Thursday, November 22, 2012

Carex brunnea ‘Jenneke’ favorite plant in the garden, this week…

This week’s favorite is a little underwhelming I’ll admit. But what it lacks in size it makes up for with a visual punch! I give you Carex brunnea ‘Jenneke’

I loved this little Carex during the hot dry summer months, it offered a small pool of cool on which to rest your eyes, and it played so nicely with its neighbors! However now that cool is the name of the game it has magically transformed and its yellow tint seems rather warm and inviting. I know that’s a lot of credit to be giving a small little plant but it deserves it!

I got my plants from Xera but it’s also available from Secret Garden Growers, a nursery I have yet to visit but must get to next spring!

Secret Garden Growers says… “Slender, elegant, upright (Weight Watchers, could this be me?), very fine textured grass with a refined attitude. Wispy yet spiky, the thin blades are vertically variegated in creamy yellow and are evergreen here in Zone 8 country. 10-12" tall and eventually as wide, this is a well mannered clumper that will grow in sun to part shade, most decent soils with summer moisture. Gorgeous in pots too! Deer proof”

While Xera notes… “A dense growing and striking Carex with leaves that have a dominant interior of reach creamy yellow and and outline of fine deep green on the edges. The bold variegation for such a thin leaf is a wonderful quality and makes a large clump extremely striking appearing seemingly to glow. Dense growing and arching to 18" tall and forming a clump a foot across. Winter deciduous- cut away dead leaves in winter for a fresh emergence in spring. Part shade in rich soil that retains moisture. It appreciates an annual application of compost for the best growth. Very, very pretty in a woodland.”

I was hesitant to recommend a Carex that I’ve yet to see though the winter months. However since I planted it in the heat of our dry summer and it performed like a champ I decided to take the risk. It should be happy in USDA Zones = 6a – 10b. I’ll report back if winter is unkind…

Also Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans! Today is my benchmark holiday for the first winter freeze here in Portland. There must have been a few that occurred before the holiday but for the most part they seem to be sometime this week or shortly after. I remember one Thanksgiving I went out and cut every Canna stalk to make a huge "bouquet" for the table. That night was our first deep freeze and the next morning everything left behind was mush. No freeze tonight, although Monday is looking like a possibility...

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