Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I would never plant this beach sedge in my garden.
For one thing I don’t have sand or salt, this little sedge thrives just above high tide mark on Whidbey Island.
But you know if this prickly looking plant ended up in a pot in a high end nursery you’d be tempted to buy it. That is if you are like me, looking for the unusual, or the spikey.
I don’t know what attracts me to the thorny, sharp, bristly or pokey. I don’t like roses and certainly they fit the category.
I have a friend who fills her garden with touchables: velvety lamb’s ears, billowy mounds of sweet scented wall flowers, crisp but soft maiden hair fern. You could swoon and fall in her garden and the worse that might happen is a smudge of dirt on your cheek.
My spikey garden stays in pots. Most of the plants I love aren’t hardy: dyckias, opuntias, euphorbias. But I do garden with the “threatening” too. I love barberries- the name says it all, devil’s walking stick ( Oplopanax horridum). Yes I even plant roses, especially the rambling thorny kind which create impenetrable barriers.
Maybe it’s a guy thing. The desire to protect, defend. Maybe it’s a personality quirk, like a cactus my soft middle might be a little too vulnerable to this hostile world
Whatever the implications: I like spikey, pointy, sharp, prickley, thorny plants. I’ll say it, defensive plants.
I’d add this beach sedge to my collection if I could.

Talking to my prickly friend the scotch thistle, or cotton thistle, ( Onopordum acanthium).