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Posts Tagged ‘Piglet fountain grass’

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As we move into fall, the garden begins to take on an overripe, languid feel, an aging beauty going to seed, in this case, quite literally. However, it is still a beautiful place to stroll and take in the sights.

Lemon Queen sunflower (Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’) dominates the central island. I didn’t get around to staking the Queen earlier in the season, and now she is so well-attended by bumblebees, I am content to let her tumble out over her lesser neighbours.

Lemon Queen walk

The ornamental grasses are taking on a starring role in the border as their seedheads mature.

Lemon Queen and Grasses

My favorite is probably Redhead Fountaingrass (Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Redhead’), which has already been magnificent for weeks.

Pennisetum Alopecuroides 'Redhead'

Its little cousin Piglet (Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Piglet’) has a softer look, with gently arching stems.

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In addition to airy seedheads, the blades of switchgrass add colour interest. Here is Shenandoah (Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’) touched with scarlet.

Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah'

The various ligularia species have been brightening shady corners since midsummer. Here is Desdemona (Ligularia dentata ‘Desdemona’).

Ligularia dentata 'Desdemona'

Of course, fall is the season for asters. Here is Pink Bouquet (Aster dumosus ‘Pink Bouquet’) backed by Silver Brocade artemisia (Artemisia stelleriana ‘Silver Brocade’).

Aster dumosus 'Pink Bouquet' and Artemisia 'Silver Brocade'

By autumn, the annuals have matured and are adding touches of brillant colour. The caryopteris, or bluebeard, is adding a pretty blue and the deep wine-cerise of Angelica is outstanding with phlox and sedum. Here is a selection of other garden highlights.

To visit other September gardens, please drop by May Dream’s Garden Bloggers’ Day roundup, linked here.

Cleome

Cleome

Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Longwood Blue'

Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Longwood Blue’

Angelica gigas

Angelica gigas

Rainbow Knockout Rosa 'Radcor'

Rainbow Knockout Rosa ‘Radcor’

Calamintha nepeta 'Blue Cloud'

Calamintha nepeta ‘Blue Cloud’

Echinacea 'Green Jewel'

Echinacea ‘Green Jewel’

Black Adder Agastache and Hosta Krossa Regal

Black Adder Agastache and Hosta Krossa Regal

Anemone hupehensis 'Pink Saucer'

Anemone hupehensis ‘Pink Saucer’

Joe Crow

Joe Crow

Woodland Walk

Woodland Walk

Tamarack Walk

Tamarack Walk

Shade Walk

Shade Walk

Japanese Painted ferns, hostas and Tiger Eye sumac with Amur Maple

Japanese Painted ferns and hostas underplanting Amur Maple with Tiger Eye Sumac in background.

Royal Standard Hostas

Royal Standard Hostas

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Daylilies work well for me because I start to lose interest in the garden later in the season. I love that glorious burst of growth in the spring, the dazzling flowers of summer. By the end of August, I’m ready to move on to other activities.

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I’m content to stroll about the garden and not lift a finger on its behalf. I never trim back my plants until spring. Many of them provide winter interest, with interesting seed pods or twisty stems.

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I can further justify my autumnal laziness with the fact that the seeds and leaf litter the garden offers will feed and protect a host of insects and birds over the freezing months ahead.

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There are still a few flowers to be seen, such as a late-blooming head of masterwort (Astrantia major ‘Sunningdale Variegated‘), above.

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And here is a bouquet of Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) tucked in amongst the lowest branches of the corkscrew hazel.

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The chocolate Joe Pye (Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’) is just wrapping up its blooming season for the year.

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A few heads of phlox are contributing a bit of colour. This is Phlox paniculata ‘Sherbet Cocktail’.

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The last, the very last flower to bloom in my garden every year is this monkshood (Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Barker’s Variety’). The flowers are set off nicely by the new green coat that the house received this summer.

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The bright berries of the aptly named American Winterberry (Ilex verticillata ) brighten a shady corner and make a contribution to the garden’s offerings for wildlife.

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The grasses are the mainstay of the fall garden. This little cutie is Piglet Fountain Grass (Pennisetum Alopecuroides ‘Piglet’).

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The plumes of this unnamed miscanthus species look fabulous when backlit by the sun. This is one of the tallest grasses in the garden, but two others surpass it. Both are new this year, and are only just opening their plumed heads now. Hopefully, next year they will fill out more and reach maturity a bit earlier in the season. You can make out Giant Maidengrass (Miscanthus gigantus) in the photo below, standing to the left of the sunlit plumes. Behind it is the tallest of the three, the native Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii).

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I thoroughly enjoyed the ornamental grasses in my garden this fall. So much so that when I came across a selection of grasses that had been marked down for ‘end-of-season’ sale, I took advantage of the great prices and picked up another six varieties. Because the gardening season is nearly finished here, I just tucked them into an open space near the house. It should be a nice, protected spot for them to overwinter and then next spring I will relocate them to a permanent home.

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Miscanthus gigantus

Grasses don’t look like much when they’re just potted-up youngsters, a few wispy blades. You’d never guess that the Giant Maiden Grass (Miscanthus gigantus), above, has the potential to grow into a big, sturdy clump standing up to 12 feet tall!

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Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'

Here is another miscanthus, Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’), which has interesting striped foliage. It gets to be 5 or 6 feet tall and makes an interesting accent.

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Pennisetum Alopecuroides 'Moudry'

I also purchased three fountain grass varieties. These are more compact plants than the two miscanthus varieties above. Black-flowering Fountain Grass (Pennisetum Alopecuroides ‘Moudry’) forms a compact clump 2 to 3 feet tall and produces interesting dark seedheads. The latin name, pennisetum, translates as “feather bristle”, referring to the bristly structures surrounding the flowers on the inflorescence.

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Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Redhead'

The bristles referred to in the name show up well in the above photograph of Redhead Fountain Grass (Pennisetum Alopecuroides ‘Redhead’).

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Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Piglet'

The third fountain grass I picked up is Piglet (Pennisetum Alopecuroides ‘Piglet‘). It forms a neat little clump that grows to about 18 inches tall. What’s not to love about a grass called Piglet?

The grasses I currently have in my garden are native to North America, while these new additions are imports. I did get one more native grass to add to my collection, however, Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium). Its seedheads are very different from the plumes of miscanthus or stems of pennisetum. The geometrical-shaped seed pods hang on gracefully arching stems. I look forward to seeing all the grasses next spring. Sleep tight!

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Chasmanthium latifolium

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