As my regular readers will have gathered by now, I love grasses!
I simply do not have enough of them and hope to remedy that over the next few years. But today I thought I would reflect on those that stand up to winter best in my garden.
First of all my favourite Pennisetum, on the corner of the Herb Bed.
Pennisetum alooecuroides var. viridescens
It is a bushy plant with compact growth which means the dark seedheads remain pretty stable all winter, even with a lot of snow on them. This is a windy corner too, and extremely hot and dry in summer, but the Pennisetum is completely unperturbed by wind or drought. Definitely a thumbs up for this one. 👍
Miscanthus Red Chief and Adagio with Calamagrostis (Karl Foerster) in the Butterfly Bed are still looking fairly fresh and are completely intact.
The Calamagrostis thins down a little over winter making less of a statement, but remains tall and straight with virtually no flopping. Red Chief loses its pink tinge a little, but is a lovely golden brown with a touch of bronze on the seedheads.
Adagio (the smaller Miscanthus further down the bed) flops a little and is more susceptible to the snow, but again it is still a lovely golden brown. Thumbs up!
At the far end of the Butterfly Bed (far left)is Miscanthus sinensis Hermann Müssel…
I am afraid he hasn’t done well for two years in a row so if he doesn’t take off this summer I will move him to another spot. Not one I would chose in future.
Then we have Miscanthus ‘Federweißer’ in the Moon Bed…
…and in the Oval Bed (on the left).
Wonderful! I fell in love with this plant in spring 2020 and now have two fabulous specimens. These are keepers! 👍
The other Miscanthus in the Oval Bed at the front is Beth Chatto. I must say I was not that impressed in the summer, but this is a very sturdy plant with tough stems and has stood up to heavy wet snow quite well. The seedheads have lasted well too.
So, nice for winter interest but with less impact in summer.
Finally, the Erogrostis trichodes…
Despite being on the windiest corner (and getting smothered in heavy snow this winter) it still has the ability to look pretty whatever the weather. Raindrops or frost enable this little grass to stand out, making it a must for my winter garden. It adds some extra sparkle. 😃 (Oh, and do you see those hare pawprints in the snow in the background?!) 🐇
The Panicums and another Miscanthus in the Sunshine Bed have long collapsed or look very dishevelled. I love the strong background they give to this bed in summer among the Helianthus. But they offer very poor winter interest. I know from other bloggers that some Panicums stand up better than others, but I think I prefer to stick with what has already proved successful in this garden… Calamagrostis, Pennisetum and the Miscanthus I have mentioned. More of these will be part of my spring 2021 project.
By the way, my Stipa tenuissima have all been completely buried by the snow. I wonder how long it will take for them to stand up again when it melts….
What grasses do you grow, and do they still look good now? Any recommendations for warm and dry spots would be much appreciated!
Have a great weekend! 💕