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Stipa Arundinacea Anemanthele Lessonniana — 50 Comments

  1. Your garden is still looking healthy and green, i guess they haven’t been affected yet by the cold. It is amazing that in temperate countries, grasses are really planted in gardens, which we don’t do in the tropics. If that is done here, every area will be growing weeds in the next season after the rains!

    • Andrea, very often the photos in my posts which are generally all to do with plant profiles do not always reflect how they are at the moment. These ones posted today are as I said from July and August of this year. The pictures in the park are from this month.

  2. Hi Alistair… what great contrasts between the freedom of your grasses and the formality of your hedge! I certainly do appreciate the dry stane dyke work as well… thanks, by the way for that name which I now freely apply to my own stonework. I love the lichens and moss on the old stones in your park presentation. I think I shall try to speed the growth of moss this spring as it does grow on several of the field stones I used in my wall… I’m told that mixing it up with some buttermilk in a blender and painting the mixture on the stones often does the trick. Hoping you and your family are all well… my best to you, Larry

  3. I always enjoy seeing photos of your garden – you have such an interesting variety of plants, and obviously a keen eye for design. I love your water feature, and the twisted rope edging that you have on those borders (which doesn’t seem to exist here in Canada). Also nice to see the sunny November pictures of Hazlehead park. During the summer holidays, when I was old enough to take the bus on my own, my Mum would pack a picnic for 2 or 3 of my chums and let us take two buses down to Mannofield and then up Springfield Road to spend the afternoon in the park. I think the sandwiches were usually gone before we were even off the bus!

  4. I like the plants profiled. I do have a question on the park. Why is the ground surface paved in such a way in the 14th photo down. It is interesting and pretty in design, but a tripping hazard. Am I missing something?

  5. Loved seeing your grasses. I need some for my garden, and I really liked several of these you highlighted. I also loved the pictures of Hazelhead Park. So pretty with all the trees in color. The rose garden is also pretty, even with no roses in bloom. But I would be most excited about the maze! They have always been fascinating to me, and I would be disappointed, too, if I had to take a shortcut through the hedge!

  6. thanks for the grass info Alistair especially the Carex Elata Bowles Golden Aurea I might try it in my east facing bed or even north facing front garden.
    the park looks lovely and thanks for showing the Piper Alpha Memorial, I remember it well, such a terrible tragedy, Frances

    • Frances, I like the Golden Aurea, its all about foliage although the flower stems look quite good for a short time early in the season, didn’t have a picture. Piper Alpha was a terrible tragedy.

  7. Alistair I love grasses but know so little. Several of these are not hardy for me but wonderful as annuals. But oh my they look splendid in your gorgeous garden. I do love when you take us on walks about your lovely area…what an amazing park…I only wish we had these lovely places here…we do need more of them.

    • Donna, one of the other parks which is very close to our house (Duthie Park) is undergoing a massive makeover which is said will bring it back to its former glory of the 19th century. I will look forward to highlighting this one.

  8. I read your post on my iPad and the photos of the park are absolutely gorgeous. I love the way your garden is stuffed to abundance. It is just the kind of look I like. I didn’t understand some of your comment on my recent post—the part about shirts and 65000.

  9. Hi Alistair, Thanks for taking us on a fall stroll through Hazlehead Park. How wise your city council was to buy it back from the private owners. I bet the rose gardens must be beautiful in the summer.
    You have highlighted some lovely grasses in this post. Every year I try to add a few more ornamental grasses. It is a bit off-topic, but I am wondering about the pink rose in the third image. Which of your roses is that? It looks beautiful and nicely compact.

    • Jennifer, the Rose is actually a deeper shade than my picture is showing, deep red with a hint of purple. Its a Portland Rose (Rose d’ Rescht) Flowers well every year with an amazing fragrance.

  10. Hi Alisdair, what a great post, ornamental grasses and beautiful big trees decked out for Autumn, two of my favourite things. And thanks to I think I may have identified a grass I have discovered lurking under an enormous fuchsia in our front garden – and no wonder it is looking rather sad if it prefers full sun! I think I have Uncinia Rubra.

  11. Super pictures Alistair – you have profiled your plants really well. Just got into grasses myself last year – had mixed results with them and am not entirely sure I’m convinced by them. I will give them a chance though since this year has been rotten and I’ve been blaming lack of sunshine to make them look at their best!
    Thoroughly enjoyed my walk around Hazelhead Park. I do love looking at trees in their Autumn Glory!
    What a lovely place to have a memorial for those lost in the Piper Alpha Disaster.

  12. Gorgeous photos of the grasses and the park! I like how you have sited your stipa and cares in relationship to the other plants. I also like your use of grasses in pots. This is probably the only way I would put ornamental grasses in my garden, as I am so, so afraid they would become invasive here.

  13. hi alastair, enjoyed the walk in the park with you and moira. I love stipas too but find it hard to find a place for them, they grow so large. Blue fescue i use a lot for bordering paths. The do get tatty after a while, but often last quite a few years OK. Then I divide them. I love carex for its habit, too, but they need water or else they just didn’t like my garden.

  14. Stipa Arundinacea grass looks so much like my tropical climate – Lemon grass plant.
    Guess there is always a beauty to admire even in the simple & common plant as grass.

  15. Until I read this post, I thought that Alberto was the only one who paid special attention grasses. They do add a fluffiness/airiness to your flowerbeds.

    I guess everyone thinks their own local park is the best, but I have to admit yours is beautiful and well-cared for. It looks like you’ve given them some tips on how to care for their lawns.

  16. Hi Alistair
    I enjoyed the pictures and descriptions of the grasses. A bit frustrating, isn’t it, when they grow even larger than expected and cover up lovely water features! Hilarious how your grandson disapproved of you “cheating” in order to get out of the maze quicker! Tsk tsk, Grandpa!!

    • Astrid, and now the water feature has been dismantled for the Winter just in case we get damaging severe frost which could cause cracking. My daughter also enjoyed the bit about my grandson who proudly told her how he remembered grandad doing this.

    • I don’t know that it would look good in my ground. I can’t think of anyway I could not make it look like a lump of grass with oddly thin blades. It’s the kind of thing which needs the right plants around it to make it clear it’s meant to be there. If you planted it in the ground, what would you plant near it, do you reckon, to complement it?

      • Several planted at the front of a border would look good whether it was along with taller grasses behind or even a mixed border behind. I am pretty well into trial and error.

  17. Hi Alistair
    Excellent and educational post as always! I loved the park, and your thoughts about grasses. And yes Alberto inspires us all in that regard, but you are doing so well. Maybe I will write a post about my three. Grasses, that is. But now let me think–perhaps there are only two. Goodness I must get a few more. They really are pretty leaf contrast.

  18. Hi Alistair! I never tried stipa arundinacea because many people told me it’s not very hardy but I guess the real issue is drainage, as usual. Your specimen are so huge and good looking that I’m thinking about giving a try! That uncinia is very pretty, mine died after the first frost, ages ago, I didn’t know it wasn’t hardy!
    Normally I don’t cut back sedges nor fescues. I knew that festuca in particular doesn’t like being cut at all…

  19. Hello Alistair, thanks for another lovely, educational post which has given me yet another entry on my plant wish-list. I have now added Uncinia Rubra, I didn’t know this one from before, but think it will look great together with my 3 mature tufts of Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’. Since my garden is so sheltered I think it will probably survive the winter outside here, I will try with one and see how it goes. I guess it’s not a fast grower, like many grasses – how long have you had yours and how much have they grown? Do you remember what size pot you bought them as? Thanks again for another great tip for my garden 🙂

    • Helene, I have only had the Uncinia for the one season. I know that it wouldn’t survive the Winter outdoors here. I placed them in the Greenhouse a couple of weeks ago and they are still looking good. They were in 2ltr pots when I bought them, from B & Q would you believe.

  20. Alistair such gorgeous pictures. How many weeks have I spent splitting grasses at the nursery in inverkeithing? I wondered if you’d ever grown or if you have imperata cyclindrica (blood grass) its a bit temperamental but lovely and probably best lifted each winter or in a pot with you. Just think it might be nice. Loved the park, nice to see your local walks. But, loon, I’m black affronted you’d sneak through a gap in the maze!

    • Fay, we have had the blood grass in the past, didn’t do well in the border, thanks for the reminder, I think I will give it a go in a pot. Ha, Ha, black affronted, one of my mothers favourites from times gone by.

  21. Hello again. Sorry I am a bit late with this but I found Anemanthele lessonniana in the RHS magazine, several years ago, used as a recurring theme in a long border. I have been trying to find the actual article but to no avail. Being impressed I obtained seed and it is now part of the garden being totally wiped out in severe winters but seeding itself all over the place so that there is always a new set of seedlings every year. Planted in pots or a border, where the sun is behind it, the striking winter colour is superb.
    Slàinte mhath

  22. I’ve fallen in love with Stipa arundiancea over the past few years..it’s proven itself to be tough and beautiful. Right now, they are are rainbow of colors, so utterly lovely…and such graceful form.

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