Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sagina subulata 'Aurea'

Although I have a very large garden by anyone's standards (about 10 acres) I have a special fondness for tiny plants. Back in West Virginia I used to win blue ribbons at the county fair for my miniature flower arrangements. This one is about as tiny as you can get. Sagina subulata 'Aurea', Golden Irish Moss, is neither Irish or a moss, but despite that, it is a lovely plant for light shade, filling in between stepping stones or crawling over rocks. The flowers are extremely tiny and white, but because of their sheer numbers, turn the carpet from gold to gold and white when they bloom. They are on short stems, just above the moss. It can take light foot traffic. There is also a 'plain' version, the green form, but I find that this one is so much more attractive since it lights up the shady spots where I grow it. If you want to divide it and start a new colony, you just take a knife and cut out a square (which will fill in quickly and never look like it had been missing) and kind of press it into moist soil in its new location. Couldn't be easier. Too much sun or drought will not be to its liking, but it does seem to recover well once the rains come again. Even a light misting during dry times will be enough to keep it looking good.
I use a lot of thymes in the sunnier spots as a ground cover, but depend on Sagina for the shadier places.

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