My Grasses in Winter

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! 💕

 

Piet Oudolf as Inspiration

I watched an absolutely wonderful film about Piet Oudolf earlier this week and want to share it with you!

Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf

The film takes a look at some of the gardens he has designed, such as the Lurie Garden in Chicago, the High Line in New York, or the Hauser and Wirth garden in the south of England. It also focuses on the changing of seasons in these and in his own garden, Hummelo.

A very big thank you to Angie at North Trail Living for sharing this film and for posting links to several other documentaries on famous gardeners too. Do take a look at her post!

My Man of Many Talents gave me two more of Piet Oudolf’s books for Christmas. I haven’t started reading this one yet, which is a German version, describing how his garden ‘Hummelo’ evolved.

But I completely devoured this one on Christmas and Boxing Day…

… reading it from cover to cover! It is actually a list of plants, with photos, descriptions and useful planting information…

This picture has been open on my desk for several weeks now and is providing inspiration for my next spring project.

It is from another German version of one of Oudolf’s books, written with Noël Kingsbury. I am afraid I don’t know the English title…

 

Have you visited any of Piet Oudolf’s gardens? Read any of bis books? If you know of him, what do you think about his planting style? Would love to hear anything you know about him or his gardens!

Thanks for reading!

Ice, End of November 2020

We had some rather pretty ice last week. But as the days went by, with fog freezing onto the plants and trees in layers, I was a little worried. Thank goodness it melted on Monday as my grasses were groaning under the weight; shaking them had no effect, this ice was SOLID!

Brrrr! Winter is here! Is it winter in your garden today?

❄️☃️❄️

 

In a Vase on Monday: (N)ice Surprise

The sun came out again today and yet there is still some frost and ice on the trees on the shadow side and the temperature up on our hill barely rose above freezing. So I was absolutely sure I would not find anything but grasses for my vase today.

I was wrong!

My first Hellebore to flower is ‘Diva’, which was in a pot by the front door last year and was planted out in spring. Still shy and not quite open, but with many more buds on it, so I felt this one could be cut in the hope she will survive a few days in a vase.

But the biggest surprise was this Geum bud… will it open I wonder?

The seedhead is also from the Geum, the grass is my favourite Miscanthus ‘Federweisser’ and the foliage is from my Geraniums… I think Rozanne, and from a Heuchera. The red stems are from a young willow and I think they broke off under the weight of the ice (or maybe a hare has had a nibble?!).

So I am very happy to be joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme, without which I would not have discovered these treasures before our first snow falls! (Supposedly tonight. ☃️)

Thanks to Cathy for hosting In a Vase on Monday. Do visit her to see what she has found in her garden to share today.

Have a great week!

 

A Walk around the November Garden

Instead of a video I thought I would take you on a walk around the garden with photos this month. It means I can focus on particular plants (and look up the names I have forgotten! 😉).

So get yourself a cup of something warming and join me on the tour. ☀️☕️🍁

First of all, a frosty morning view of the Oval Bed  with the new (unfinished) Moon Bed behind it. (More on the Moon Bed in another post). The grasses are Stipa tenuissima and Miscanthus ‘Federweisser’.

Stipa tenuissima and Miscanthus Federweisser

The Butterfly Bed is still quite pink! It is home to a wonderful pink Aster and a lovely pink Chrysanthemum – ‘Anastasia’ – that is unperturbed by rain and frost..

Let’s have a closer look…

The other side of the Butterfly Bed has been widened and I hope to make it look more interesting that side too next summer. There are already some Asters which have mostly gone over now, and Geranium Rozanne has been added to this side for summer interest. I have also planted some bulbs on this side.

Rozanne is still flowering, even after several frosts!

The sedums are turning brown, but as long as they remain standing I will not chop them down. The tall grass in the background is Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’.

Now let’s look at the Herb Bed.

A couple of the Stipa grasses have been replaced with seedlings. They do produce an awful lot of seedlings but they are very easy to remove and replant.

A surprise bloom or two on the Echinacea and Geum are providing the last splashes of colour in this bed.

Moving across to the Oval Bed now, you can see some Verbena bonariensis still standing. On the right is Miscanthus Federweisser. It really does have very silvery seedheads… the palest I have seen. It is for that reason that I planted the same one in the Moon Bed.

These are the seedheads of Echinacea ‘Green Envy’…

And a dear little Polygonum/Bistorta affinis ‘Darjeeling Red’ that has appeared in vases on and off all year. It flowers all summer, with shades varying from very pale pink to bright red, and I think the seedheads and foliage are also attractive, especially at this time of year.

The pale pink Arctanthemum arctica that I featured in a vase a few weeks ago has now gone over, but after removing the flower stalks the foliage below was surprisingly fresh and I am hoping it will remain green a bit longer.

Another Chrysanthemum (C. indicum ‘Oury’) is open in this bed too. A lovely deep pinky red. It should get a bit bushier by next year.

So if you are still with me (!) let’s have a quick look at the Sunshine Bed…

The Helianthus had to come out as they were mildewy. I shall leave the rest of the perennials standing as long as possible.

Here is a Chrysopsis still in flower…

And the lovely very late flowering Aster ericoides ‘Schneetanne’…

And finally a glimpse towards the Larch ‘Forest’ beyond the Sunshine Bed…

And looking back towards the Oval, Butterfly and Moon Beds. Eventually these will all be linked up… 😉

Thank you for joining me. I hope you enjoyed the tour. I will share some pictures of the containers in the yard soon as well.

☀️🍁☀️

Wishing you some autumn sunshine. All my photos were taken over the past week, but since Monday we are in thick fog again today with no prospect of it clearing for a few days!

Happy gardening!