Sunday, January 1, 2012

Holiday Garden Additions

It was a good holiday for the garden.

I got a new pair of my favorite gardening gloves, which are stretchy and close fitting, so no bulk hanging off the ends of one's fingers, but with nice leather on the palms and insides of the fingers for dealing with thorny roses.

Mom and Dad gave me a bird feeder with pole for my birthday.  It's made by a company called "Droll Yankee," which they assure me is the best.  So far, it seems to have defied the squirrels and doves, so it's an all-round success.  (Also, I've switched to safflower seeds, which are said not to appeal to S & D and which fit better in my existing bird feeder anyway.)

New bird feeder in G-n-R bed, embellished with new baby grasses
 The climax, of course, was the awesome new Savio 2050 pond pump, which is currently sending gushing torrents of water through our waterfall. It's so strong, it picks pebbles up from the bottom of the pond and sends them through the waterfall. Yowza.

The amazing pumping power of the our new Savio 2050.  Actually, the camera doesn't really capture the full volume.  It's like this, only more.
 Then the denouement was my birthday present from Matt--eight (EIGHT!) new 'White Cloud' Muhlenbergia capillaris (the grass we saw at the Atlanta Bot Gar that almost made me miss my cousin's wedding) and a sample pack of 12 more grasses that Matt picked out for me from Dove Creek Gardens in Tennessee.  (Why isn't there a major grass nursery here in Texas???  We have lots of grass. And not a lot of water. No brainer.)

Matt's sampler of interesting grasses
Here's what was in the sampler pack:

Andropogon scoparius 'Prairie Blues' (little bluestem--some debate as to whether this cultivar is in Andropogon or Schizochyrium)
Carex buchananii (leatherleaf sedge )
C. pendula (weeping sedge)
C. testacea 'Prairie Fire' (sedge)
Eragrostis elliotii 'Blue Eros' (blue lovegrass)
Festuca actae 'Banks Peninsula Blue' (blue fescue)
Miscanthus sinensis 'Nippon' (maidengrass)
Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal' (switchgrass)
Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Moudry' (fountain grass)
P. messiacum 'Red Buttons' (fountain grass)
P. villosum 'Cream Falls' (feathertop)

We're using the 'White Cloud' as the background matrix for the Grass-n-Roses bed, studded with the various sampler grasses.  So far, everything is tiny little dry tufts, so it's a little hard to tell what it will ultimately look like.  I imagine some fine-tuning will eventually be required, just as it was for the Mexican feathergrass (Stipa/Nasella tenuissima), 'Dwarf Hamlin' fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides), and 'Blonde Ambition' big grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis) we had already planted.  Oh, and the cute little nimblewill (Muhlenbergia shreberi), sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), and big muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri).

Pennisetum messiacum 'Red Buttons,'
glowing in the sun

 All told, that makes 18 kinds of grasses in the G-n-R bed.  Plus inland sea oats in the shade bed: 19!  Not bad.  It's not quite the Grass Garden at Kew, but still--not bad.

Another view of waterfall & G-n-R bed

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