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A great performer: Korean feather reed grass


It was a beautiful weekend here in Wisconsin and I did not spend a single moment of it in the garden. That’s not a good thing. I should be taking advantage of good weather when I can to start sprucing up for fall.

Usually my fall gardening chores consist of weeding (the more weeding I do know, the fewer weed seeds will have a chance to take root in the garden) and cutting back a few things. But with the incredibly dry summer we’ve had, this year I’m concentrating most on watering. I want everything to be very deeply watered as we go into freezing temperatures. It’s already stressed, but if it went into winter dry, I suspect I’d lose a lot more plants.

So in between moving the sprinkler around (which seems to be the story of the summer), I paused for a moment to enjoy a plant that is really at its peak right now: Clamagrotis brachytricha (Korean feather reed grass).

I love grasses in the garden, but I like well-behaved grasses. Runners make me mad. I also like them to have four-season interest. They are great standing in the landscape all winter if you can keep them that way without folding over. I discovered Korean feather reed grass in Tracy Disabato-Aust’s book 50 High-Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants. I don’t know what became of Tracy. I went to a wonderful seminar by her several years ago, bought several of her books (all of which, I love by the way) and followed her blog, but I’ve heard nothing of her lately.

Anyway, I couldn’t be happier with this plant and I completely agree that it falls in the “high-impact, low-care” category. In fact, I’ve done absolutely nothing for it since I planted it last year other than watering it along with the rest of the garden and cutting it back in late winter. This one falls in my “highly recommended” list.

4 Responses

  1. It's on my list here, too, but hard to source locally. I also love all the Calamagrostis x acutiflora cultivars, very well behaved in my garden and very dramatic through most of winter. 'Eldorado' has been my favorite this year.

    Christine in Alaska, lots of grasses

  2. Watering here, too. I think we had about 1/3 of an inch of rain in Sept. Ugh! And rabbits are eating my best trees and shrubs and it isn't even winter yet. I need to start caging things but who can manage to shove chicken wire into the rock hard ground?

  3. Tracy has been on of my favorite garden authors too – I live by her "Well Tended Perennial Garden". Wonder if she just retired from public life?

    Anyways, love this grass. I only have a couple of grasses – one unnamed but gorgeous standing about 4' tall with terrific seedheads on it right now and my favorite hachenachloa macra (sic). How tall is the Korean feather reed grass? And does it do well in a sunny, dry location – I have one spot in my garden that seems to kill everything.

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