In the Spring of 2021 (two growing seasons ago), I bought a singular (broke the rule of buying multiples), large-scale ornamental grass named Prairie Winds Totem Pole - Panicum virgatum . Planted it on the edge of the front porch bed as a vertical accent. What caught my attention at the Morton Sale? The height of this grass being listed as 72" tall - 6 feet tall . It came back in May of 2022 - and is a late starter every season. A year after planting, the grass was still small , but by the end of the growing season, it was probably four-feet-tall or so. And had some nice Winter Interest . But, that front porch bed has changed quite a bit in the last year - the Norway Maple is gone. Replaced by a smaller Triumph Elm. That has opened up this bed to more light and reduced root competition. And the results on this ornamental grass? The tallest it has ever been - and close to the promised 6-foot-height when you count the seed heads. See below for current view of thi
Showing posts with the label grasses
My Hakonechloa Macra Forest Grass crush keeps growing. It started with the All Golds that I bought at one of the Morton sales, but has morphed towards something else: the 'straight' green versions that I find up at Northwind Perennial Farm in Wisconsin. I planted three of them in a border last year and they've quickly outperformed the All Golds that are planted close-by . One of the things that I observed in our backyard garden this Spring was the need to help 'hide' the dying foliage of the tulip bulbs that I have planted under the large tree-swing Oak tree. I have some hostas and ferns in there, but they don't move fast-enough to help. And, based on watching these Japanese Forest Grasses, I've discovered (this Spring) that the straight Green ones emerge must earlier than the All Golds. So, on a trip up to Northwind, I put four of these in my wagon. They look really great in the sun - see below: This area is what I'd call 'part shade'
The front porch bed continues to be a spot in our garden where I've focused some of my attention this season. It was #3 on my 2023 to-do list - to plant out that bed after the Norway Maple tree was removed last Fall and a small Triumph Elm was planted. In early May, I posted a 'plan' of sorts for the bed that included the planting of a short, compact grass along with some clumping Alliums in front, backed by some new Boxwoods, Disneyland Roses, grasses and some flowering shrubs. How have I done so far this year? I worked the soil conditions - using biosolids in a vertical, deep-dug mulching exercise . Then, I dug out and transplanted a Boxwood to the back . Once the slate was clean, I started to plant. First, with three bareroot Disneyland roses . Then, I planted five Green Velvet boxwoods (1 gallon small ones). And most recently, I planted a new Fire Light Hydrangea shrub where I had previously had a Vanilla Strawberry variety. Here's the list that I outl
Listed at number 3 on my 2023 to-do list , figuring out the newly configured front porch bed is a pretty significant planting priority for me, but one that I've done the least posting about in the garden diary. That lack of posting on a 'plan' for the bed, doesn't mean that I haven't been busy working the bed already by moving some things around, adding some things and thinking a lot about what we want up there. The season started with some vertical mulching of biosolids to try to improve the soil overall - that was after some topdressing of biosolids last Fall around the hydrangeas. Then, just recently, I did three things: first... I dug-up and transplanted the Green Velvet Boxwood that was left orphaned once we planted the Triumph Elm tree. I moved around three Karl Foerster Grasses (see below for placement) and then just this past week, I planted three bareroot Disneyland Roses in the bed where the old Norway Maple tree was situated. The other thing t
Yesterday, I posted an inspiration photo of a mass planting of sculpted boxwoods planted in a three-tiered system and talked about how I could use them under the pair of Lindens in our backyard. I haven't really done a mass (greater than 10) planting of shrubs, but I've been nosing back through the archives of Deb Silver's Dirt Simple blog for inspiration and notice that she's a big believer (and user) of mass plantings of evergreen shrubs. Like in this post where she features A LOT of boxwoods in various beds and talks this way about their use : A restricted palette of plants, and a massed planting can be both both classical and contemporary in feeling. I really like that idea of using a mass planting with a limited number of plants and colors to be both classical and contemporary at the same time. I've failed to put my desired garden style into words overall - I'm not a cottage gardener. I'm not a Japanese Gardener. I'm not a minimal gardener.
Two things might be true in our garden right now: First...the chicken wire cages that I've made have protected quite a few of our shrubs. And...second...the rabbits are still here and eating new things. Including this Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass in the photo below. This is the only one of these that has been gnawed off near the ground by the dang! rabbits this season. Something to watch this Winter. I have mixed thoughts on this; in terms of something that I don't mind sacrificing...these grassses would lead the list. I was going to cut them off at the ground come Spring anyway. So, having the rabbits graze on these do not really do any damage. But...on the other hand....it means that they're still sticking around and not moving on to other yards where they can feast on unprotected plants.
I planted an ornamental grass in one of our back patio containers this Summer and seems that I failed to document what the variety was/is when I installed the rest of the flowers. Here's a link to a Summertime post showing the labels from a bunch of the plants in the containers, but it didn't include the ornamental grass in the center of the large, round ceramic container. Based on poking around online, I'm *pretty sure* that it is a Mexican Feather Grass - Nassella . I'm posting about it, not just to document it in the [garden diary], but rather because of the state it is currently in - post frost in late November. See below for a photo of the container including this Mexican Feather Grass still showing a lot of green blades: Nassella Mexican Feather Grass is hardy down to just Zone 7 , so perhaps I'm wrong with the identification. Listen...everything else. Literally EVERYTHING ELSE in my garden (aside from the Autumn Ferns) have shriveled up and reacted to
This is just over the one-year mark for a trio of grasses that I planted in our backyard late last growing season . They've been in the ground for 13 months now and are showing their annual seed heads. These three Miscanthus sinensis 'Adagio' Maiden Grasses are tucked in behind the All Gold Japanese Forest Grasses and in front of the Little Lime Hydrangeas . Have a look at the photo below to see the three grasses and their first-growing-season seed heads. This being the first full growing season, I'm thinking that these put down roots this year and will begin to fill-in next year with more foliage. I put these in this spot to help create a bit of a 'layering' affect with the layers of grasses, shrubs and the Apple tree Belgian Fence in the far back. Like I do with all of my ornamental grasses, I'll leave these Adagio Maiden Grasses up all Winter - for 'winter interest' and will chop them down early in the Spring/late Winter for the new years
Posting a photo and trying to take a 'partial dubya' for a down-list item on my 2022 to-do list in the garden and yard . This is an item that I was pretty sure I wasn't going to solve - and in fact - stated that on my late-season check-in . But...I wanted to post here in the [garden diary] a note to show that I should take a partial victory. Why? I transplanted a small Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass that was under the Norway Maple to back by the gate. See below, for a photo of the grass next to the fence gate on the south side: #24 on the list this year read like this : Clean up the south side gate entrance area. Expand the bed forward towards the street (and fill in the gully), lay out large flagstones for walkway and add self-closing gate hardware. Think about cleaning out strawberries that have run wild there and (potentially) expand the beds under the Lindens. This grass is helpful in moving that from 'kinda' to 'yes...a little bit'.
A few days ago, I showed how the Bird added a single Carex Albicans to her little backyard garden and mentioned that I had bought a few more of these plugs. I intended to plant all four back by the fire pit border, but she wanted one, so it went in her garden. As I talked about in that post, these sedges are plugs from Northwind Perennial Farm in Wisconsin, where gardener Roy Diblik evangelizes for Carex as the cure for garden groundcover. Below is the sign from his nursery: These Albicans are darker green than the Bromoides that I planted yesterday under the Hornbeams . Below, you can see some of them before planting: Here, below, is the layout of these three. They're close to the fire pit gravel border and will (hopefully) fill in and cover up some of that mulch. I could plant four dozen of these and that wouldn't be enough, so three barely makes a dent. But, every garden has to start somewhere, right? These three additional Carex Albicans now add to the total of care
Yesterday, I posted a photo and an update on the line of three Hakonechloa Macra Hakone Japanese Forest Grasses that I have planted as a border under the tree swing Northern Red Oak tree in our backyard and remarked at how much size they had put on in just one year. While I was over in that section of the garden, I grabbed a photo to document in the [ garden diary ] the current mid-Summer state of the stand of Hakonechloa macra All Gold Grasses that are planted right around 'the corner' from the other grasses. The last time that I posted a peek at these grasses was in this post about my Drumstick Allium . But...the last time I posted the details of these grasses was just a week more than a year ago - August 2021 . And... before that was when I planted three additional grasses in May of 2021 . At that point, there were nine of these grasses planted in this slice of the garden. By August, I had noted that there was one in decline and had eight remaining . What do these
Last year, I planted a fountain grass in the big cast iron urn. It was a Pennisetum - but named 'Fireworks '. This year, I brought home another purple fountain grass and put it in a container. Just...it was a different grass AND a different container. The grass is Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum'. See below for the nursery container. And...importantly, you'll see that when it comes to hardiness, it goes down to *just* 30 degrees. That means...for me (Zone 5b), this is an annual. I decided to put this in - by itself - a white container that lives on our back stoop. A full sun spot. I planted it about three weeks ago. How is it doing? Seems to be happy. See below for a look at the first flower plume that has emerged from the crown. Nice, gently arching stem that I hope more will follow.
The past few years, I've used a tricolor combination in the 'corner container' on our back patio that was inspired by beds in Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. Red, Orange and blue/purple. Last year it was marigolds, salvia and petunia . Along with an Elephant Ear tucked into the corner for a little tropical flair. This year, I went a different route - with a monochromatic scheme. Well... actually since the foliage is green and the flowers are all white, this might *technically* be a complementary scheme. But, I'm going to call it one-color. I went this route with both the corner wooden container and the larger clay pot that we've had for 10 years or so. Let's start with the corner container. I planted this with a combination of white flowering annuals and some foliage plants. First, the flowers: 16 Catharanthus roseus - annual vinca. Those are the white flowers with red centers. And 16 Easy Wave White spreading Petunias. I also tucked in a pair of As