Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Grass in the Desert!!

Monday morning when I left to run some errands I noticed this plant that sits at the end of our driveway, is getting ready for fall. I have no idea what the name of this plant is but I love it! When we first moved here it was kind of sitting in the middle of a former garden area in the backyard, looking rather forlorn. We had a bare spot at the end of the driveway where grass just wouldn't grow so HB transplanted the forlorn plant to the bare spot. Well, that must have made the plant happy because it has "exploded" since then and now is almost too big for the space! Our gardener cuts it back every year and I think that just makes it grow even more.



Here is a little closer view of it. That dark colored tree behind it is a beautiful deep burgundy color but it's my nightmare tree! I wrote about it quite awhile back....it has beautiful pink blossoms in the spring but then during the summer it has these cherry-size non-edible fruits that fall all over the yard and sidewalk and stain things purple. Now knowing me you would think I'd like anything purple but here is where I draw the line! I don't know what kind of tree it is but I would never knowingly ever have another one! Too much mess.



This photo is a little closer look at the tassel-y plant. People who walk by here must like the plant, too, because they always break off stems! Does anyone know the name for it?? I'm so bad about plant names! Don't you just love the pale wheat color of the tassels against the deep blue of the sky?



Another reason I thought about my front yard was something I saw on TV the other night. I believe it was somewhere in Kansas that a man decided his front yard was not being used for much so he planted veggies! He had an entire little veggie garden in the front yard and his neighbors weren't all that happy about it. Personally I thought it was a great idea. Why not grow veggies and actually make good use of the space? Think how much you could save on groceries if we all grew a yard full of veggies.

I'm sure the city where we live would have a hissy fit if I did that! There is a really asinine rule here that all yards must be mostly grass!! Now remember where we live! In the high desert!! DESERT!! Hello!! And they want grass in all the front yards! But on the same hand they want everyone to conserve water! Now tell me how that makes any sense!! In order to keep grass alive we have to water the yard twice a day. Think about how much water is used because of this silly rule. If we live in the desert why do we have to pretend we live in some lush tropical place?

Ok, I'm off my soapbox! I'm off to plant veggies in the front yard!! No, not really. But I still like the idea. What do you think?

16 comments:

  1. Hello Janet well this plant does look very nice in your garden but if it is what I think it is pampas grass (cortaderia selloana) it can grow to 6 or 9 feet and get wider and wider.

    They are a bit hard to get rid if you need to. I think they are lovely looking and were very popular for a very long time down in australia.

    Yours looks so nice there if that is infact what it is.

    have a lovely evening and I will see you again real soon.

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  2. What a pretty plant Janet. It would make a nice filler in an autumn arrangement.

    tea
    xo

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  3. I agree with lee-ann - my first thought when I saw the photos was 'it's pampas grass'. Would imagine you have just the right conditions for it in Ca.

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  4. Lee-Ann knows her plants - I googled pampas grass and got pictures exactly like yours.

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  5. Yes Janet...This is Pampas grass....I love it too! I have one that someone gave me to transplant...and I need to do that! They are perfect for a hot climate! Watcha doin today ?

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  6. I love ornamental grasses. I used to have some in my old house and have always wanted to plant more here in Tennessee, but haven't. Yes, homeowner associations have gone a little bit overboard in their quest to keep things tidy and looking cookie cutter. If you ask me, what's wrong with a little variety? Three cheers for a veggie garden where EVER! I, for one, think they are beautiful to look at!

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  7. Janet, I love the contrast of the plant against the blue sky! The "you must have grass but don't use too much water" rule is indeed ridiculous!

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  8. I vote for planting the veggies in the front yard! I think that's a neat idea! I agree the must have grass in the desert/water conservation would annoy me too...We are in GA right now, we were at Fort Irwin, CA near Barstow, and our home owners also has you must have mostly grass...ick I'd rather have all garden! We too have water conservation rules and if I had all garden it would save a lot more water than mostly grass because of drought tolerant species!

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  9. Everyone beat me to it - it's pampas grass. It can be invasive in some conditions, but it sure is beautiful.

    You should post photos of your problem tree's leaves and fruits and someone might know what it is too!

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  10. I think that if it's your land then you should be able to grow what you like on it. It's sad how people get ideas in their heads about how things should be, often going against any scrap of sanity. Grow those vegetables. If people object, invite them to make a cash offer for the land so that they can tend their beloved grass.

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  11. I think I am a little late to chime in but we really worked hard to get rid of our Pampas grass, before it took over. It spread like wildfire!!

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  12. Well, I guess the conclusion is it's pampas grass! And even though some of you say it can be invasive, I think it's beautiful and plan to keep it. The gardener seems to keep it under control.

    Thanks to everyone who commented and a big hello to the new visitors, Melissa and Jeremy. I hope you come back again.

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  13. HI, I call this plant pampas grass, I don't know if it is called that in US. I thinkg veggies is a great idea for a front yard, I suggested that to a friend who has an enormous front garden and small veg garden behind her house. I said if she swapped them round, she loves growing veggies, she could grow more and have a more private place to sit in the back garden. She thought I was mad! I say use space to make the best use of it. Sometimes you have to think outside the norm.

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  15. I agree, pampas grass & it is hard to get rid of it. we had to hire a bobcat once to pull a plant out.
    I plant vegies everywhere - in between all kinds of other plants - that is the way my grandpa gardened and he never had much trouble with pests - kind of like companion planting.

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  16. I owned a house for a short while once upon a time. I made raised planter boxes on 2 sides of the back yard and in those planter boxes guess what I planted. Yup! 8 Pampas Grass'. So beautiful they are and so huge. Love um. Thanks for the sweet memory of my house.

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