Sweet Flag-Not So Sweet…or Is It?

PicMonkey Collage

Clockwise:  Golden Sweet Flag (Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’), Variegated Liriope (Summer), Carex ‘Evergold’ Sedge, Liriope (Winter)

As winter settles in here in my Zone 7, Long Island garden I look out upon the landscape and access how certain plants have performed over the years as far as hardiness and maintenance are concerned. In winter when structure is extremely important the Sweet Flag tends to stand out. Golden Sweet Flag (Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’) may not be a plant I regularly use in my designs but it does have its merit in the landscape and looks perfect when in the correct spot!  Sweet Flag is hardy in USDA zones 5-11, prefers to be grown in partial to full sun and requires a constantly moist soil.  It clumps to approximately ten inches tall and slowly spreads by underground rhizomes.

In a pond setting or very shady and moist area such as under a tree, Sweet Flag shines.  It’s variegated golden yellow and green upright blades add interest to the landscape all year round. Attributes are that it is evergreen and the only maintenance required is an occasional thinning.  It is also very hardy,  disease resistant and “deer resistant”

Alternatives to Sweet Flag are Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’,Variegated Japanese Sedge (Carex morrowii ‘Aurea-variegata’) and Liriope.  Evergold and Variegated Japanese Sedge each grow to about the same height of 10 inches to a foot and stay in more of a clumping form and Liriope (Liriope muscari ‘Variegata) grows to approximately 6-12 inches in height, also stays in rounded clumps and bears small purple blooms in fall followed by black berries.  Liriope prefers dry shade but will adapt to just about anywhere. All three are considered “deer resistant” and I frequently use each in my designs.

Next time you are looking for an evergreen, shade tolerant, moisture loving perennial consider Sweet Flag.  This seemingly underused plant could serve nicely in your landscape when given the correct location!

As Always…Happy Gardening and all the Best for the New Year!

 Author:  Lee@Landscape Design By Lee, 2014, All Rights Reserved

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Season’s Greetings 2014!

holiday

Season’s Greetings 2014!

Sending out warm and joyous greetings to you during this holiday season.  May the spirit of the season bring you joy and good memories of time spent with family and loved ones.  May you experience happiness, good health and prosperity throughout the upcoming year and always.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas and All the best!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Landscape Design & Maintenance, Copyright 2014. All rights reserved2b719-blogseasonldivider

A Stormy Day for Fine Foliage

As the temperatures plummet here in the northeast this is a wonderful read on the importance of colorful foliage in the garden…I enjoyed this post so much that I am sharing it with my readers. I am hoping they enjoy it as much as I did!

Fine Foliage

Stormy Day Fine Foliage Left to right;‘Rainbow’ Leaucothoeis showing off some new cold weather burgundy foliage for winter. A favorite conifer Thuja Occidentalis ‘Rheingold’is coloring up nicely for winter as it warms up with orange and amber tones. My STAR conifer in this bed is Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Wissel’s Saguaro’he is growing in nicely! Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’is a soft accent texture in the small bed with its swaying plumes. Osmanthus ‘Goshiki’is the toughest character in this little gang, drought tolerant with foliage that has interesting color changes through the entire year. Down low is Nandina ‘Gulf Stream’giving a bold red uplight to the group next to the more somber deep tones of the ‘Crimson Pygmy’ Barberry.

When rain, wind and flooding storms are pummeling both the East and West coasts at the same time, it can seem like there is no reason to find joy in…

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