Pennisetum: Vertigo vs Princess

A few years ago I grew Pennisetum Vertigo (cultivar name 'Tift 8'), a large, purple grass with wide leaves. I loved this grass, but alas, I did not overwinter it successfully one year -- I think it dried out too much in the garage. So I wasn't able to grow it last year, and I missed it!

The nurseries around me all seem to carry only Pennisetum Princess now (shown above), which is labeled as smaller than Vertigo, but supposedly similar in color. I finally gave in this year and bought a couple, thinking they'd be a replacement for Vertigo -- not exactly the same maybe, but better than nothing.


The Front Garden, September 2019

I thought that it would be a good time to show you the front garden -- the view that my neighbors get, and what I see when I pull up to the house each day.

You'll notice a lot of bamboo. It's been over 10 years since I got the bamboo collection bug, and this plant still delights me! There are seven or eight different types in the front here.


The Pond this Summer

This was a good year for the pond. It had a few rough years recently, but I put a little effort into it this year and I think it shows.

This shot was taken in early September, and you can see that I've added lots of sedges around the edges -- that really helps to soften up the rocks and make this a more inviting space.


Catching Up: Less is More

For a couple of years now I've contemplated a fairly drastic change in the garden, but I could just never bring myself to make it happen. Until this past July that is, when one day I decided enough was enough and I got to work.

What am I talking about exactly? It's this Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Filicoides' which is taking up too much space and looking so ratty most of the year. If you're not sure which plant I'm talking about, you'll soon see.


Catching Up: Luna Moth

Back in early August I got a text from my neighbor, asking if I knew what this thing was on her tree:

She had sent a blurry phone camera image, but I knew exactly what it was. As I hurried over with my camera, I texted back: "Luna Moth!"


Catching Up: Tomato Plants!

It's been a few years since I've bothered to grow any edibles, even though in my opinion one of the best things about summer gardening is a homegrown tomato. The deer and woodchucks and inconvenience of the fenced veggie garden being so far away from the kitchen door just made it too much of a hassle though, so I gave up on it.

Until this year that is, when I decided that the deck would be a great place to grow tomatoes! I planted up six large pots, each holding a different variety. I was quite pleased with the results.


Catching Up: Japanese Maple

It's been a while since I've posted, but I've missed sharing some of my garden happenings this past summer. So I'm doing a series of catch-up posts to show you the highlights...

...starting with my main Japanese Maple. It's so good early in the growing season, where its red really shines, and it can strongly complement the bamboos.


Eastern Red Bat

I usually avoid putting spoilers into my post titles, but since I post so infrequently these days I thought I'd get right to the point. A couple of weeks ago I was doing some winter damage assessment on the bamboos, and was taking a close look at this completely fried Phyllostachys dulcis:

Not a pretty sight with all of that brown, but I wanted to know if any of those culms were going to leaf out again.


Nine-year anniversary: best of INWIG 2018

According to Blogger I made my first blog post on March 5, 2010 which means today is my nine-year anniversary!  One of the main reasons for creating this blog was so I'd document everything I did in the garden, and although I've slowed way down over the past year with less frequent posts, I've still captured some important moments. Hopefully I have still given some entertainment and knowledge to you, my readers over the past year. (Or several years if you've been reading for a while or went back to discover older posts).

Today, as I've done every March 5 since I started, I'm going to take a look back over the past year and list my favorite posts in chronological order. If you haven't seen them before please take a look. If you have seen them already, then take another look -- it's still fun! I did this type of post on my previous anniversaries too, and I really like the way they turned out. See them all here.


Bamboo Chop!

I've been contemplating a drastic chop of one of my bamboos for several months. Since cutting a large, established plant to the ground is an emotionally difficult thing to do -- probably physically difficult too actually -- I debated for a long while.

I decided just after returning from Scotland in January that I would definitely do it, and since it's one of the first bamboos to shoot I knew I wouldn't have too much time to make it happen. On Thursday 21 Feb the weather forecast was favorable, so I got the loppers out, layered up, and headed out to do some gardening for the first time in months. First though, a warmup project: these broken culms.



On January 30th, the high here was 8ºF (-13ºC). When you have the only unfrozen water source around -- compliments of a birdbath heater -- you get to see some interesting things when it's very cold. For instance, I happened to notice an Eastern Bluebird that afternoon.

Not only that, but I saw his mate too! (Good thing I left that grate nearby -- it makes a nice perch!)


I'd like to tell you...

Although I haven't been writing many posts lately, I still look at the garden and the natural world outside through my blogging eye, always thinking "I should do a post about this...". I've been collecting those thoughts, often with a single photo, many times only using the camera that's always in my pocket (my phone camera). So that's what I have for you today, a collection of shareable tidbits...

...starting with a surprise bloom! This is the Hibiscus acetosella (Hibiscus 'Mahogony Splendor'), and its "inconspicuous bloom" -- as the tag says. Deep ruby red, lasting just a day -- at least that's how it was when one of the several cuttings I have rooted decided to push out a couple of blooms in mid-January. It never hinted at blooming outdoors.


Mild winter. Is it?

We've had quite a mild winter, with our coldest days coming very early -- in mid-November. Temperatures have been in the 40's F (5ºC) for most of the winter, or even warmer. We've had plenty of moisture too, mainly in the form of rain.

"Mild" can change to "wild" quite quickly though, as a high temp of 66ºF (19ºC) was followed later in the week by 10" (25cm) or more of snow.


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