Grasses.

Oh grasses, when you are good- you are so very good! But when you are bad? You are HORRID.

Case in point: Good! Beautiful Little Bluestem mixed in with that ‘Arcado Pink’ Hyssop. What isn’t to love?

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Good: Look how lovely these Big and Little Bluestem play with the willow (not-so Dwarf Arctic Blue) and the much lamented Anise Hyssop.

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Good: Oh Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’- you are just plain lovely wherever you are (specifically because of your Sterile Darryl Seed Heads).

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Bad: Would you just lookit all those Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans– a native here) seedlings! LOOKIT! SO MANY! EVERYWHERE!

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Here is my lament-  How on Earth does one have non-sterile grasses in their garden without ending up with masses of baby non-sterile grasses in every nook and corner?

When I see the Grass Borders on Gardener’s World I’m alternately in delighted awe and abject horror. I see it in your eyes too Monty!

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All those seeds! Those seed heads are what give most grasses their late summer-fall drama and I love them for it. But did you see that picture above? SO MANY SEEDLINGS! Is the honest solution to go out and deadhead those same lovely seed heads before they drop the mother lode of fertile seeds planning their takeover of my garden?

No seriously, that’s an honest question: What do you do?

I’ve taken to my secateurs to lop off the flowers of the Indiangrass before they put on their show, particularly because they seem to be the biggest offenders, but I really hate doing it. The flowers and seed heads are so beautiful and add so much drama… and so many seeds. The Gardener’s Lament.

I’d absolutely love to hear your solutions for this problem- I’m all ears!

One thought on “Grasses.

  1. The only ‘grass’ I’ve planted is miscanthus and it’s growing into a huge clump that I know is going to be difficult to divide when the time comes. I know grasses are an intrinsic part of the kind of garden I want to have, but I’ve held off for just the reason you describe.

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