Thursday, July 16, 2015

Foliage Follow Up: Grasses

Planting grasses did not easily come to my garden. We always thought of them as weedy. That notion has changed.

Lemon Grass with self-seeded Marigolds and deliberately planted Pentas. 

Cymbopogon is used in Thai cooking. The Hispanic woman
who gave me a start of it said they used it for tea. My dog and cat like to chew the leaves of Lemon Grass.

Lemon Grass with pink Pentas and an Angel Trumpet.

It's hard to wow visitors with Muhlenbergia capillaris mid summer. It's thin and reedy. Just wait until late August when it flowers.

Muhly Grass is backed here by Daylilies, now out of bloom and surrounded with lavender Lantana that has taken ample rain to mean it is time to grow, not bloom. Only I see the day-to-day potential here. A raised bed should show it off well. This is the first year this row  of Muhly is big enough to make a show.

When blooms appear I will pull the Tithonia in this bed that tends to fall over into this row of Gulf Muhly and let it stand alone, backlit by the sun in all its glory.

The Upper Garden has Vetiver Grass used as a sort of hedge.

 Newer clumps to the left. Vetiver, like Gulf Muhly, really should be burned in early spring to get rid of the old growth.

As Vetiver matures and dries, the tips of the leaves fold over and curl, taking on the look of a unicorn horn.

Except for Feather grass in spring, there are no other intentional grasses in my gardens.

Joining the rush to Foliage Follow-Up. What pun?


  1. Ha, "rush" -- I saw that. Muhly grasses don't do well here, the pink Muhly that I planted a couple of years ago barely blooms before our first frost. It took me a while to warm up to ornamental grasses too.

  2. I love ornamental grasses, but we seem to be a lot more limited for choice in OZ,Make that Western Aust, we cant even bring plants home from another state our quarantine laws are so strict. I would love some of that muhly but havent seen it here, is it a USA native?

  3. I remember your pretty Muhly grass last fall. I didn't think it would grow here until I saw it planted along a parkway median. I have to look for some.

  4. Your lovely Muhly grass is spectacular in bloom. It's not fond of our wet winters here.

  5. Once you come around to grasses, you just want more and more, don't you? I do anyway. Deer don't eat them, and they have great form and a long season of interest. Well, except for pink muhly, which as you point out, doesn't do much until fall. But then, what a show! Thanks for joining in the celebration of foliage.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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