Come the second official day of Spring (the 20th was the first real day) there is very little of last year’s herbaceous or flowering material which wears over much inspection. Most of it will be on the compost heap and half way to making decent compost.

Here are two exceptions:

Some of you will have seen our piece on Chionochloa flavescens of February 17th. Click here: Chionochloa flavescens- a grass with class! to see it in its summer clothes.

Here was the same plant today:


I call that pretty good going!  To carry those decorative flower heads all through the winter we have just had and have them emerge looking so perky and soignee! The plant is evergreen so it will be only the fluffy flowerheads which get the chop and I am waiting a while on that yet. Given all that it offers in a tough spot, it just shows how class tells.

Equally amazing at retaining last year’s glory is Miscanthus ‘Zebrinus’. We sung its praises on January 7 in ‘Giving it all away’-well almost all! . Here it was this morning:

Lesley and I have grown many species of Miscanthus in our time, but this is the form which holds its leaves best with us. Part of that must be due to the plant’s character and part to its sheltered location. Here in a little leafy city courtyard of our city studio it gets a lot of protection. But  enough western sunlight to show off the  biscuity effulgence of last year’s foliage and its silvery plumes of flower. It has stood for a few years in a pot outside the window which is hard by the coffee machine. Maybe that explains why we drew so many curves into our designs last year – two form of sustenance from just a few minutes loitering!

So we cut some things down as they get messy and some we leave. As in: When to cut herbaceous plants back. a little while back!

Now, shorn of all this,  it is in the boot of my car and off to a new home with a friend. Time for someone else to enjoy its curvaceous beauty.

I am expecting a few glasses of red and a cracking lunch in return.