Summer purchases and plantings from TPF and Annie's Annuals

We made some native plant purchases on 7/21/18 at the Theodore Payne Foundation (and had to hold them on the shady side of the house for several weeks due to hot weather) and I made some additional purchases at Annie's Annuals on 8/16/18 (arrived 8/21).

Corethrogyne filanginifolia - Silver carpet sand aster. I noted this good looking ground cover in use at several nearby properties when on the 2018 Payne Foundation garden tour. It worked best as sidewalk or pathway edging. Formerly known as Lessingia filaginifolia 'Silver Carpet' and still maintained under that name on TPF web site (and presumably others). We purchased two 1 gal. containers for $9 each.

I was particularly pleased to work with Juli on a native grass experiment.  We went "bigish" with 50 plugs of Carex pansa to test as a turf substitute and see how it does. I saw C. pansa on the Payne Foundation tour at nearby Mother Nature's backyard in Gardena where it is used for a lawn-like meadow effect and although TPF didn't recommend it based on my description of our locale (USDA Zone 11a, sandy soil, full sun) I think the climate is similar enough to Gardena that it's worth a shot.  If it doesn't work out on our pathway, we can move what remains to another location.   

Both the Corethrogyne and Carex were planted out in late August (perhaps 8/22).  Summer planting isn't ideal, but I used the practice of filling the planting holes with water, allowing it to drain, and then planting.  Subsequent watering has been by soaker hose for deep watering and shower-end hose sprayer in between the deep waterings.  Despite the adverse time of year for planting, the Carex seems to be establishing, with new growth showing just a week or two later and the Corethrogyne hasn't shown signs of early death.  Both are aided by the cooler and foggy mornings we've had between late August and now (early Sept).  Happily, the same weather is forecast for the next 10 days. 

Second thoughts: Based on the information I found later (noted below) we might have been better off with Carex praegracillis, since the implication is that C. praegracillis is better adapted to low moisure. TPF web site contradicts the message I took from the Greenlee quote and says that C. praegracillis requires moist soil. Our soil is sandy, and not particularly moist unless irrigated.

About Carex pansa John Greenlee says, "This creeping evergreen native western American sedge is perhaps the best and most widely used ground cover grass to use a lawn substitute and for meadow making. California meadow sedge is not a true grass, but rather a close cousin and member of the Cyperaceae family. It has dark green glossy foliage on slowly creeping stems that form a lawn-like colony, with far less mowing than any conventional lawn. It is our go-to grass for natural lawns and meadows. Originally found in nature from Baja to British Colombia, much of its natural habitat no longer exists. Usually found in the coastal strand, in prairies, and colonies near water, usually in moist sandy soils. In nature it follows riparian corridors from the beach inland until it integrates and is replaced by its nearly identical cousin Carex praegracilis."

Annie's Annuals sent the following items, which arrived on 8/21 packed tightly into a durable shipping box while I was away on travel.

Item ID Product Name Quantity Unit Price Total
2983 Aquilegia eximia "Serpentine Columbine" 2  @ $10.95
3993 Polystichum munitum "Western Sword Fern" 1 @ $8.95
906 Salvia apiana "White Sage" 1 @ $9.95

Again, the plants went into storage on the shady side of the house, and there the story might have ended except that last night I was reminded that they were there.  Except for the Salvia, they were all in fine fettle, since I had watered them from time to time between episodes of forgetfulness.  I don't know if the Salvia suffered a little trauma to its tallest stalk or it was in the early stages of a fungal episode, but I quickly planted the little guy in some sandy soil on a slope where it will get abundant sun.  I've lost these plants before, and I might lose this one.  The others will need to wait until later in the week.  I have them planned for pots, until a garden location inspires me.