One of my favorite things to do is purchase small plugs of plants online late in the season, stick them in the ground and forget about them. By the time spring rolls around, I pay little attention to them or don’t remember that they are even there.
If they don’t survive, I figure it was worth the risk for such a small financial investment.
But most of the time, in the spring, I’ll notice something, that isn’t a weed, is growing and I’ll have to jog my memory to remember what it actually is. Once I am able to recall said plant, I get all excited and consider the purchase a “win”.
In the Fall of 2010, I bought three tiny Panicum ‘Northwind’ ornamental grasses from Santa Rosa Gardens at a deep discount. I planted them and put them through their “test”. In year one, they didn’t do much but they looked healthy enough for me to know that they were going to be a keeper.
Fast forward to Spring of 2012 and these puppies kicked some major tail. They emerged in mid spring once the temps warmed up (hence they are “warm season” grasses) and I immediately fell in love.
As promised, they are extremely upright and I love the blue/green color of the leaves:
This US and Canadian native grass absolutely thrived in a full sun bed that is riddled with clay soil and drains poorly. These “switch grasses” worked well with other native perennials and grasses with their upright stature taking center stage:
By mid July, they began to show signs of blooming:
Within days, the blooms turned a pinkish shade and absolutely covered the grasses:
By mid Fall, the leaves began to turn yellow but the gentle blooms still persisted: