006im Consider Narrowleaf willow as a bamboo alternative
  102. 102. Upright forms © Project SOUND Look great with modern, sculptural pots and planters 65430518475793/
  103. 103. Large potted ‘grasses’ make striking accent plants – or be used as barriers/screens  Carex spissa  Equisetum spp. – Horsetails  Juncus patens  Leymus condensatus  Muhlenbergia rigens - Deergrass  Schoenoplectus spp. -Tules  Typha species – Cattails © Project SOUND suzman-design-associates
  104. 104. © Project SOUND *San Diego sedge – Carex spissa
  105. 105.  Central & S. Coast of CA & Baja; AZ  Streambanks below 2000‘  In coastal sage scrub, chaparral, foothill woodland communities © Project SOUND *San Diego sedge – Carex spissa grasslike/carex-spissa.htm id=17845
  106. 106. © Project SOUND Characteristics of San Diego sedge  Size:  2-5+ ft tall  3-6 ft wide, slowly spreading via rhizomes  Growth form:  Perennial with upright to mounding habit; mature clumps are dense  Warm season bunching/ spreading sedge  Evergreen (or nearly so); slow to establish  Foliage:  Leaves pale green to blue-green  Long, narrow and grass-like  larval food source for Umber Skipper (Poanes melane)
  107. 107. © Project SOUND Showy flowers for a sedge  Blooms: late spring to early fall  Flowers:  Wind-pollinated, so no showy petals  Small flowers along a stout blooming stalk  The flowers are actually large for a sedge – note the dangling stamens  Seeds: birds love them!  Vegetative reproduction: slowly spreading via rhixomes
  108. 108. © Project SOUND Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: any  pH: any local  Light:  Full sun to full shade; useful ornamental ‘grass’ for shady areas.  Water:  Winter: good rains or irrigation  Summer: wide range; moist soils will keep green, but can take fairly dry conditions  Fertilizer: none or ½ strength in containers  Other: cut back after flowering; or mow every few years to rejuvenate
  109. 109. © Project SOUND Garden uses for San Diego sedge  Bog gardens, rain gardens and infiltration swales  As a large ornamental ‘grass’ in moist, shady areas  Around ponds, pools  As an attractive large pot plant ts/plantimage.asp?plant_id=350
  110. 110. Growing native grasses in containers  Advantages  Allow you to grow grasses with special requirement  Contains them; keeps from spreading  Useful and distinctive accent features  Allows you to grow several different grasses & feature each  May allow you to grow grasses with unusual light conditions: shade; bright sun © Project SOUND
  111. 111. Grasses & grass-like plants add a sculptural element…  Mounded  Some Carex (praegracilis; tumulticola)  Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis)  Deergrass (Muhlenbergia rigens) © Project SOUND  Upright-arching  Purple three-awn (Aristida)  Native Needlegrasses (Achnatherum)(Stipa/ Nassella)  Arching  Fiber-optic grass  Reedgrasses (Calamagrostis)  Fescues (Festuca)  Alkali sacaton (Sporobolus)  Upright  Cyperus  Spike-rush (Eleocharis)  Equisetum  Many rushes (Juncus)  Tules (Schoenoplectus)  Cattails (Typha)
  112. 112. Upright forms © Project SOUND Achnatherum choices-for-containers images/43777 Purple threeawn Aristida purpurea
  113. 113. Open grasses provide a billowy seasonal accent © Project SOUND Alkali sacaton - Sporobolus airoides
  114. 114. Arching forms can stand alone © Project SOUND
  115. 115. In summary: many native plants can be used as striking architectural accents © Project SOUND Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art Nashville, Tennessee,
  116. 116. Which brings us to the last designer solution: mixed containers © Project SOUND
  117. 117. The ‘evergreen pot’ solution: striking (but not necessarily easy)  Combining several plants in the same container to provide year-round interest  Practical considerations:  Pot size & shape – managing several plants in the same container  Careful plant choice is essential:  Must all have the same soil, light, nutrient and water requirements  Must ‘play nice together’  Must all have appropriate size and growth rates  Must all look nice (at least OK) year-round © Project SOUND
  118. 118. And there also are aesthetic considerations  Whether to feature pot, plants or both  Pot must enhance the appearance of a group of plants – can be challenging  Plants must look good together and provide enough contrast to be interesting year-round:  Size, shape  Foliage color, texture  Flowers, fruits, seeds © Project SOUND images/43777
  119. 119. Grasses and grass-like plants are often included ‘evergreen pots’ © Project SOUND ar-round-container-gardens Grass-like plants add structure and serve as background to showy, often seasonal, plants garden-workshop/
  120. 120. Designing an ‘evergreen container’  For a pleasing blend of plants, remember “accent, filler, and spiller.”  Choose an upright accent plant in the center, plant filler around it, and include spiller cascading over the edge.  Can be done with any plants that share the same garden requirements.  Be creative: use succulents, perennials, annuals, even vegetables and herbs. © Project SOUND
  121. 121. Upright-arching ‘grasses’ make good accent plants in ‘evergreen pots’ © Project SOUND ction/plants.printDetail/plant_id/446/index.htm They are dramatic in their own right – and also provide a good background for other plants
  122. 122. Mounded forms make good filler plants © Project SOUND in-containers/
  123. 123. Hint for creating ‘evergreen pots’ with CA natives: choose plants that take moist soils © Project SOUND Photo by Laura Camp at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden • It’s difficult to keep ‘dry summer’ plants appropriately watered in summer. Best to plant them individually. • Plants that like moist soils are much easier to manage – they are better-suited for mixed ‘evergreen pots’ Mimulus 'Ruby Silver' (Hybrid Monkeyflower),
  124. 124. Summer shade  Pots get hotter and drier than surrounding soil  Consider:  Using light-colored pots  Using the ‘cache pot’ solution  Moving potted plants to a shadier location in summer © Project SOUND
  125. 125. Green oasis in a container: doesn’t need to be a pond garden  Some rushes, sedges and other native wetland plants need moist soil – but not standing water  Advantages over pond garden:  Wider range of plants  Requires less water  Less problems with mosquitos, raccoons and other ‘pond pests’  Provides excellent habitat for wide range of birds, insects  Provides useful plants: basketry, medicinals, edibles © Project SOUND
  126. 126. Building a mixed moist container  Choose the container  Size  Shape, color  Material  Choose the plants  Something evergreen  Something for spring color  Something for summer interest/color © Project SOUND decorating-ideas-black-door-black-front-door-door-knocker-front-door-wreath- house-number-lantern-wall/ Native plants can often be used to create the desired look
  127. 127. Natives work well for this container © Project SOUND Yerba mansa Equisetum
  128. 128. Flowering accents for spring/summer color © Project SOUND Seep Monkeyflower Scarlet Monkeyflower Yerba mansa
  129. 129. © Project SOUND CA Sea Thrift – Armeria maritima ssp. californica © 2007 Neal Kramer
  130. 130. © Project SOUND CA Sea Thrift – Armeria maritima ssp. californica © 2011 Chris Winchell Charles Webber © California Academy of Sciences bin/,5646,0,5647  Possibly S. Coast; definitely Santa Rosa Isl., San Luis Obispo Co (Cambria; Santa Lucia Mtns near San Simeon).  Ocean bluffs, ridges, coastal strand, sand, exposed grasslands, < 1000 ft elevation.
  131. 131. The Plumbagos – Family Plumbaginaceae  Cosmopolitan – Tropics to Arctic  Of in coastal areas including salt marshes.  Flowers have a 5-lobed calyx (whose tube is often ribbed) and a 5-lobed corolla, although the corolla lobes may be separate almost to their base.  The flowers of some members of Plumbaginaceae have a paper-like texture to the calyx and/or corolla  The popular cultivated flowers Statice, Cape plumbago and Armeria (Sea thrifts) belong to this family. © Project SOUND
  132. 132. © Project SOUND CA sea thrift: small, flowering perennial  Size:  < 1 ft tall  1-2 ft wide  Growth form:  Herbaceous perennial from a woody root  Dense, mounded tuft; spread slowly  Foliage:  Leaves medium green, linear and grass-like, in basal rosette  Roots:  Woody tap root© 2011 Chris Winchell © 2007 Neal Kramer
  133. 133. © Project SOUND Flowers are adorable  Blooms: mid-spring to mid- summer  Flowers:  Tiny pink flowers in dense clusters (like pom poms)  Flowers above the foliage  Very attractive  Attracts native bees, butterflies  Vegetative reproduction: produces new plantlets © 2007 Neal Kramer © 2004, Ben Legler
  134. 134. © Project SOUND Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: best in clays  pH: any local  Light:  Full sun only on immediate coast; part-sun or filtered sun elsewhere  Water:  Winter: needs good rains  Summer: regular water (Water Zone 2-3 or 3)  Fertilizer: none; ½ strength in containers  Other: deadhead to prolong bloom season. May be short- lived (2-3 years) in our climate. © 2008 John Dittes
  135. 135. © Project SOUND Garden uses for  As a groundcover in most areas  As a border for mixed beds  As an attractive pot plant  In N. coastal prairie plantings © 2004, Ben Legler maritima-ssp-californica /lawn_alternatives.php ntinfo.html
  136. 136. Local ‘wetland groundcovers’ make good trailers © Project SOUND images/43777 Salty susan Lippia/Fog fruit
  137. 137. © Project SOUND *Harlequin lotus – Hosackia gracilis © 2008, G. D. Carr
  138. 138.  AKA: Lotus formosissimus  Central & N. Coastal ranges to British Columbia; habitat becoming rare in wild  Moist soil, from near sea level to lower elevations in the mountains  Mixed Evergreen Forest, Northern Coastal Scrub, Closed-cone Pine Forest, wetland-riparian © Project SOUND *Harlequin lotus – Hosackia gracilis bin/ ©2004 Aaron Schusteff Management/OR931/i-vPcSF6S
  139. 139. © Project SOUND Harlequin lotus: herbaceous ground cover  Size:  < 1 ft tall  1-2+ ft wide, spreading  Growth form:  Herbaceous perennial groundcover  Winter dormant in native range  Foliage:  Medium green, compound ‘pea’ leaves  Oval leaflets typical of Lotus  Roots: tap root Gerald and Buff Corsi © California Academy of Sciences
  140. 140. © Project SOUND Flowers are fantastic  Blooms: in spring - usually Mar- May in western L.A. County  Flowers:  Probably the prettiest of the native CA lotuses  Flowers typical pea shape; bee pollenated  Banner bright yellow; ‘keel’ pink or purple – very colorful  Seeds: speckled, bean-like in pea pod  Vegetative reproduction: via both rhizomes and stolons; forms mat- like cluster © 2008, G. D. Carr
  141. 141. © Project SOUND Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: adaptable  pH: any local  Light: sun (immediate coast), part-sun or fairly shady;  Water:  Winter: good winter rains  Summer: adaptable, but looks best (stays green) with regular summer water  Fertilizer: none; ½ strength fertilizer if grown in container.  Other: cut back brown stems, if desired, when dormant. © Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Mary's College
  142. 142. © Project SOUND Great groundcover for moist places  Bog gardens, rain gardens or around ponds and pools  Groundcover for other moist areas – under trees  As an attractive pot plant; drapes beautifully
  143. 143. Four ways the pros manage native plants in pots  Use stationary pots, but switch out the plants seasonally (the ‘cache pot’ solution)  Move pots around to accent the seasonal characteristics: the ‘pot staging’ solution  Choose plants that have year-round beauty (foliage color; shape; etc.): the ‘architectural pot’ approach  Combine several plants to provide year- round interest: the ‘evergreen pot’ solution © Project SOUND atherum/Grassses/P7210001b.jpg
  144. 144. © Project SOUND images/43777 Use native plants or combine with compatible non-natives for year-round beauty
  145. 145. Useful on-line resources   Theodore Payne ‘Containers’ list: ners  Pete Veilleux Containers list : content/uploads/2011/02/Good-California-Plants-for- Containers.pdf  Project SOUND/MNBY List: © Project SOUND
  146. 146. CSUDH/Project SOUND Plant Sale  Friday 11/13 – noon to 4:30  Saturday 11/14 – noon to 3:00  For details: Native Plants at CSUDH blog © Project SOUND
  147. 147. Pruning workshops © Project SOUND
  148. 148. Next month: Heucheras © Project SOUND