Saturday, October 21, 2006

Autumn light: confirmation

A group of Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Karl Foerster', Miscanthus purpurescens, Panicum virgatum 'Dallas Blues', and Panicum v. 'Shenandoah'.

Following several days of intermittent, heavy rain, the early morning sun is backlighting a group of grasses in my Federal Twist garden, confirming my plans to add other groupings of grasses that echo one another in an apparently random, but complementary, way.

The forms and colors of each grass stand out against the dark backdrop of the woods, and the backlighting brings out the character of each. The fluffy, white plumes of Miscanthus purpurescens add an especially natural feel to the planting, almost like white smoke, and contrast with the more formal calamagrostis. The Panicum 'Dallas Blues' has begun its turn toward pale yellow, which I remember will darken to a rich russet throughout winter.

We are nearing the end of the second year of planting, which has been slowed by need to control invasive weeds - the worst is a smothering blanket of Japanese stilt grass (Microstegium vimineum), with enough poison ivy and multiflora rose to cause additional trouble - and by my budget. So as winter nears, planning for next year's planting begins (I should say "continues").

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