Thursday, October 7, 2010

It’s time for the grass to shine…

Lately I find myself crossing the street whenever I can to touch the grasses and their feathery blooms. It’s that time of the year when they become magical and steal the show.Take these gorgeous Pampas Grass feathers for example. Even though I’ve resigned myself to not having them in my garden evidently there is still a part of me that loves them.
Especially when they look so good!
Look at these fabulous specimens at Joy Creek Nursery.
This one is growing in a neighbor’s garden. If you look close you can see two other tall grasses in the distance.
In my garden I’m currently in love with the Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'). This is the only Miscanthus in the garden since I dug up and gave away the huge flopping clumps that used to anchor a corner of the front garden.
From the kitchen window I can watch the burgundy tinted blooms sway in the breeze while I am doing the dishes.
The Hakonechloa (Japanese Forest Grass) is blooming too, although it is a little less showy.
If you’ve ever wondered which one would win in a fight between Blood Grass (Imperata) and Hakonechloa I can attest to the Hakonechloa being more of a thug. The Blood Grass is loosing the fight for space.
The Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) is another fall favorite of mine. All summer is has a bamboo quality and then in the fall these lovely blooms take over.
Unfortunately I lost the name of this grass. (late breaking update! Turns out this probably isn't a grass after all but a sedge... some species of carex according to Joseph of Greensparrow Gardens...I never have been able to keep them straight!)
But it’s pine-cone-like blooms are charming, and as you can see in the last two images from yesterdays post, very successful propagators!


  1. I'm pretty sure the final mystery grass is actually a sedge... some species of carex. What species is beyond me. It seems to be a rule that for every species of carex, there has to be at least 5 others that look EXACTLY the same. So I've given up on IDing them. Still love them though, especially the awesome bronze or brown ones.

  2. Even though I break out in an itchy grass and sneeze whenever I get too close to grasses, your pampas grass IS gorgeous! Love the backlighting. Keep posting grassy pictures so I can enjoy them without the unpleasant side effects, please :-)

  3. Thanks Joseph, I appreciate the correction. I love them too...even f I don't know what they are!

    VW, oh I'm sorry! That really sucks! I will do what I can to keep the pictures coming.

  4. Loree, I admit to being a closet pampas grass fan too. I've never grown chasmanthium and need to give it a try. Great photos.

  5. I like the pampas at this time of year as well, especially in other people's gardens.

  6. I have seen recently a lot of pampas growing in the wild on a french island named "Ile de Bréhat". Now people would like to ericate it because it's an invasive weed taking the place of local vegetation. Not easy...

  7. Great post...I'm with you on Pampas Grass (sounds like we're not alone). They are beautiful, but it's nice to admire them in someone else's garden and avoid the labor :-) I agree that backlighting does wonders for grasses, and I am endlessly intrigued by the variety of their blooms. I'll admit I don't think I've ever seen a sedge bloom before, they are pretty cool!

  8. Denise, and you just coined a fun phrase. We're closet pampas grass fans (and I think we just outed ourselves!).

    Les, looks like you're out of the closet too...

    jp, no that sounds like quite the job. Long sleeves definitely required!

    scott, sometimes I'm a little slow. After reading Josephs comment I got to thinking about the ones in the garden that I do know are sedges and what their blooms look like. I should have known this was a sedge as their blooms do seem to often be "cone like" if that makes sense....

  9. I always remember sedges and grasses from this little ditty "Sedges have edges/Rushes are round/Grasses have nodes from the top to the ground" (or "Grass is what we smoke when the prof's not around").

    It's stuck for over 30 years now! Eeks!!

  10. The grasses look fabulous right now don't they? You've captured some fabulous shots.

  11. I am very fond of my pampas grass, and it's hard to keep from snapping pictures when the sky is blue and the silvery grass fronds are just so....


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