Combination A for Northern California

Even a faux stone container can feel like a meadow, if you start with the right seeds. Bay Area grasses expert John Greenlee has come up with blends suited to the West’s diverse regions

Sunset  – September 4, 2004

For a Northern California meadow, try one of these three combinations:


Combination A

Grass: Sisyrinchium bellum ‘Occidental’

Flowers: Armeria ‘Victor Reiter’, Achillea tomentosa ‘Maynard’s Gold’

Bulb: Oxalis brasiliensis

Succulent: Sedum spathulifolium ‘Cape Blanco’


Combination B

Grass: Carex texensis

Flowers: Fragaria vesca ‘Yellow Wonder’, Aquilegia hybrids – white, Achillea x kellereri


Combination C

Grass: Festuca idahoensis ‘Stony Creek’

Flower: Achillea x kellereri

Succulents: Sedum spathulifolium ‘Cape Blanco’, Sedum album ‘Nigra’


For a Southwest or Southern California meadow, combine these:

Grasses: Bouteloua gracilis, Piptochaetium fimbriatum, Carex texensis

Flowers: Erigeron, Eschscholzia, Zinnia grandiflora

Bulbs: Zephyranthes, Oxalis, Nerine


For a Northwest or Rocky Mountains meadow, combine these:

Grasses: Carex texensis, Festuca idahoensis, Deschampsia flexuosa

Flowers: Viola, dwarf Columbine, dwarf Heuchera

Bulbs: Muscari, Erythronium, Iris reticulate


For more examples of Greenlee’s work, advice on planting and caring for your meadow, or to order from his well-edited selection of grasses, visit He also works closely with California’s Suncrest Nurseries, whose plants are available at garden centers throughout the state; go to for a list of those retailers.