January 24, 2011 | Panayoti Kelaidis, Senior Curator & Director of Outreach

There are many peccadilloes that annoy sensitive horticulturists: seeing street trees butchered because of bad placement or powerlines, for instance. For me, it's seeing grasses in shopping centers chopped back to crewcuts by the acre in early fall. One of the great visual pleasures of winter is golden backlighting on clumps of bunchgrass in  late afternoon.

This picture was taken a month ago in the Romantic Garden at Denver Botanic Gardens, but you can find this and dozens of other grassy vignettes glowing still around the Gardens where our horticultural staff stave off the inevitable "cut back" as long as they can. But in the next few weeks, tens of thousands of bulbs start growing in earnest, and the time for winter grasses will have passed.

By the way, Korean feather reed grass was inducted in 2009 by Plant Select. Although it is fertile, and can self sow a bit if mulched with gravel, we find that mulched thickly with compost and planted in part shade, it is much more striking than its overused cousin, Karl Foerster grass.

We can all use a bit more gold in our lives, don't you agree?

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