It was time to get down to business yesterday afternoon.
I grabbed my camera, my phone, a notebook, a pen and my shitkicking boots and headed out into the yard. It may have been bitterly cold with a wind chill in like the single digits, but I didn't care. There was serious work to get done and a little frostbite wasn't going to get in the way.
So there I was, in full on planning mode with a single minded purpose of determining which existing garden beds would be extended (short answer: all of them) and where would new beds be created (short answer: everywhere). As you may know, I live on a 2+ acre property that was a complete blank canvas when we moved in back in late 2004. I've done my best to add as many trees, shrubs and perennials as possible, but there is still a long ass way to go. It can become overwhelming at times but who am I to complain? The possiblities are endless (well not really; the deer are a nightmare, the soil sucks ... sorry ... where was I?).
As I surveyed my lot and started drawing imaginary bed lines in my head (notebook and pen were a bad idea, my fingertips still haven't recovered), I came to a relatively easy realization; I am going to focus mainly on adding ornamental grasses to the landscape. This is generally borne out of necessity based on my previously documented struggles with deer and wet soil, but it also felt like a welcome challenge. Could I make a high volume of ornamental grasses look natural and appealing? Could I add just the right number of non-grasses to keep things interesting and varied?
All of this will be worked on feverishly the next few months and as always, I'll be documenting it all along the way. I plan on adding some seriously large grasses that are in the 8-12 foot range and some new mid-size grasses I've been researching for a while now. But most importantly, I am making a serious commitment to dividing my existing grasses and spreading the wealth all over the yard. Yes, I'll be savings some serious dinero, but the manual effort will be epic.
What has two thumbs and can handle any physical challenge thrown his way? This guy (now imagine me pointing to myself with a cocky grin for the true effect for that riddle.)
For today, I want to address my grass detractors (you know who you are ... or maybe I made you up for false inspiration) by demonstrating that grasses are not only good for their fall display and little else. Yes, they typically put on their best show in late summer and fall, but they can shine at other times as well. They are a great complement to blooming shrubs and perennials and also offer great foliage contrast to non-blooming shrubs and perennials.
And here is my Exhibit A:
|Joe Pye Weed and Miscanthus 'Morning Light' (Summer)|
|Joe Pye Weed and Miscanthus 'Morning Light' (Fall)|
|Peony and Panicum (Switch grass)|
|Penstemon 'Husker's Red' and Panicum (Switch grass)|
|Spirea 'Snowstorm', Viburnum 'Aurora' and Miscanthus 'Gracillimus'|
|Weigela 'Wine and Roses' and Panicum (Switch grass)|
|Panicum (Switch grass) blooms and Rudbeckia|
|Spirea 'Anthony Waterer' and Panicum (Switch grass)|
|Rose of Sharon and Miscanthus 'Gracillimus'|
More to come my friends ...