Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Quest for Horsetail Rush

Like many of us my friend Denise suffered the loss of a favored plant last winter, her cordyline, Grover. You know you are in-deep when you actually name a plant. Oh come on, surely you have named a plant? Doesn’t everyone? Someday soon I’ll introduce you to Sammy and Clifford.

Denise decided to replace the deceased Grover with horsetail rush. I have a couple in small pots on my patio and they are fabulous plants. Very “modern” and stylish, just like we were living in LA, in an Eichler. They also have a horrible reputation as being invasive thugs. Thus trying to find horsetail rush at most nurseries here in P-town elicits looks of surprise, why you would want to purchase a blacklisted plant?

The good people at Hughes Water Gardens feel differently! So this Saturday we set out to visit. Never having been to Hughes Water Gardens it was an opportunity to visit a new nursery and, since we were already dressed for the rainy weather and had the plant hauling rig at the ready, why stop at just one? Farmington Gardens was our second nursery stop of the day. Hughes was not quite ramped up for the season; but I have to respect a nursery that does not rush things. The visit was a success, both of us left with several plants, horsetail rush included, and I will definitely be back later. Farmington Gardens was also a successful stop. It is too bad this nursery is in the middle of nowhere (everything is relative – nowhere in relation to my world, it would take about an hour to get there from Chez Bohl). They have great plants, I wish I could visit them more often.

Photos below are in order of the day the first 4 being Hughes and the last 5 Farmington. Since I am always on the lookout for good ways to protect my borderline hardy plants I loved seeing how the folks at Hughes protected their amazing bananas, I can’t wait to see them in July! Oh – and Denise became a flax covert along the way, she just had to have the fine specimen shown below. I’ll post later about my fabulous plant purchases.


  1. I named the Flax 'Gloria' because she was so glorious when I first laid eyes on her!

  2. I think Grover would approve...

  3. This is a good post to read as I'm a sculptor and gardener creating (duh) a sculpture garden. Horsetail rush was used as the original sandpaper for finishing wood carvings. They'd split it open, dry it flat, then sand away. It's very tough as it contains a lot of silica.

    Next time I go to Hughes, I'll get some to go with the other sculpture plants in the garden: acanthus, laurel...

  4. Patrick - you know I just learned that about Horsetail in researching where in the heck I could buy it, pretty cool. Thanks for the comment, I should have mentioned that in my post! Your sculpture plant garden sounds great! How is your acanthus doing? I have one plant that seems to be rebounding from winter ok and another that is showing no signs of life at all...

  5. Oh, I had to go back and read this one, I wasn't sure I read it right in your current post - you BOUGHT horsetail? Girl, you are out of your MIND! This is the one weed my mom just cannot rid herself of, after decades of trying. It is cool in the abstract, all prehistoric and shiz, but no no no no, keep it away from your garden, I beg you! Or keep it under glass or something... the future gardeners in your spot will thank you. :)


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