chasing muhly grass

As far as seasons go, to me summer is rich, pungent, dense, where autumn is quicksilver, vaporous, light on its feet, with a tartness that is the perfect apertif to summer’s gluttony of sensation. The eaves are now dripping morning dew as the dry season comes to an end, with hopefully the return soon of prodigal rains, and the light arrives in glittering beveled sheaves. Summer and winter can each grow tiresome in their own ways, but I challenge anyone to find fault with those seasons that seem to gently swing in on quiet hinges, spring and fall. Purple muhly grass pretty much sums up how I feel about fall with its transformational buoyancy and crepuscular coloring, but it was a little trickier to find some this year. The big stands of it at the Long Beach airport were “tidied” at some point mid-summer, so no blooms this year. There are similar tidying impulses in my family, though in my case they seem to have skipped a generation. I planted one clump of muhly grass at my mom’s, in a long narrow border with agaves and other succulents, and she was surreptitiously taking scissors to the grass blades throughout summer to keep them neat. Again, the blooms were sacrificed. These big stands of muhly grass pictured below are in a hard-to-reach spot at the entrance to a freeway, safely removed from compulsive tidiers. I biked there a couple nights ago on the way to picking up some gyros for dinner. Muhly grass, pennisetum, sesleria and aloes are what I found, but at the link can be seen what will be back again in spring.

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4 Responses to chasing muhly grass

  1. kathy says:

    Beautifully said Denise..I have opted out of Muhly in fear that it gets too big,and you just can’t plant one. Someday I will find a way !

  2. Hoov says:

    Gorgeous photos, as expected. They had them at Village and I was so tempted. Reseeds?

  3. Denise says:

    Kathy, seeing it in big sweeps in spectacular, something I just don’t have room for.
    Hoov, I need to get over to the Village and check out Grevillea ‘Moonlight.’ Fall is for planting, donchaknow!

  4. Scott Weber says:

    I so love this grass, Denise…thank you for showing us a really great example of how it looks best…it really does look best in a large mass…oh, to have room to do it justice!

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