Spring? 2018

Dr. Mark Seeley reported this morning on MPR that the first 12 days of April 2018 were the coldest on record for Minnesota. He reminded us of the recent 2013 spring’s slow start and our resilence in forgetting these events ūüôā
I found these comparisons: IMG_1466
April 10, 2013 snow on giant miscanthus
and
this week, April 9, 2018 switchgrass at Ridgedale Mall, Minnetonka: IMG_4522

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Prairie Dropseed is WI 2018 Perennial

The Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association has selected  prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) is its 2018 perennial of the year. Great choice as this beautiful clump forming grass is a hardy native with attractive flowers and food for many native skipper butterflies. IMG_0296

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Grasses simulate wheat fields

Another grass quote, this one from John Friel, marketing manager for Emerald Coast Growers, “A swath of Panicum, Miscanthus or Calamagrostis is a simulacrum, echoing fields of wheat swaying in summer breezes.” The visual of a swaying field of grass is good to fill our minds while we await spring in Minnesota.¬†IMG_1986

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Sporobolize a garden?

Noel Kingsbury stated that to use prairie dropseed has now become a verb….to Sporobolize a garden…….using large plantings of prairie dropseed….interesting. Prairie dropseed is native to much of the U. S. however, it is endangered or threatened in several states as listed by the USDA.

yellow prairie dropseed. Sporobolus

Yellow fall color on prairie dropseed, Sporobolus heterolepis

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‘Undaunted’ Muhly

Muhlenbergia reverchonii¬†‘Undaunted’¬† is native to Texas and Oklahoma but has more winter hardiness than Ruby muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris) that is commonly planted in the south and will not survive in Minnesota. Four plants shown below were planted in 2015 and have survived 2 USDA zone 4 winters. The pink flowers begin in late September. The first photo below was taken Nov 15, 2016 with golden yellow ‘Skyracer’ Molinia¬†behind ‘Undaunted’. The lower photo was taken on Dec 1, 2017.¬†IMG_6407IMG_8204

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Thankful for Maroon and Gold

IMG_8122

Maroon Blue HeavenTM little bluestem and yellow ginkgo beautiful fall color to be thankful for.

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Fall color on Prairie Coteau

Prairie dropseed is the yellow-orange tuft in the center; the yellow tufts in foreground and back left are prairie muhly, Mulenbergia cuspidata. These are good companion grasses for upland dry sites.
IMG_7996

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