Saturday, August 11, 2018

A little more applause for Stud Puppy

Stipa scribneri was sold back in the day at erstwhile Timberline Gardens as "Muhlenbergia 'Stud Puppy," a selection brought down from the mountains by TX/CO garden designer Tom Peace.  I took it to the books and found it to be what we must currently correctly call "Acnatherum scribneri," or Scribner's Needlegrass.  I'll stick with 'Stud Puppy, ' because it is. It really is, a real stud.

 Chelsea nursery humored me and grew on some propagules I gave them.   
Pretty cute in their #1 pots!
I could not help myself; I think I bought them back.

What's so great about it?
1. Most clumpgrasses are short-lived. It is not.
2. Most grasses prefer or require sun.  It tolerates bright shade quite nicely.
3. It grows dry, but not unirrigated in Western Colorado, hailing from 8000 feet or so in our mountains, so needing just a tad, weekly or monthly water, if grown down low.
4.  Left un-pruned, so that last year's yellow foliage stays- it still looks good. I think most warm season grasses look ratty if you don't clean them up.
5. It's firework-ball-arching habit makes it a lovely light-catching candidate for Meadow-style gardens, alongside the things like the real Muhlies,  Giant Sacaton grass, and Atlas Fescue.
6.  Grows in any soil.

Part of your classy Halloween yard display.

What are the downsides?
1. It reseeds. A little. So if you are a control freak, I'm sad for you.
2. It is slow-ish to establish.   This helps with #1 above.  But it grows as slow as a Switchgrass in the nursery, for me, and not at light-speed like Grama grasses and others.
3. Its thin substance leaves it casting little shadow, and therefore leaving room at its feet for smaller plants like groundcovers, bulbs, short cacti, and rock garden plants.  It works fine in a medium to large crevice garden.  Oh wait, this was supposed to be a list of downsides.

I've been growing it from three different sources- including my own collection from next to the fire department, I think it was, in Buena Vista.    It all looked close enough I've accidentally mixed them up.

I'll be growing it in the nursery in future years, so keep it in mind should you go to the April rock garden sale at Denver Botanic.

The APEX Crevice Garden: A Big Update after 3 years

Touching base in spring 2018.  Apex grows.

So coy, those Manzanitas.  This is Allan Taylor's "Red."

Unk buckwheat.

Mini forms of Hymenoxys acaulis are going to mix with tall ones and argentea.

I am never there to see the flowers on Petunia patagonica.   Huff.

Never enough Moltkia petrea, I've planted a few more.  Thanks Bill.
It really does behave like a blue daphne.

In a strike of the first theft in the garden, this Eriogonum kennedyi was dug up.  Such things are absolutely guaranteed to die when moved.  That's what a thief deserves. Just a couple other silver buns were taken.  

Phlox nana 'Perfect Pink' from David Salmon is like a pink version of the reblooming-dry-loving easy-grow flower-factory Zinnia grandiflora.

Hedysarum dshambulicum.

Monardella macrantha is a showstopper, but has not persisted.  

This aerial photo was taken as we were finishing; I think I know who the two figures are.

Stenotus acaulis

Tulipa linifolia does well at the base, near the true soil, and dislikes the top.

On "Mount Stireman", mound 3.

Agave toumeyana v bella is pupping. It likes the north exposures.
Rabeia albipuncta ex Molteno, a Stireman plant shining bright.

'Ochsenblut' Phlox courtesy of Mike Kintgen.
Still can't find a record for this Eriogonum. Any ideas, friends?

New Crevice Gardens Growing Up!

Turning a new leaf or two. Or thousands.

Stipa scribneri, formerly known from Tom Peace as "Stud Puppy."  
I'm going to get this plant out in more gardens or die trying.

This summer marks two big changes around here- I have essentially closed the landscape part of my company, Paintbrush (in favor of Garden Design and the Micronursery; I'll still make exceptions for very special native landscapes)  and we've moved house from a downtown Grand Junction apartment to a little 60s house in Fruita, Colorado.

Clank clank clank, drill drill, buzz buzz, pound pound pound, riiiip.  

Getting rid of all kinds of metal enclosures...

Gentiana dahurica and xMangave 'Pineapple Express'

Turbinicarpus lophophoroides (tender)

Sabal minor 'McClintock Strain', the first prick-lings in the new PBG nursery.

Eremurus roots, or sea spiders. 

The view now.

The dream... (At Bob's)
Inspiration for what we'd rather be looking at-  Bob Nold's incredible dry-meadow back yard.

Found a nice kind of "brown" to keep around for composting.

Moving the compost bin, I learned that it produces 2000 pounds of finished compost each year with its two bays, a thousand pounds harvested each June 1 and November 1.  It took two trips with the truck and help from my neighbors to move it.

Only one rose survived the influx of Agave immigrants.

How to kill all this damn grass.

Experimental fertilizer.  

Pest control:  Western Screech Owls.