|Picture courtesy of Irving Park Garden Club|
I love ornamental grasses. They have always been one of my favorite parts of a garden. They can be used in container plantings and in perennial beds. They can be used for borders, backgrounds, or accent plants. Most have winter interest and not only look good in the cold months, but provide food for birds and other animals as well. And best of all, they are really easy to care for. Most require a quick whack once a year, maybe a little fertilizer, and then every few years they may need dividing.
|Picture courtesy of All the Latest Dirt|
I was on vacation visiting a friend in Milwaukee last week. One day I was drawn to the computer (even though I swore myself a respite for the week) and remembered that there was a webinar on ornamental grasses I had signed up for. I began watching it. I was soon joined by my berating daughter who knew the promise I had made to stay away from technology. She quickly switched from “You said you wouldn’t go on the computer” to “Why would you want to waste your time watching slides and listening to boring people talk about grass?” I have to agree on the boring people talking about grasses part. The horticulture industry needs more people who can get excited and relate info in a non-boring, non-scientific way. But that was beside the point.
Waste of time?! Look at all these cool grasses! Check out how the seed heads of the Purple Lovegrass (Eragrostis spectabilis) have this purplish-pink glow when they ripen. Look at how fluffy the Japanese Silvergrass (Miscanthus sinesis) is and imagine it blowing in a breeze. They are amazing! The webinar was given by someone in California, so I was also seeing a lot of grasses that were ‘new’ to me, grasses that aren’t hardy in the cold tundra of zone 4 in MN. Fu-un! Look what they get to grow!
My friend walks in and hears the tail end of my purplish-pink hue explanation. She starts teasing me. It amazes her I can get so excited about grass. It becomes a source of fun for the rest of the week.
We go for a walk everyday and I steer us toward the grasses, I point out the height, the feathery texture, the sound, the pink hues. We go to the Milwaukee Home & Garden show and I have to stop and view the grasses. It becomes a metaphor, instead of stop and smell the roses, stop and view the grasses. My friend and her family will never look at grasses the same again.
What excites you in the garden? What is it, that when you talk about it, your passion shows through? What do you want to share with everyone so they like it as much as you do? What do you need to stop and appreciate?