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Plant identity and Pruning/cutting back tips

Hi All

I'm new to a gardening role and although I'm loving every minute of it I'm struggling with my identification and pruning knowledge but keen to learn as I go

From the attached images could anyone tell me A) What plant/grass they are and B) How is best to care for them now they have started to die off? 

The grass in-particular as its in a lot of the gardens I'm working in and in some cases has got out of control and is now an unsightly mixture of live green and dead brown grass.

I'm really looking for a guide on how and when to cut if anyone can please give some advice?

Thanks
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  • Hello longylong, you're doing the right thing as getting stuck in is the best way to learn. I don't think either of your pictures are 'grasses' -  the top picture looks as if it is a crocosmia and the bottom one an iris. Have you seen them in flower this summer? I let mine die down over winter and then the dead leaves can be removed easily. 
  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 2,182
    The second picture may be a Sisyrinchium, cut the dead brown bits off 

    Cut the crocosmia back to the ground when they died back, they don't look like they have had many flowers on them ? they may need lifting and the new / young corm  which form at the top of the chain need replanting.
  • Oh yes Perki you're right I can see the flower head of sisyrinchium now :)
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,037
    If the second one is a sisyrinchium I think the broad leaves are an iris growing through it. The skinny leaves could be the sisy……..
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Hi Both

    Thanks so much for your replies and sharing your knowledge.

    I started the job at the start of August and not much has changed with regards to the appearance of them as of yet.

    Just to simplify it slightly for me with the crocosmia. Could I cut it back now to tidy it up and if so how brutal can I be in cutting back? Do I cut it back to ground level or maybe a few inches above the ground? I'm having trouble getting a mental image of what it would look like cut right back. 

    I'm slightly limited to how much advice I can put in to practice as some of the property owners will let us have free range of the garden as long as its tidy but others are VERY precise and want things done exactly their way. Unfortunately even if that does mean ignoring a professional opinion.
  • crocosmia is as tough as old boots and will often reseed itself. Yes you can hack it back. 
  • Crocosmia are bomb proof so I don't think cutting back to the crown now will do them any harm. If you get harsh winters then you may want to mulch with bark or bracken. 
  • I don't wish to be rude but if the professional in question couldn't differentiate between Crocosmia (which incidentally has a flower on it) and grass, I wouldn't be in a big hurry to follow his advice either.
  • I don't wish to be rude but if the professional in question couldn't differentiate between Crocosmia (which incidentally has a flower on it) and grass, I wouldn't be in a big hurry to follow his advice either.
    Hi. Just to clarify I wasn't referring to myself as a professional nor would I even think of doing so. Like I said at the start I am very new to this and keen to learn what I can as I go.

    As embaresing as it might be to think it was grass it’s now something new I have learned.

    Maybe you might be able to help further down the line as I expect I’ll be looking for more advice again in the future. 
  • Fair enough. 
    Crocosmia is everywhere. Now that you recognise it you'll think "how could I have missed it?!?!?!".  :D 
    If you are an absolute beginner it may be worth investing in some Winter reading material. A lot of folk on the forum started with the Dr Hessayon books. They cover most of what "ordinary" gardens have in them along with basic propagation and pruning advice. They have a few pages on pests and diseases too. They are quite old now but still useful as reference books (and cheap :)).
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_13?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=flower+expert+dr+hessayon&sprefix=flower+expert,aps,308&crid=KWITS5TIQJJE
    I started with Flower Expert and the Tree and Shrub Expert. You can build on them as you live and learn (and save up for big books). 
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