Cutting back the ornamental grasses with my daughter

I had the itch to get outside and “do something” today and based on the time of year, knew it was time to cut down the ornamental grasses. There was a time when this might be a 1/2 hour task, but with my steady accumulation of grasses over the years, it has become a monumental task. 
Today was nasty; all sorts of windy and cold, but on a whim I asked the kids if they wanted to assist their dear dad with his gardening work. My daughter volunteered with gusto and put a huge smile on my face. We got all bundled up … well she did at least, because as you know, I’m way too tough and manly and can handle the rough conditions without a jacket or gloves. 
The plan was for me to cut down the grasses with the hedge trimmer and she could help with carrying the dead grass blades to the compost bin. Things were moving swimmingly at first: 

But then she started to get bored.

I thought long and hard about letting her use the hedge trimmer and eventually figured I could allow it but only after a safety lesson from me. So we went through an impromptu training and I have to admit, she picked it up super quickly. I had some reservations at first, but she seemed good to go and the trimmer has a safety shut off and the blades are pretty dull. I knew she could do it.

Her first task, a bunch of ‘Karl Foerster’ grasses:      

She attacked with reckless abandon and did a phenomenal job:

Next, was a decent sized Switch grass:

Again, no problem at all for my little girl:

We took a break, so I grabbed my phone ready to record my young apprentice at work. Girlfriend kicked some serious butt:    
Damn impressive, eh?
We weren’t able to cut down all of the grasses, but I promised my daughter she could continue to be the “cutter”. Yeah baby!
Before we could head back indoors, I made sure to give one final lesson to my protege and shared with her the differences between “cool season” and “warm season” grasses. We got down on our knees and I showed her how this Feather Reed grass is already showing signs of new growth in this cold weather:  

All in all, a damn good day. I got some gardening chores done and my daughter was officially introduced to power tools.

4 thoughts on “Cutting back the ornamental grasses with my daughter

  1. outlawgardener

    I knew that my parents had me because they needed someone to change the channel on the T.V. (Before the new technology, children were the remote controls.) Had I known that having children would also provide garden workers, I might have considered it myself! Great job with the hedge trimmer!

  2. Angie

    A girl after my own heart – I love power tools! She’s done a great job and nice for you to have acquired a keen apprentice!

  3. Modern Mia

    Woohoo! My 2nd son is our power tool guy for the garden. Our daughter wants to be but she’s almost 4 so we’re waiting. I can’t wait to show her this post so she can get ready. Thanks!

  4. Amanda

    This is great! Your daughter is a champ! I just stumbled upon your blog while searching for appropriate reed grasses to plant along our sunny stream for this season and I’m excited to keep on following!

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