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Carex Buchananii — 53 Comments

  1. Thanks for dropping by David. I have a love /hate thing going with this Carex, but it can be useful if used well. Are you in the Aberdeen area? I have now moved as you will see if you visit my up to date posts.

  2. Hi Alastair, I came across your site while looking up carex buchananii. I have just bought three types of carex grass including buchananii so I’m finding the comments interesting . I only paid £2 each for them so thought I would give them a go .
    Your garden looks great and I will keep in touch.

  3. Cathy and Steve, this is the first time in years since we have had Lilies to any degree. A good few had buds which developed and then just turned brown without opening. Not sure if it was just the weather or if they are diseased.

  4. Alistair, I’m so glad you posted those pix. I’ve been considering using a carex along the back of the grape arbor but I’ve been very hesitant…. this has inspired me.

    Your lilies are stunning. We had to get rid of most of ours because of problems with red lily leaf beetles that were simply to much trouble to keep under control.using ecofriendly methods. With fish and dogs, chemical sprays are not an option, but controlling them without chemicals is almost impossible. But I have to be honest… I keep trying!

  5. I have Carex ‘Ice Dance’ and it is green through winter. But come spring, starts browning so the new growth can grow. I just mow it down and let it start all over again. I have seen the brown ones and they never were a favorite. I had one in the garden as a trial and you always had a hard time telling if it made it through winter. Out it went.

  6. Believe me, I think I got it. In fact I keep most of my hostas segregated in pots, at the top of the tower, surrounded by a ditch where I keep my alligators…

  7. Alberto if anyone can make Buchaanii look good I think your the man to do it. Slugs here seem to like everything except the Lilies, you should see the mess of the Hostas.

  8. As I told you the good thing with this carex is that as it always looks dead it’s always a surprise. A friend of mine recently gave me a little pot of this carex so I’m gonna try out too, I may learn how to love a dead looking carex. 🙂
    Obviously I’m joking, I think it’s a nice one. I like the way you show your garden, the design is pretty ‘strong’, you did it on your own? It’s a garden of character.
    You have such lovely lilies, how do you preserve them from slugs?

  9. In our family it is my husband who likes Carex. I don’t know which kind it is but it looks much like yours. I have complained about it for years. Wanted to get rid of it. Pointed out that as it always looks dead anyway, we might as well let it die in reality! No.

    This summer, I found that, when the sun shines through it, wonderful reds and golds show up (if you look at it from the right angle). We are having dreadful drought problems in the front garden and, after seeing a photo of your carex on this blog a couple of months ago (and thought they looked quite fun, the way you have planted them) I’ve been thinking recently that I may put some out there. I’m thinking more of massing them and having other plants sticking through. I’ve bought a little festuch, wondering whether including them in the design (design!) might lighten the atmoshpere – but it’s got a lot of dead bits itself now so maybe that won’t work.

    (I seem to have written a post!


  10. No, not for me. Love ‘everbrown’. The world splits into those who like grasses and those who don’t I think. I have a sneaking admiration for Alberto’s garden, but it’s not what I would want for myself. Much prefer the lilies.

  11. Yes for me ‘Cousin It’ did come to mind (I might be tempted to add some eyes if I were you) but really in the larger picture it creates a nice contrasting texture. (That may be the most garden-design thing I have ever written–) Your lilies are awesome! And the bulb catalogs are here…

  12. For a plant you didn’t care for, you’ve used beautifully a created a bit of rhythm in your space. And the lillies, thanks for sharing those images. I really like ‘Hiawatha’ and it’s sounds American bred with the native American name.

  13. I do like grasses in the garden and have tried carex frosty curls but they didn’t like me. Now I grow different forms of lomandra, it is easygoing and green. And what a lot of different liliums you have – they are all so beautiful.

  14. Hi b-a-g, I am kinda glad you still don’t like them. Brilliant, I am still a fan of Rod Stewart, I will always associate him with yourself and dead grass from now on. Just off to the garden centre, packed out with gorgeous daff bulbs at the moment.

  15. Wow that grass really looks very familiar to us in these tropical setting, especially during dry months when they are all brown and dead. But yours is alive which makes it more interesting. If that is here, even if alive, that will not look nice. In your arrangements it fits perfectly though. It might fit anything in your garden which is full of vivid colors.

  16. Alistair – I still don’t like jetfire daffodils, but on the other hand your lilies are to die for.
    The Carex makes me smile because it reminds me of Rod Stewart’s hairstyle.

  17. My husband is dead set against grasses like this in the garden, but I think they add a lot of interest. Maybe I could sneak a few in and ask him to see if they’ll grow on him!
    Those lilies are absolutely beautiful!

  18. Hi Alistair, we grew carex buchananii in Orkney. P always disliked it intensely and thought it looked like dead grass. We don’t have it in our present garden but there are so many others we compromise!
    Most of our lilies are finished. Yours look wonderful.

  19. Hi Alistair – I can’t make up my mind about the Carex Buchananii. I love the form, but the colour? I think I prefer Carex Evergold. But your Lilies? They are absolutely stunning!

  20. Yes Bom, sweet surrender is a beauty. As for cousin it, I didn’t like to show my ignorance. Got it now Janet, after a bit of research. Doesn’t that just make it even funnier.

  21. I have to say that I like the way your Carex fits into your back garden. But that’s just me and I do like the “different looking” plants.

    I surrender to your “Sweet Surrender”. It’s a beauty among all your lovely lilies.

  22. Cousin It! Perfect Janet!

    Sorry for the enthusiasm but I just had to reply. I love the Cousin It description.

  23. Great analogy Catherine. When I leave a comment on your blog your word verification system leaves one wondering if the comment is passed on for moderation or not.

  24. This gave me a wry smile – I really want to like these buff coloured carex, I grew lots myself last year. Then I revised my plan for the Magnolia border and didn’t quite know where to put them. The ones I planted in pots with other things have sulked, the ones I bunged in a border at the front of the house have sulked. The one I left in a pot by itself is looking rather wonderful, if a little Cousin It. But I still don’t know how to use them. I can see the rhythm in your planting, and they do have a rather wonderful shape. For myself I think a massed group of them interwoven with rusty coloured verbascums or iris might be rather striking, but my heart remains unconvinced.

  25. I like the look of this grass in your garden – it is very unusual. The lilies are gorgeous, thank you for so many wonderful pictures.

  26. Well, I think they look OK in winter – low sunlight shining through them. However your blog piece has made me think that they are the crazy grass relations of the tibetan terrier. Loved the lilies though.

  27. I love em. They look great with blue fescue’s and grey leafed plants. They freeze out here every winter. I’m trying a orange variety this year, however I do not like it as well. The foliage is, well, different.

  28. Hi there
    You’ve used it beautifully, I’m not a huge grasses/sedges fan (shoot me now) far prefer something with a flower you don’t need to dissect to see the beauty of it. However for contrast, form and structure, they are useful.

    I love lilies, when tunnel up I will have some, I’ve ‘no/limited/inconsistent’ shelter!

    I have to say though, I do have Carex pendula given by a chum, again not a huge fan, but it’s tough!

  29. I don’t mind them, Alistair! On their own, the Carex aren’t all that terrific, but as part of that garden bed of yours, I think they add a lot of interest. Myra, I applaud your choice! Of yes, the Lilies are gorgeous too, most especially that beautiful Hiawatha … who comes up with these names?

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