Friday, October 31, 2014

Goodbye you lovely terror

Grasses really do deserve more use in rock gardens.   I hate to ruin the romance of the effect by even desribing it: the trembling impermanent softness of grass against the immobile permanent hardness of stone.

{Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) has suprised me with its irrigationless performance as well as weed-supressing frame for one end of the crevice garden, despite what I'd heard about it; Bob Nold says it will fail to suppress weeds upon being mowed. So I don't.}

Muhlenbergia torreyi

The old-school Czechs point out that it is one of the finest ways to making a naturalesque garden-outcropping look like nature.  Currently, I am trialing Muhlies, Fluffgrass (Erioneuron- it's a real thing) and others for garden-worthiness.  But this Halloween post is in honour (or horror) of one of the first plants in my first crevice garden which was removed, with great apology and ritual (and a little bit of cursing) recently.

 Sporobolus cryptandra, or Sand Dropseed, is an elegant and unmistakable plants who, like a custodian to the dirtiness of roadsides, seems to often be the first native perennial to colonise and resolve weedy verges, medians, parkways, and college-rental-houses around here.  I saw it rubbing shoulders with Kocia today all over town on a bike-ride, slowly and politely taking the land back from those tumbleweed hordes.

Sand Dropseed is incredibly xeric and of elegant lines, with a shining straw-blonde colour in winter.

It was the only plant to survive the initial planting of the hot South-face of my unwatered sandstone crevice garden, and even in dry years it is also an unforgivable, aggressive, effective, systemic, psychotic reseeder.  I kept finding its slightly-different green coloured blades among the buffalograss below, as well as sprouting in the middle of prized cushion plants.

And so, my old friend, whom I grew from seed collected from a littered, sunbaked knoll in Denver, whose off-centred suave parted-hairdo aesthetic I've grown to love, was axed (table-knived, actually) from the rock garden last week.

Sentimentally, the dried carcass of the plant was stuffed in a paper bag to dry and shed its fine seeds, which I'll fondly store in the fridge until I can find the right place for this great plant, which might just end up taking in a view of the neighbourhood from my apartment-house roof...


Panayoti Kelaidis said...

All of us love Sporobolus
Except when is horrobolus
We like it when it's wrightii
And pokes you smack dab in the eye
I's fine with it's airoides
And gets along with dose and dees
But when it's epithet's cryptandra
(Which conquers worlds like Alexander)
No wonder they call it sacaton
When it seeds you'll have to sack a ton!

ineedacupoftea said...

Introducing- the world's first and only poem about sand dropseed. Brilliant PK. You're wild.