Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cool & Damp On The Way!

I think I caught a nice "peak shot" of one of my favorite ornamental grasses above. The annual feathertop grass (Pennisetum villosum) is one of those that we plant throughout our annual beds with the knowledge that they will start to contribute in mid-summer and really hit stride this time of year. The creamy inflorescences (flower/seed heads) really show up and add great texture. We plant about 300 each spring realizing that we'll have to wait three months for their showy contribution.

Saturday was a very productive work day. Janice and Tony worked with another eight or so volunteers clearing some of our annual beds in preparation for a cooler week. It was nice to have Kay there to help keep everyone on track and to run a cart back and forth. Jim H. and I worked with 20 individuals called "Weekenders". They all had orange, County Sheriff vests and are part of a program that allows them to do community service in lieu of fines or jail time. We removed gravel from the "dry sea" in the Japanese garden and it was a great effort by everyone. Larry helped keep the groups going and did some work over at the horticulture center. It is important to note that during our workday, there were 3,000+ high school kids and parents in the near vicinity for a regional cross-country meet. Needless to say, it was a chore trying to drive our carts due to all the obstacles. We did it though...One of our best workdays for sure! Check out the neat Heucherella 'Alabama Sunrise' below which is a cross beween coral bells (Heuchera) and foamy bells (Tiarella). This variety has golden foliage in spring that ages to the green that you see below. Looks like an exciting variety regardless and does well in part shade with moist, but well-drained soil. See the neat maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis) variety called 'Cabaret' which has lots of color along the leaf blades.

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