My So-Called Meadow
There is a part of the back garden where grass did not grow well, or at all. So I came up with the bright idea of turning it into what I called a “pocket meadow” consisting primarily of Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pennsylvanica). My thought was that it would look like this, but it hasn’t worked out that way.
So I guess it’s time for a progress report, which I promised last year. If today weren’t Wednesday I would file it under the occasional meme Tell the Truth Tuesday, put forward by the clever Allison of Bonnie Lassie.
First item to report is that the grass in this area (I used pavers to create a clear boundary) started to absolutely thrive this year. One could have predicted this by applying the scientific principle of The General Perversity of Events. Or it could have been the spring’s cool weather or the buckets of rain we got. I’m leaving the grass uncut, and fortunately it doesn’t really grow more than a few inches even when looking lush.
There’s some Penn Sedge hiding among the grass in the photo above. I didn’t remove the grass because I thought that it would gradually be overcome by the Sedge. Really! But if I had removed the grass this area would currently look like a wasteland.
I’ve allowed most weeds to grow into the pocket meadow, with the exception of Common Plantain and a couple others that raise my hackles. I’m perfectly content to see the Violets spread, for example. But I’ve spent some hours kneeling and pulling Plantain. Truthfully, I start by kneeling and after a few minutes I’m lying on my side.
Part of the pocket meadow is mostly barren but dotted with a few unhappy Pennsylvania Sedge plants. They are unhappy probably because this area was often covered in standing water earlier in the year. Penn Sedge likes well-drained soil.
Most years we see standing water here only as the snow is melting. This year the quantity of rain made it a regular occurrence in April and May. By the end of summer this area tends to be rather dry – a pattern which is now emerging for this year.
Here is a sulking Penn Sedge. Now that we haven’t seen standing water for over a month it is recovering a bit, but can’t say I am optimistic about the future.
So at this point I’ve descended to a “throw everything at the lawn and see what sticks” approach. Which in this context means planting a small number of 3 different perennials and waiting to see which ones are doing OK same time next year.
The 3 I’ve chosen are Cupflower (Mazus reptans), Barren Strawberry (Waldsteinia fragarioides), and Green-and-Gold (Chrysogonum virginianum). As I said in my first post, I’m looking for stuff that is short and can take light foot traffic.
I’ll do another progress report in the fall and again in early summer next year. Who knows, maybe the Pennsylvania Sedge will make a comeback. I just want to stop feeling the need to roll my eyes when I describe my “pocket meadow”.