Friday, February 18, 2011


When we bought our house, it had already been professionally landscaped.  Not very well, in my opinion, but landscaped nonetheless.  The landscaping is pretty typical boring low-maintenance suburban stuff.  The kind you see in McMansion developments.  Not my style at all.  Not that I really have a style.  Unless you consider "melee of random plants and flowers" a style. 

This year I hope to start replanting the beds around the house, as well as adding some new garden beds in the backyard.  First on the "To-do List" is re-locating the grasses on the south and west sides of the house.   I believe they're some sort of Pennisetum, but I'm not sure.  Grasses aren't really my thing.

It's not that I don't like grasses.  They're nice, low maintenance plants.  They provide winter interest.  They're hardy and require little water.  And they produce lovely seed heads.

Those lovely seed heads then produce more grasses. 

Usually in places I don't want grasses.  So, the grasses will be relocated somewhere out in the wider landscape where they can be hardy and interesting and spread to their little heart's content without infiltrating the other plantings. 

They're really getting much too big to be next to the house, anyway.  I'll replace them with roses, which are much tidier plants for planting against the foundation, I think. 

It's still a bit too early to transplant the grasses, but I've chopped them back and done a little experimental digging to get an idea of the size of their root ball (huge!).  I will probably divide them when I move them, might as well do it while I have them out of the ground.  Now I just have to figure out where to put five giant grasses (probably ten, after dividing).  Good thing we have five acres!


  1. Oh, how exciting, Shannon, to get to design your garden. We started almost with a blank slate - a lawn and a few neglected shrubs. It has been a lot of fun to plan and plant and watch everything grow. I do hope you will take lots of pictures and post. Good luck!

  2. Dear Shannon, Just look upon it all as a blank canvas....and how exciting that you are now ready to start to paint your own garden pictures. I agree that more structured plantings work well close to the house and I am certain that the grasses will continue to thrive after moving.

    In any garden design I feel that it is best to start from the house and work out...remembering to think about the vistas from windows and pathways to entrances.

  3. I'll look forward to reading your posts and seeing your progress. What fun you will have along the way!

  4. I love grasses but as you said in the right place but for some reason I get annoyed cutting them down to make neat little stubs. I always wait to late and cute them down as new shoots are trying to come up. I love the wild look of them.

  5. Nice to find another blogger in the mid-Atlantic. There are surprisingly few of us. When I divide grasses, I use a hatchet and a mallet with which to bang on it. However, some grasses, Miscanthus in particular, are very invasive, and you may not want them to spread over your entire five acres. Best to eliminate them now.

  6. It is good you are 'plotting'. Take your time to visualize and capitalize on your views out your windows. Design what you want to see. I will be following your progress. It is fun to see what people come up with when they are starting almost from scratch.

  7. looks like a fun project and the grasses will certainly be happy wherever you put them

  8. I never liked grasses either, but this year I'm crazy about them -- have four different types. I'm excited to see where you move them and how they look this summer!

  9. Dear Shannon,

    I have passed on the Stylish Blogger Award to you. I hope you don't mind - I love reading your blog and hope I can make more people aware of it.


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