Grasses Get it Right

I’m always happy when someone else is onto what I’m onto, after decades in my field and observing what works or doesn’t, all over.

One of the best uses of ornamental grasses – where the mature size won’t likely overgrow the space or pose a safety / visibility hazard – is where there’s foot traffic. Of course, considerations for being exposed to temperature extremes (including reflected heat) is key in selecting a species.

Photos from Albuquerque’s ABQ Uptown, 11/10/2013 –

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just yards up the same sidewalk from the last post’s over-planted layers…Deergrass / Muhlenbergia rigens, just able to fit nearing maturity (young Chinese Pistache lost leaves rather early)

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Don’t Plant So Close [to Me]

That famous Police song from my high school days aside, it’s interesting how the same development has planting design examples to follow and avoid.

Plants don’t need to be second-rate life forms, when humans are there to steward them and the land. What helps once I have a project’s physical geography nailed down using fact (shunning perception), is to think in terms of how a plant will mature where used, without removals or radical maintenance and irrigation.

Photos from Albuquerque, 11/10/2013 –

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a 5′ wide space, hardy plants layered to provide year-round greenery…anything here that might be a problem?

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Fall Russet

High and cool Santa Fe after my presentation ended, the next day in lower and milder Albuquerque. Other than having to go back to my place even warmer and lower still, plus work and the drive to get there, it was nice to see the progression of autumn go beyond the cliche of yellows or more often, browns tinged with dull yellows.

Especially interesting was to see these plants of warmer affinities provide so much color, after they take summers in stride.

Photos from 11/9/2003 –

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Red Valerian / Centranthus ruber in Santa Fe, still a few blooms after quite a few frosts and possibly a hard freeze or two

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