Saturday, September 27, 2008

The great fall of grass

It's Grass time!
Pennisetum 'Red Head'

Pennisetum 'Red Head'.
The hardiest of the Pennisetum variety and also brother to the Pennisetum Rubrum (as you all know as purple fountain grass). Red head does come back. It's taller but not by much, mostly three feet of a good solid clump. Full sun. Reblooming all season, which makes this a nice addition in the garden.
Carex 'Ice Dance'. This is a very short grass, very green with some white through it. It's obviously full sun (but yes, there are grasses out there that are full shade) and it is like an ever green, to which you don't ever cut it back.
Ophiopogon 'Nigrescens' (Black Mondo Grass). From what I understand, this isn't actually agrass but more part of the lily family. But we'll call it a grass for the sake of my post (and because everyone sells it as a grass). Full sun, also an evergreen so you do NOT cut it back (cut it back adn you will kill it! KILLER!)
Hakonechloa 'All Gold' (in the planter). This is much like the other one I posted the other day, but it is a lime green grass. Nice colour, great accent in the greenhouse and also one of my favourites. Heck, I don't think there's a hakonechloa out there that I don't like. It's also great in planters as you can see below. I did this planter for my boss and we didn't exactly have anything around at the time, except pennisetum Rubrum for height and I needed something that gave bang to the planter, while holding an interest if it were to die (which it most undoubtably would considering its getting cold now).

I have been the Queen of Slack this past month, so I thought I should get off the pot and post a little more as promised.

My sister wanted me to take pictures of the grasses in the greenhouse and all I could think was how do you make grass look good without making it all look the same. Given, when you're around something enough, you notice small details about it that separates it from others, but lets be honest. REALLY honest. When grass comes in and I don't know the variety, it all looks the same. I'm obviously doing a fabulous job of showing just how much I know. hah.

People don't plant nearly enough grass as they should in their garden. I was putting Panicum 'dewy blues' and 'northern wind' in the garden at my house (they look the same unless you have a REALLY good eye to tell them apart - northern winds more upright and dewey blues more saggy), when the owners of the house laughed. She said "Look Ken! She's putting the weeds back in your garden!" heh. Gotta love them. I know they didn't like the grass but.. BUT! I also noticed they're watering the garden until we move. HMMM. And really, I didn't like dewey blues when it came into the greenhouse either. I was like "oh, what's this" with disgust written all over my face, like why did my sister get THIS. And then..... I really had a good second look at it and was all "oh.. I must have this grass." I'll have to take pictures when I get there.

I put a few grasses in my inlaw's garden and I could see the same expression on their faces. Why was I putting grass? Especially when they want flowers. Because it pops the flower out of the garden. It enhances all the little things that you wouldn't normally notice. Grass is an accent plant, sort of like a complimentary colour to the wide array of colours already in your garden. If you just have clumps of flowers, you tend to lose those flowers to other ones and it becomes a big mess. Of course, I like big messes (you should see my work space), but I also like asymmetrical things. Symmetry has its place. Grasses make both in a garden. You just need to pick the right grass and No, not every grass is green. There are lime ones, red ones, blue ones and when you put all the colours together, you notice them more.

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