Thursday, August 16, 2012

Standing Ovation

Day 189
The Daily DuBrule

Yesterday I went to visit a large nursery. It was so big that we went on tour in a truck, driving through acres of plants, looking at new varieties. From the front seat I spotted my next new favorite grass- Schizachryium scoparium 'Standing Ovation'. I had heard about this plant at the Perennial Plant Association conference in Boston last month. The minute I saw it, I knew what I was looking at. Steely blue foliage with burgundy highlights emerging as the buds are forming. Upright, totally upright, not flopping at all. What a vast improvement over the variety I have been using for years called 'The Blues'. 

LIttle Bluestem is a fabulous native grass. In the picture above you can see 'The Blues' in the rock garden at Natureworks. Everyone admires this plant and asks about it, especially in the fall when it becomes streaked with purple/red and flowers. The problem is, when it flowers it flops. The way I deal with it is to use in in meadow or wild garden situations or on slopes intermingled with Echinaceas and Rudeckias that hold it up. In this garden, it also has Oregano 'Herrenhausen' amongst it. The grouping together looks very much like a crazy, wild meadow in the fall but it can be hard to handle in a more formal garden setting to say the least. Enter 'Standing Ovation', a variety that has been trialed all over the United States for 10 years before being introduced to the trade. Now we can use this great foliage plant and native grass in more gardens than ever before. Yes, North Creek Nurseries, who introduced this grass, certainly does deserve a standing ovation for their work. Good job!

1 comment:

  1. I am so so so loving mine right now! It's spiking as I type. Not sure I like where I put it, I inadvertently put it right next to Baptisia. I think the Baptisia foliage is the exact same color, at least now during the summer. So, besides the difference in form, it blends in a bit too much. I am temped to buy another (or 2) and I know you have them because I saw them at Natureworks the other weekend. :-)