26 February 2012

The Beauty of the Sedge



We've found the sedge, specifically Carex retroflexa var. texensis, to be fantastic in our garden as an evergreen, shade tolerant and low water groundcover. We've used it in the back and the front to provide an undulating carpet of green throughout the year. In early spring, it blooms. You can see the fuzzy little spikes of flowers in the image above and just below.



Here in the back, it carpets an area near the growing live oak, and shares space with heartleaf skullcap (the grey foliage to the right) and Gulf penstemon (growing in the foreground).



Bodi enjoys a bone in his little sedge hollow (he always retreats there with his toys and bones). That's cut-leaf daisy growing in the front, which will be blooming bright yellow soon enough!



We like sedge so much that we're planting it again, this time to cover a back area where we recently ripped out the very last of anything resembling a lawn. These little plants will hopefully be lush and full in just a year or so, and require very little extra water.

We thought we'd have a little fun and plant these in a grid. But we don't expect them to stay that way. The sedge seeds pretty freely in our yard, so it'll fill itself in over time. (That said, it's extremely easy to pull up and control, so don't let that scare you away from it.)

For anyone interested in planting sedges, they will need water if they get nailed by full sun. But even then, we've found that to be pretty minimal compared to a traditional lawn, say. Sedges grow in woodlands all over this country and there are many local natives to choose from wherever you live.


8 comments:

Tina said...

I've used the sedge as well and it is all that you say--drought tolerant and lovely!

Tim said...

Resource question - where do you go to find that quantity of sedge?

Lee said...

Hey Tim, If you are in the Austin area, check Barton Springs Nursery.

Pam/Digging said...

Your post about Texas sedge a few years ago is what inspired me to try it. I now recommend it to clients in Austin (for a shady "lawn") and love it. Thanks for showing everyone how great it is.

LoblollyGal said...

It looks quite dog-friendly, too! Thanks for including the pic with your Bodi. I have two dogs that will co-habit the area I'm needing to put the sedge in. Any tips?

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I love the sedges. Cedar sedge is in bloom right now. It grows all over my property mostly in the shade. I never water it or weed it or mow it. It's just evergreen and lovely.

Liz said...

Is Texas sedge the species that grows all over the Hill Country? I have it as my front lawn getting dappled light under live oaks. I never mow, occasionally water lightly, and I love how it looks like a lawn as you approach it.

Blai said...

We want to put this under a pecan tree but are worried that it will not wear well with foot traffic. What do you think about it? Would you recommend it in places where it would be walked upon?