The topic of September’s Picture This Contest hosted by the folks over at Gardening Gone Wild is ornamental grasses. Like many gardeners, I love using ornamental grasses in my garden, either as large specimens or interplanted in a mixed border with shrubs and perennials. Years ago, I started with several varieties of miscanthus and pennisetum that grew well in my garden and have been divided several times.
More recently I have ventured into planting native grasses like Chasmanthium latifolium (Sea Oats) and Panicum virgatum (Switch Grass). As I mature as a gardener I find it easier to see the multi-seasonal beauty of grasses and I realize they are ideal to use in virtually every garden scenario since there is a grass to compliment any planting combination.
For my entry in September’s Picture This contest, I have decided to post a photo of some porcupine grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Strictus’) and switch grass after a snow storm in mid-January 2009. Last winter in southwestern CT (zone 6) was filled with snowstorms, ice storms and biting wind. I took this photo after several inches of heavy snow had fallen (see how the hemlock branches in the background are bending under the weight of the snow).
I like the way the snow is stuck all throughout in the grass and on top of the frozen plumes. You can see how the winter winds have battered the grasses but they’re still standing tall ready to weather the next storm. Kind of reminds me of me when I went out into my garden to take this photo - collar of my coat lifted high, shoulders hunched, back turned to the wind and just trying to make it through another winter so I could enjoy the warm days of spring that were just around the corner.
To see all the other entries in the September Picture This contest, check out the comments section of this post. There’s lots of gardening inspiration to be found in those photos, some of them are breathtaking.