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I went thru a period wherein I never left a nursery without a grass or sedge in hand, usually several. I just couldn’t pass them up. I’d pop them in here and there in the garden, and loved watching them wave their wild arms in the breeze. I planted a couple Stipa tenuissima years ago, and those little critters, what performers. Some worry about their promiscuous inclinations, but they’re so easy to pull if you really feel inclined. And the new growth color, could anything be lovelier.



Miscanthus sinensis, a most reliable grass.
Miscanthus sinensis, a most reliable grass.


Still, I’ve been a little less inclined to buy grasses since we moved to Flamingo Park, though I did bring an old faithful from the Alameda Garden, Miscanthus sinensis. That plant has performed well for years on end—in spite of being moved and sheered and rearrange every which way—in the ground, divided, potted. It keeps looking great with just a little water and an occasional handful of compost. And we also inherited a huge Silver Grass on the new Hellstrip. That one is also destined to be divided and replanted in a longer stretch.

This week, I strolled back through Concordia University, and did a slower take, really concentrated on that space–with no distractions. I know it’s different that a home garden, this big campus setting, but I love their exuberant use of grasses and mass planting. It’s got me re-thinking how I might incorporate some of the ideas into my own garden.


Vanessa Gardner Nagel's sedge circle, Carex flacca.
Vanessa Gardner Nagel’s sedge circle, Carex flacca.

I’ve also been pondering where I could do a planting, like the fabulous crop circle in Vanessa Gardner-Nagel’s garden. Talk about swoon worthy. It’s akin to a mass planting of Carex at Floramagoria, which I also love, but Floramagoria’s is planted inside a concrete square. After seeing Vanessa’s dual Carex circles with gravel pathways, ah pitter-patter, that’s the arc I’m after.

So methinks I’m due to rekindle my love affair with grasses. Love their movement, love their texture, love their utterly cooperative attitude.

I hope to see you at the nursery soon. I’ll be the one with a rose in my teeth and Carex in each hand–at which point I’ll realize, I’m going to need a cart.