Friday, April 29, 2016

Yarrow is Ideal for Xeriscaping

Yarrow is an Ideal Xeriscaping Plant

Yesterday I wrote about xeriscaping  and showed you some examples. Although I didn't recognize yarrow in any of them, I wasn't able to go onto private property for a closer look. Still, yarrow is ideal for xeriscaping because it is drought tolerant, spreads to fill available space, and adds color to the garden in season.  What you see below is along the Charolais Corridor Trail in Paso Robles

Yarrow is Ideal for Xeriscaping
Insects on Yellow Yarrow, © B. Radisavljevic

Yarrow in Paso Robles Xeriscapes

If you are on the lookout for it, you will see a lot of yarrow in Paso Robles and the rest of the North County. Both the shot above and the one directly below were taken on the Charolais Corridor Trail between South River Road and Riverbank Lane, ending just across from an entrance to Larry Moore Park. The photo below was taken at the entrance to the trail on Riverbank Lane. On most of the trail, yarrow is mixed with cistus (the pink, purple flowers), rosemary, and cotoneaster. Between them, there is color in almost every season.

Yarrow is Ideal for Xeriscaping
Xeriscaping with  Yarrow, © B. Radisavljevic

In autumn, the yarrow flowers dry well and can be used in dry flower arrangements. They are still adding interest even when dry along this trail and at Larry Moore Park, where, as I recall, they have also planted yarrow. I didn't have time to check today to see if it's still there.

Yarrow is Ideal for Xeriscaping
Dried Yarrow on Trail, © B. Radisavljevic

Another place I've noticed seeing yarrow in the city is on South Vine Street east to of the Marriott Hotel, in the landscaping of the recently built dental building with the solar panels on the roof. This photo was taken there.

Yarrow is Ideal for Xeriscaping
Xeriscaping with  Yarrow on South Vine, © B. Radisavljevic

Insects Are Attracted to Yarrow

In the top photo taken along the trail, you saw at least one fly and another insect which may also be a type of fly. Below is another shot from the xeriscape at the dental  building on South Vine. There you see a very content bee on the yellow yarrow.

Yarrow is Ideal for Xeriscaping
Bee on Yellow Yarrow, © B. Radisavljevic

Yarrow Comes in Many Colors

The most common color I see is the yellow, as in the photos above. Common yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) often grows wild with a white flower. The Sunset Western Garden Problem Solver lists it as a weed because it grows wild and is often invasive. I haven't seen it growing wild and white yet. My own yarrow plant, which I currently have confined to a container, is red. It's called a grapefruit yarrow. It is just starting to bloom this week.

Yarrow is Ideal for Xeriscaping
Grapefruit Yarrow, © B. Radisavljevic

I've also seen beautiful yarrow plantings at some wineries. I honestly don't remember at which one I took the picture below. The yarrow appears to be next to some sage and lavender, judging just from their leaves.

Yarrow is Ideal for Xeriscaping
Yarrow in Mixed Colors, © B. Radisavljevic

Cultivation and Uses of Yarrow

Yarrow likes to grow in the sun. It needs some irrigation until it is established, but then it can usually get along with rain water. It likes a moderately rich, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.1. It is hardy to Zone 2. Yarrow can adapt to a variety of soils, as long as you don't let its feet get too wet.

Yarrow grows easily from seed, but I started with a nursery plant from a local organic grower. You can divide yarrow plants in spring and fall. I will probably divide mine and put some into a flower bed next fall.

According to Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, people have used yarrow for over 60,000 years. Archaeologists discovered it in fossils in Neanderthal burial caves. Since then people have found many uses for it medicinally, and cosmetically. It has been used for crafts and to make dye. It is said that when planted near other herbs, it will increase the essential oils they produce. This has not been proved.

If you'd like to try growing yarrow, why not look through Amazon's amazing variety of seed choices. I may even get some seed myself, just to try some new colors. Maybe I'll redo my lawn with yarrow, sage, lavender, euphorbia, and rosemary. I'll leave that decision for another day.

If you found this post useful, please share it. The sharing buttons are just above the comment box at the end of the post. The photo below is especially designed for pinning. The yarrow photos in the collage were all taken along the Charolais Corridor Trail. 

Yarrow is Ideal for Xeriscaping

This is my twenty-fifth post for the 2016 AtoZchallenge, a Blogging Challenge for the month of April, 2016. My theme is plants, since this is a gardening blog. Here are links to the other posts if you missed them.

A is for Apple Blossoms
B is for Bottlebrush
C is for Carnations
D is for Daisy
E is for Elderberry
F is for Flowers
G is for Gazania
Hollyhocks are Edible
Irises Are Garden Survivors
Jupiter's Beard: A Mystery Finally Solved
Kale for Lunch
Lion's Tail - A Perennial Summer Burst of Orange
Miner's Lettuce is Tasty and Free"Naked Ladies" Bloom in August
Oleander through the Year
Plant Pests and their Predators: Aphids and Ladybugs
Quince Fruit from Blossom to Table
Roses Are Not Just Red
Sages Add Color and Attract Beneficial Insects to Your Garden
Tansy and Fruity Teucrium Can be Garden Friends
Urushiol Will Make You Itch
Vetch Runs Wild

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