A Tale of Grasses and Shrubs

Of course, things go on, after my chance meeting.

I’m glad the CEO and suits from Tenet met and got to see their main hospital’s grasses and shrubs left alone. In contrast to the savagery on the same elsewhere. Hopefully, they even noticed.

Does contrast help? Maybe…so will time, I think.

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these grasses are easy-care – Giant Sacaton and Deergrass

Just cut back one time in early spring, then enjoy the next 11 months. Anyone knows we have plenty of wind to make them play, 24-7!

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this kind of grass is easy, too…but more mindless and intensive
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apparently not all…the MOB next door

I have some great pics of this before they got the treatment.

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I’m just grateful the same MOB left their Blue Grama and Bull Muhly alone

You don’t even have to be born, bred, and “colleged” on the great plains, like me, to know dormant grasses look great all winter. And that stubble doesn’t.

They also provide food and shelter for the tough fauna that stay in winter.

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not a Deergrass left unscathed, where curb appeal should be prime
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Geronimo would be ticked off at his Apache Plume
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but all is fine in front, small and young…visitor and conference room view

Some Texans don’t take to their native plants mistreated. Add to that New Mexico-born Geronimo, Arizona-born Cochise, and so on. All saw these plants in the wild in their states.

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much better!

5 Replies to “A Tale of Grasses and Shrubs”

  1. I personally prefer to leave all ornamental grasses alone! I would rather look at the dried leaves than a buzz cut stump. I recommend to my clients that if they want the dry leave out, they can put on leather gloves and gently pull and clean up the plant. Or left alone the leaves will decay in time. Here in Houston most of the crews managing landscapes love to shear and trim everything in sight. I keep hoping this trend will change!

    Only on rare occasions do I like some pruned, like that small front garden in La Jolla I posted on a while ago. Good point – they may be responding to dry, plus neat…even with loads of space as in the MOB. Seems blogs can help get out the word on better less counter-productive maintenance…


    1. I agree with you…in nature nojuan does….stumps are horrendous…just like a mutilated….tree…

      I will be doing a post on what people do to various plants, vs. what they look like allowed to grow. If anyjuan will listen!


  2. Oh dear, oh dear! Those grass stumps are ugly. I have several clumps of Panicum in the front garden that I’m leaving alone right now, although I’ve been tempted to cut some of them to bring their beauty inside, not to trim them for the sake of tidiness. I love them.

    Yes, and they have so much room to let plants completely grow out…and the green ones by the MOB provided something nice, since so much is brown now. Arrangements with them, though, that’s nice…used to have leftover small pots with different local grasses in each.


  3. I sometimes fall into that trap – walking around with pruning shears and suddenly EVERYthing needs to be trimmed. Especially after a hard freeze. At first my goal is to simply get the mushy stuff out. But then I start with a snip here, even things out over there, and if I’m not careful multiple areas will end up looking like a little boy after his very first haircut. Tears optional.

    Is there any benefit to the plant at all from being chopped back that way? The first time I trimmed grass clumps it was because I was told it was the thing to do – and I obeyed mindlessly, sure it conveyed some advantage. But does it? Or is this more a way to keep crews busy for at least one more week during the slow season?

    I’ve even gotten freeze damage on some plants by pruning after a frost, or too soon before spring really sets in. Ha ha – that little boy’s haircut look I can see! On the benefits not being there, there is so much imitation of such practices…here, you should see all the ocotillos that have been sheared 3-6′ above ground level…I mean, why? The worst are educated management actually demanding such maintenance because they see it everywhere (“it must be right”), then paying more to do it.


  4. Even in High Desert, which is supposed to be more plant aware, they sheared the Calamogrostis x acutifolia ‘Karl Forster’ into shaving brush stumps this past fall. Those photos above would look even better with double the plant density (or more!).

    I noticed that so much. After the 2011 freeze, I remember so many rosemaries and other shrubs were lifted up so to look like trees…my former neighbor did it, seeing it all over town. Glad they grew out the next year and he saw the error of his ways. Agreed…every plant there needs to reach maturity.


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