Sunday, May 5, 2013

Diamonds drip...

An except from The Haphazard Gardener reads - 'Dew laden spiders' webs glistened in the early morning sun. Minute diamonds dripped from open panicles of Panicum and Miscanthus.'

Grasses became a passion of mine, adding another dimension to an already interesting selection available at the nursery. For the first couple of years many of them were kept in pots on either side of the steps which lead from the back patio - so I could observe them more closely and learn their needs.

In Arthur's day there were only three different grasses in the garden - 'The Blue Oat' grass - Helictotrichon sempervirens, 'Gardener's garters' - Phalaris arundinacea 'Picta' and a couple of different Pampas grasses, some more attractive in flower than others. Gardener's garters was considered a nuisance by many in the garden...the Pampas untidy, with wickedly sharp leaves and a nightmare to keep tidy. Only the Blue Oat grass behaved in a gentile manner, sending long flowering stems from neat basal growth.

But once I began to buy grasses many more became firm favourites...I grew Briza maxima in the square pots on the top of the front terrace steps. Viewed closer, the sweet heart-shaped flowers bounced and rattled gentle in the breeze: the open panicles of the Panicum species too...the photograph below taken on a grey day when the rain stopped for just a moment, but the diamonds dripped...

Panicum virgatum