Sunday, November 23, 2014

No Regrets

After so much deep cold, we got a pleasant day today. It nudged up to 60 degrees and there was no wind. A lovely day to work outside.

I took down the grasses, which I really hated doing, but it was much better to do it now on a nice day, than later when it gets cold and windy again.

They looked so good -- fall is their season, so it is a shame to get rid of them now.

The miscanthus by the garage door still danced in the wind and floated about beautifully with every breeze. But it's gone now.

The Hakonechloa grasses draping over the walk still added softness and grace along the edge. But they are now cut back.

The tall, upright 'Northwind' panicums at the back of Meadow's Edge still made a bright foil to the startlingly red winterberries. But their tall forms are no longer there.

The grasses are one of the few things that add any interest to the bare, late fall garden. Jim made short work of them with the hedge trimmer. Really, it took ten minutes to remove all of them, and now it looks barren and uninteresting out there.

If we have a mild winter I will miss their structure and grace in the winter garden. They can look like this in early winter if the snow is not heavy:

But by midwinter, they end up looking like this, and it drives me crazier than the bare landscape does:

It has taken me years to realize I can cut down healthy plants if they are not working for the spot they are in. It has taken me many seasons to accept that I must cut back the grasses now, even though they are so lovely at the moment. I don't like losing them when they are at their best, but I'll have fewer regrets come winter if I sacrifice them now.

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