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...


Comments