Sunday, December 03, 2017

Grasses and mostly bad news

I recently learned Chinese silver grass is deemed invasive. I have not noticed it growing beyond its bounds locally - and there is a LOT of it in local landscaping - but that doesn't mean it isn't or won't be a problem.

Intellectually, I am against installing invasive plants in one's yard. BUT I can't help but wonder if my acting ethically makes much difference. This is me making excuses for keeping my silver grass. Any opinions out there?

I did remove my burning bush (or at least, I am still battling it - it's difficult to eliminate). Again, it is a very popular landscape option in theses parts AND I have not noticed it growing in undeveloped lots (unlike ornamental pear). I had an ulterior motive for removing the burning bush, though, as it was crowding the gold mop.

Now that the burning bush is (mostly) gone, the gold mop is beginning to fill out on the south side. If I at least prune back the barberry (ANOTHER INVASIVE) on the east side, the gold mop will be restored to all its glory.

And now I am wondering if dwarf fountain grass, specifically 'Hameln', is invasive. For years, my three plants behaved well. But now they are spreading all over the place. I would like to move it from its current location - it's crowding the cotoneaster - to a stone-mulched bed along one side of the driveway. Worth the effort? I don't know.

And then there are native grasses that are problematic. The northern sea oats spread very easily, and the switch grass flops. The latter problem is of my own making, as there is not enough sunshine in this location by the front porch.

In a sunnier location, the switch grass could look like this grouping at a local city park:

So far, I have not heard anything about hardy pampas grass being invasive. It also tolerates shade fairly well, although it too could probably use more light.

Meanwhile, prairie dropseed is spectacular in its un-spectacular-ness. Is this normal?

The final bad news is that my minimalist approach to dog fencing is not working out. Clio, a.k.a. Big Foot, is not about to be stopped by short ornamental fencing. I obviously need to come up with a better plan.

I'm thinking electric fencing, at least for a while.