Featured Crop Reviews
This year’s Autumn Idea Book
Our Autumn Idea Book shipped recently—full of fresh design inspiration and our beautiful plants for fall. Last week we talked about cool weather veggies; this week we’d like to take our discussion a bit further, to include some other tasty produce that features prominently among our décor varieties for the season.
Striking orange sedge
Ornamental grass is one of our favorite cool weather accents—slender, pointy blades rising up out of a bed and swishing in the breeze convey the feeling that autumn is in the air. This year we have a striking orange sedge that bumps up the harvest-time vibe in the landscape with its rich shades of orange and coppery brown.
Now, this plant actually starts out olive green and takes on orange and bronze highlights as the weather cools, if it’s planted in full sun. Notice the neat, rounded clump and the graceful, cascading nature of the leaves—our radiant orange sedge makes a thrilling focal point. In addition, the coppery tones bring a sense of warmth to a design, as well as great contrast when paired with bright green or dark burgundy foliage, such as our décor lettuces or ‘Bull’s Blood’ beets.
Mixes with anything
We rely on grasses like this pretty orange sedge to keep us in color right through to the end of the season. Carex testacea is also low maintenance so we consider it, along with our other cool weather ornamental grasses, to be one of our most valuable design tools.
This selection is available in the one-gallon pot.
If you were here for Field Day, you’ll remember that out by the street we have a bed of ‘Whopper Red’—pretty impressive for a roadside garden, if I do say so myself. You can see we’ve got blue salvia in there with ‘Zahara Double Yellow’ zinnia in front. It’s a bed of primary colors that packs a good punch—it’s hot. These begonias have beefed up nice and big—they certainly fill the space.
After all, they’re Whoppers—they’re doing what they were meant to do. This is just a great plant; it provides a lot of mass, a lot of bulk; we can go down on our plant count and still have a full bed. It also has some height and size so it’s a good back-of-the-border plant. We can control the size with water, too, so if we want it shorter we can run it a little drier; if we want it larger we give it a little more water.
With Whoppers we always feel like we got what we paid for and that’s saying a lot these days, when the trend is toward petite, tiny, and compact. From a designer’s point of view, sometimes we need to move in the other direction; there are times when we need a plant that’s big, powerful, and bold.
For your notes, our roadside bed goes from full sun into shade. In full shade this Whopper is a green-leaf red, and in full sun the leaf has a nice red tinge to it.