Sunday, September 20, 2009

Autumn Plumes

At this time of the year I really enjoy the seed heads of the ornamental grasses in our yard. We grow a dozen different varieties.   My favourite in the fall of the year  is the plumes of the Miscanthus sinensis 'Huron Sunrise' and a new one in the garden 'Huron Solstice'  Both have plumes of dark pink.   As they age they become a softer pink and last right through the winter.  They remain a focal point and a bit of architecture when the weather turns nasty. 

Others that are worthy of planting in our sandy soil are  Calmagrotis 'karl foerster' with it's golden seed heads.  This grass grows very tall and it great in the middle of a flower bed or just on its own.   We have two panicums 'heavy medal' and 'prairie sky' that have blue grey foliage that produce a lovely large clump.  In the shade we have Chasmanthium latifolium or 'Northern Sea Oats'  In the breeze the flower heads rattle and in the autumn the foliage turns from green to an oat colour.  For natives we have Andropogon gerardii 'Big Blue Stem' and 'Little Blue Stem', Sporobulus heterolepis 'Prairie Dropseed' and Eragrostis trichodes 'Love Grass'.  

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