Tuesday, April 12, 2011

TWO OF MY FAVORITE GRASSES

Once in a while a perfect morning arrives. The cold front, which moved through here yesterday bringing a smattering of rain followed by strong winds has moved on. It has left us with cool clear air. All I want to do is walk around the garden drinking in the beauty of the flowers.
Even though the sun is shining I thought the light shining through the Mexican feather grass, Nassella tenuissima, was just stunning. It is starting to seed and will soon be a tangle of seed heads which will require a good combing.



The second grass in full bloom is ruby crystal grass, Melinis nerviglumis. Despite its appearance after a hard winter it has greened up nicely and is already blooming. There is no prettier grass than this South African native. It seeds readily in the gravel, staying green all summer long. It is drought and heat tolerant. These two grasses are a must for bringing light, movement and sheer joy to the garden.

12 comments:

  1. Nice shots of the grasses. My ruby grass doesn't look anything like yours. It got hit hard by the freezes last winter and still hasn't recovered. Hardly any foliage on mine, not to mention blooms. When it looks as good as yours, it's a pretty thing all right. But I still think Mexican feathergrass is prettier, and perhaps Gulf muhly is prettiest of all. :-)

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  2. Nice plants, and I like how they work with your hardscaping. Here, I'm thinking of replacing all my feather grass here, though just cutting it back to ground this year...1st time in 12 years!

    Every time I ride bike up street to hit the trail, I see many hundreds of Nasella volunteers from my original plants...oops. Ditto Damianita...

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  3. I have really enjoyed your blog with all the beautiful photos of your garden.

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  4. I LOVE the ruby crystals- those are by far my favorite of the grasses- every time we get blooms on any of them that we have it sells right away, which is good of course but then I don't have them to enjoy! I need to find a spot and plant some.
    k

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  5. I see a few clumps of feather grass in your pavers. Maybe Austin's colder winters holds it in check a bit. Our parkway/hellstrip with feather grass was just weeded yesterday, and my husband (who hates it for its invasive tendencies) pointed out feather grass seedlings coming up in the neighbor's parkway. Oops! My ruby grass didn't make it through our mild winter, just petered out.

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  6. Pam- I agree, feather grass and pink muhly are wonderful in great drifts but ruby grass can hold its own by itself. I just don't have the camera to capture how spectacular it is at the moment.
    Desert dweller- The good thing is it is easy to pull out when you don't want it. Just don't try to shred it.
    Cottage dome- Thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures.
    Kacky- That was how I got my first plant. Since then it has reseeded every year.
    Denise- Not on your life. I have hundreds coming up. Imagine how difficult it is for the likes of me to pull some out and throw them away. I do like to have odd ones here and there in the pavers. Softens the whole effect.

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  7. Jenny, I hope I didn't give up on my Ruby Crystals grass too soon. It was so dead-looking that I pulled it all out. I haven't seen any new sprouts from seeds, either. It is stunning, I'm with you on that. Your photos are gorgeous!

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  8. Lovely. I also grow Mexican feather grass, and I never thought of combing it. Ours is just starting to green up. I also love 'Ruby Crystals,' but it isn't hardy here. Rats.~~Dee

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  9. I love the Nasella, and here in our colder climate it's not reliably hardy, especially in the places I plant it. The few volunteers do better than the ones I plant, so I let them be. Mine never get as large and impressive as that though!

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  10. This pink crystal grass is awesome!

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  11. I just discovered Ruby Crystal a year or two ago, and I really love it. The deer don't mess with it, and it came back, even after "the big freeze" this year. Need to add more of it!

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  12. So beautiful! Such wonderful color in the ruby crystal grass blooms.

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