Pacific Northwest

September, 2008
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Guided Tour of Kubota Garden Park
The aways-lovely Kubota Garden Park is at its finest when the summer greenery changes into resplendent autumn colors. Come join a guided tour on Sunday, October 26th, from 3 to 5 p.m. The well-planted garden offers a rich array of shrubs and trees, along with many vistas, ponds, large rocks, ornate bridges, and gates. Many are exquisitely photogenic; a few are the largest specimens known; at least one will likely be a delightful new discovery for you. Dress for the weather; the tour takes place rain or shine. The tour leader is Arthur Lee Jacobson, author of Wild Plants of Seattle, and Trees of Seattle.

Meet in the parking lot at Kubota Garden, 9817 55th Ave. S, in Seattle. The cost of the tour is $25, pre-registration required. For more information, call (206) 685-8033; or go to: http://depts.washington.edu/urbhort/html/education/events.php.

Favorite or New Plant

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
I'm always on the lookout for plants that complement one another, and I think the robust characteristics of Sedum spectabilis 'Autumn Joy' and blue lyme grass (Elymus glaucus) make them a dynamic duo.

When grown together, these plants add color and movement to a garden all season long. Spring starts with the blue-gray blades of blue lyme grass harmonizing with the green, broccoli-like buds of 'Autumn Joy'. By August, the cloudlike pink flowers of the sedum are contrasted against lance-shaped grass leaves.

Blue lyme grass is a vigorous grower in poor soils. Its rigid leaves reach 18 to 24 inches high, and it spreads by underground rhizomes, making it an ideal plant for erosion control.

After several years (including an unusually severe winter), this plant has proved so durable that I've found its old foliage does not require cutting back in the spring, as does that of its grassy relatives.

Many gardeners know 'Autumn Joy' sedum, which is commonly grown as a specimen plant. A drift of 'Autumn Joy' will provide an ever-changing swath of color and texture. This sedum has a robust, reliable growth habit. Pinching the growing tips twice before the first of July will allow its stems to grow stiff enough to prevent the plant from bending or falling over under the weight of its flower heads in its late-season glory.

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