Arachnomuhly or Webs Of Grass

november-8-2008-020-2There has been rain, blessedly. The day after this welcome rain we braved the wetness to go out with the camera in the morning when the light shines at a flattering angle across the garden.november-8-2008-019-2The black seeded fountain grass, Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Moudry’ has been outstanding this year. november-8-2008-022-2This is a strong self sower but is planted in the center island of the curbing that is home to larger shrubs and fronted by liriope. The aggressive nature of Moudry has allowed it to infiltrate the boring liriope adding the black fox tails for more pizzazz. In the winter the straw colored stalks and poufs give movement and contrast to the evergreens.  Many photos have been shot of this grass trying to give the readers an idea of its beauty.  But as the photos are culled, there is another grass that always wins the starring roles.november-8-2008-024-2The still stunning Muhlenbergia capillaris won’t allow any other grass to steal our hearts. Covered in moisture, it resembles a pinkish cloud along the driveway. The understory treescape under the tall pines is a kaleidoscope of fall phantasmagoria.november-8-2008-048-2Like dew on a spiderweb, the droplets clinging to the muhly are captured easily by the camera. Blocking the progress as we go up the steps to the knot garden, you must whisper the secret pass word to enter. Do you know the magic word?  No?  Just slip in behind me and we will walk as one.november-8-2008-056-2The limp layers look like lilting limbs from the Elysian Fields*.  Or layers of spun silk.  Or spider webs.november-8-2008-049-2The solitary blossom of the Knockout rose adds to the seductive powers of the muhly.november-8-2008-059-2Viewing the magic from the pond with the reds of the Japanese maples casting spells of unsurpassed beauty on the scene.november-8-2008-069-2Yet another muhly grass has moved into the Fairegarden. This is not the same pink covered in moisture to look white, this is Muhlenbergia capillaris ‘White Cloud’, purchased in Asheville. Impossible until now to capture for a portrait, the liquid covering helps the camera read the loveliness.
* In Greek mythology the Elysian Fields, or the Elysian Plains, were the final resting place of the souls of the heroic and the virtuous. From Wikipedia.
Now you didn’t think we would reveal the secret magic password did you?

This entry was posted in Plant Portrait. Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Arachnomuhly or Webs Of Grass

  1. Your grasses really are impressive! Are they hard to grow? Do you divide the plants often? Do they spread easily? Sorry that was a lot of questions/ LOL Tyra

    Hi Tyra, thanks and I love questions!! The grasses are incredibly easy to grow. The Moudry seeds all over and I just let it, that’s all there is to that one. It is in a spot surrounded by concrete so is contained from spreading and taking over the rest of the garden. The muhly seeds only slightly but can be divided and spread for it looks better en masse. They need nothing in the way of care and are cut down late winter just as the new growth begins showing. No fertilizing, watering, nothing, it doesn’t get any easier. 🙂

  2. linda says:

    Simply beautiful Frances!

    Hi Cousin Linda, thanks so much. We can see how closely we are related when you get the list. Mine only lists our line, not the whole spreadsheet thing that some geneologist do, we may have more in common than just Pocohontas. 🙂

  3. gittan says:

    WOW!!! It toke my breath away. Such a beautiful place you live in! You are really enviable. Do you want to see the diffenrence between yours and mine? Come over to my blogg. Maby we could switch for a couple of months =) I just love all kinds of grass as well. The fourth picure is wonderful with the colours of the trees along with the grass. Thanks for sharing it with us. Have a wonderful week / gittan

    Hi Gittan, thank you so much. I think you also live in a beautiful place and still have raspberries! I would love to visit your garden some day, but maybe not switch. I am allergic to very cold weather for long periods of time! 🙂

  4. gittan says:

    Hi Frances, so am I! That’s why I thought it would be a great thing to change =) gittan

    Hi Gittan, HA. You need to find someone to switch with that dreams of cold weather. There must be someone out in the blogdom that would switch places with you. 🙂

  5. Gail says:

    Frances, Thank you for letting us glimpse into this magical garden…The grasses look fantastic covered with rain and sparkling in the light. Muhly looks especially lovely as a pink cloud in front of the fall plantasmagoria! Now that’s a word! Have a wonderful day in the garden.

    Hi Gail, thanks for visiting me. The different aspects of the garden are so brief, in a couple of hours that magic on the grasses was gone, dried by the sun. We never know what to expect with the dawn of each new day. Hope you get in some gardening in your own little piece of paradise.

  6. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I don’t care if I don’t get the secret password. I would probably forget it anyway. I will just be pleased with touring close behind you. Beautiful captures of your collection of grasses.

    Hi Lisa, HA you are so funny. I would forget the password too, unless it is the same one I use for everything. I know you are not supposed to do that, but I could never remember which was which if there was more than one. I cannot remember the usernames either and always have to be reminded. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. Marnie says:

    Eerily beautiful! I bet you felt like you were touring a strange garden full of wonderfully strange plants;)

    Hi Marnie, you are very perceptive! It was like an alien landscape, so fun.

  8. Rose says:

    Thanks for this “magical mystery tour,” Frances! Your garden definitely looks like paradise, or the Elysian Fields with all these lovely grasses. Perhaps we should call you Charon, the boatman? And do we need a gold coin to enter?

    Hi Rose, thanks for getting into the proper mood with this post. I would like gold coins that are filled with chocolate inside, one of my most favorite treats as a child. Something about that gold foil and the little pouch that they came in gave me such delight. You can call me Frances, though. 🙂

  9. Dave says:

    Hmm, I’m guessing the password might be Muhlenbergia capillaris! If not it was worth a shot. Your grasses look amazing beneath the morning frost. I think I’ll be ordering some more Muhly grass…you’ve convinced me you can have too much! 😉

    Hi Dave, thanks, good guess, but no, that is a little too long for my secret word, too many characters as they say. Even though it looks like frost, it is a mix of dew and the rain left over from the day before. The temps were quite warm even. And there is no such thing as too much muhly.


  10. Shirl says:

    Wow Frances – the word magical just doesn’t come close!! Thank-you so much for sharing the beauty that is in your garden at the moment. Oh… my favourite was the ‘Moudry’ a clear winner in my book 😀

    Have a good week 🙂

    Hi Shirl, thanks, it was an amazing moment in the garden, I was rushing around madly with the camera and lots of good shots were taken. Finally the condition were right for the camera to be happy. I love that Moudry too, much prettier than the liriope, but looks almost just like it before the blooms stick up higher. I did love your video of your garden too.

  11. Brenda Kula says:

    My goodness, but I will have to add that somewhere to my gardens. How beautiful. And I can imagine lots of little creatures hide in there, as it must give them lots of hidey-holes from bigger creatures. Your gardens are just stunning, Frances. Did you study horticulture or does this just come naturally to you?

    Hi Brenda, thanks so much. You definitely need some muhly, everyone who can grow it does. I am sure you can find some there. I have studied hard since my first house in 1975, books, magazines, public gardens….but no real schooling in the ways of gardening. I am so interested in anthing that has to do with gardening, this blogging thing is a dream come true. There is no end to gardening articles and photos with all the wonderful bloggers writing about my favorite subject out there in the blogdom.

  12. Randy says:

    Oooh Frances!
    All those photos are wonderful, but the third one is deffinitely my favorite. It looks like everything is covered in frost.

    Hi Randy, thanks. It does look like frost but is just a lot of moisture from the previous day’s rain. The grasses held the droplets so nicely and there was no breeze at all. It was completely gone in just an hour after the sun dried it though. I was lucky with the timing.

  13. I love ornamental grasses, too. Especially this time of year. I’ll be glad when my garden matures so that I have more to divide. Using grasses in islands is perfect.


    Hi Cameron, thanks for stopping by. There are a lot of grasses used in my garden, I find them to be so easy and carefree and very easy to divide too for a better effect. They do look better en masse, the smaller ones anyway.

  14. easygardener says:

    An amazing display of grasses – it looks like dry ice is drifting across the garden. Quite beautiful – and good that the effect can be captures in a picture. Sometimes I forget how impressive some plants can be and need the pics as a reminder.

    Hi Easy, thanks. The conditions were special that morning and I was lucky in the timing. The grasses sometime like to show up the flowers and fall foliage.

  15. Phillip says:

    Stunny photos, especially that first one!

    Hi Phillip, thanks.

  16. Phillip says:

    That was supposed to have been “stunning” – LOL

    I think stunny said it well, a combo of sunny and stunning. You made a new word! 🙂

  17. naturegirl says:

    Mother Nature’s Candyfloss throughout these images!Simply beautiful..certainly observing Nature’s quiet rhythms in these photos!

    Hi Nature Girl, thanks. Your rhythms photos were certainly thought inducing.

  18. LindaLunda says:

    Breathtaking ….. total breathtaking Frances!
    And I dont like grasses perticular mutsh…
    Well I´m lost of words…
    LOVE IT, LOVE YOUR Estetic eye …..
    This post must be showed fore the rest of the world!

    Hi Linda, that was so sweet of you to give me that link on your blog. I very much appreciate it and you. 🙂

  19. Barbarapc says:

    Frances – I keep scrolling back and forth over these wonderful images – going to bookmark them so I can see them whenever I want. Plantastic!

    Hi Barbara, thanks so much. I was lucky with the camera that day. I like to revisit them also, I guess everyone likes to read their favorite posts on their own blogs. Only human nature, right? Another new word! That’s a great one. 🙂

  20. nancybond says:

    All your grasses are spectacular, but the muhly has my heart as well — that pink cloud along the driveway is simply amazing. Gorgeous!

    Hi Nancy, thanks. That is one of the best planting ideas I have ever had. We were having trouble growing grass there so I tried that, it has turned out to be terrific.

  21. Kanak says:

    So beautiful, Frances. (Other) words fail me…

    Hi Kanak, thanks so much and welcome to the alternative universe at wordpress. Your words say it well, no more are needed. 🙂

  22. mothernaturesgarden says:

    The grasses are stunning and give an enchanted quality to your lovely garden, Frances.

    Hi Donna, thanks. That was a lucky catch with the camera for sure. I cannot say enough good things about the grasses, and the muhly in particular.

  23. Shauna says:

    OMG!These are the most enchanting photos I have seen- truly truly magical. Fairegarden Wonderland.

    Hi Shauna, thanks. I was pleasantly surprised when the photos were loaded onto the computer. It was a moment when the conditions were suspended in time by the magic of the garden.

  24. Kathleen says:

    I love the macro of the black seeded fountain grass covered in moisture. It’s beautiful as is your pink cloud of muhly. I really must get some for my own garden. It’s put on an incredible show for quite some time now, hasn’t it? You can’t beat that for performance. The shots of it laying across your garden, like spider webs, reminds me somehow of Sleeping Beauty’s castle when it was overgrown. You do get a sense that its protecting something wonderful. I can’t see the photo of the white muhly for some reason and although I’m sure it’s pretty, I don’t know how it can beat the pink (but I prefer pink in any form)!

    Hi Kathleen, thanks so much. the muhly has been extra special this year, or I just never noticed it that much before blogging. Try and click on the post again, sometimes a photo will fail to load if I don’t give it enought time. There is a lot to load on my site and I have tried to make it faster by putting the awards on a seperate page and only showing two posts on a page. The header and about me add to the time loading also. Do try it again if you have time. It is such a pretty grass, just not pink. It has the same airy quality and a slight greenish tint to the flowers. Not as flashy but still lovely in the right spot. I stuck it in the white/yellow garden for now, it really needs something dark for contrast though, maybe by the ninebark Summer Wine. Yes, Sleeping Beauty’s castle is just the image. I am a huge fan of the old disney animated films, works of art they are.

  25. Some of the photos is a litle spookie,with the gras hanging around in the garden,but it is very beautifol.

    Hi Ken, thanks, it was a little eerie, like wet webbing laying about. It lasted only an hour or so, until the sun dried the grasses. Then they sprang back up again.

  26. Those grasses look stunning, right out of a fairy tale. Hang on, this is a fairy tale from Faire garden. 😉 I like the bottle brushes on the Moudry, lovely to see and they would make great toys for the cats.

    Hi YE, thanks. The whole garden looked like something make believe, maybe the Brothers Grimm? Moudry is a beast of a self sower, but still looks great en masse. I have to watch out for escapees in other parts of the garden, but can recognize them easily with those brushes. Your team would have some fun with them for sure.

  27. This is a fabulous post Frances – as I love grasses and I am just starting to grow them from seed and dividing established clumps like mad.
    Your pictures of the grasses and the garden are just wonderful.

    Hi Karen, thanks. That is what it takes too, dividing like mad and waiting the years it takes for them to mature, but it is well worth that effort. Luckier when the grass self sows like a maniac, like Moudry, but the muhly is fast growing and divides easily, it just must be done at the right time, late winter for us.

  28. JamesA-S says:

    I have been watching that Muhlenbergia of yours: it really is quite something. I enjoyed your earlier pictures of it as a raspberry haze but there is something unearthly and ectoplasmic about its dew drenched and aging body. Fabulous.

    Hi James, thanks so much for stopping by. I am getting all kinds of good new words today, ectoplasmic rushes to the top of the heap! I have ignored the fading muhly in years past totally. Blogging and photographing it have brought to my attention its many virtues. We shall see how it ages into winter. Thanks for the good response.

  29. Annika says:

    Lovely blogg I foud here.
    Really wonderfuls photos.
    Sorry that my english are so bad.

    Hi Annika, thanks so much and welcome. Your English is fine, much much better than the translation offered by Google. That is nonsense. You could do better yourself I am sure.

  30. Weeping Sore says:

    Wow, what pictures of the muhly. We just featured the pink muhly in our docent newsletter: but your pics put mine to shame.

    Hi Weeping Sore, so nice to see you here at the alternative universe of wordpress. Looking back at my first posts, I see that you were one of the very first commenters to Faire Garden. Thank you for that. Your photos were lovely, three feet by six feet wide? I have not found it to be that wide, but it does die back here in the winter in our zone 7. A mass planting makes a real impact in the garden, like with all plants I guess.

  31. layanee says:

    Surreal photos which capture the magical essence of your space. Lovely, Frances.

    Hi Layanee, thanks. That was a spectacle of sparkly, looking like frost, but merely wet, like a very heavy dew.

  32. Racquel says:

    That Muhly just captivates me each time you post a picture of it. I saw some planted in front of a restaurant in town so I know I should be able to find it locally. It’s a gorgeous grass, reminds me of cotton candy. I like the Black seed fountain grass plumes too, but I don’t need any aggressive players in my garden at the moment.

    Hi Racquel, thanks. It just keeps going and going and going… It is a good garden neighbor growing well without trying to take over. The same cannot be said for Moudry, but it can be a good grass for an island bed surrounded by concrete. It has even seeded and is blooming in the street!

  33. skeeter says:

    My goodness Frances, in some of those pictures, the grass looks like a water fall or stream! How cool is that? You really do have some beautiful colors popping all around you. Like sitting on a hill over looking the town on 4th of July with fireworks going off all around you! A beautiful show your yard performs…

    Hi Skeeter, thanks so much. You must have been inspired with this fine comment! The garden does give me great pleasure all year.

  34. marmee says:

    i never really gave grasses a thought until we moved to tn. since then and having them at my other house, i realize their beauty. i like the movement they add to the garden scapes. yours look very appealing with the dew on them.

    Hi Marmee, thanks, I agree. A garden without grasses and lots of them is missing something, mainly movement, but they offer so much more. They had a movie star moment that morning.

  35. Pam/Digging says:

    Wow, Frances! You’re gunning for best photography with these photos. That top one is amazing. Way to capture the beauty of the ornamental grasses!

    Hi Pam, thanks, but my photos are nothing but lucky timing. Your awards are quite safe. 🙂 That was a lucky day for me and the camera. I am still trying to figure out if I need a new better one or just don’t know how to best use mine, or both!

  36. Anne says:

    Frances, that first photo of the muhly grass took my breath away! It reminds me of how the fog looks spilling over the hills in san francisco…

    the way you mass the grass (ha! a poem!) is spectacular.

    HI Anne, thanks so much. That massed grass is one of the best decisions ever made in the garden. Now if only I had the intestinal fortitude to rip out other beds and do more masses of one or two things in the rest of the garden.

  37. Beautiful photos. The grass, especially the pink muhley, is “otherworldly!” 🙂

    Hi Shady, thanks so much. The muhly is getting to be my new best friend!

  38. Siria says:

    Oh Frances…how beautiful!!! Your garden is truly magical.

    Hi Siria, thanks so much. I do think it is most magical in the early morning. I love to go out there as soon as there is enough light to not stumble around, although I know most of the rock steps by heart now.

  39. Dave says:

    Oops, sorry Frances my comment should have read “can’t have too much.” That’s what I get for writing before that first cup of coffee!

    Hi Dave, that is pretty funny because I didn’t even notice what you really wrote, that is exactly the way I read it. I know we all make so many typos on comments because we don’t recheck them and we are in a hurry most of the time because there are so darn many wonderful blogs to read and comment on. Not enough hours in the day!

  40. mashley says:

    great job capturing the frost on each thread of grass. you’re great :).

    Hello my dear Mashley, thanks so much. You are great too. 🙂

  41. joey says:

    Frances, your grasses are stunning (but you know that)! The black seeded fountain grass, Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Moudry’ is indeed outstanding. The fairies must be in heaven playing hide-and-seek!

    Hi Joey, thanks so much. I do believe the fairies must be using their magic on the muhly this year, it has never looked so good or lasted so long. Moudry is showing off as well.

  42. tina says:

    Just amazing! I felt as though everything was covered with snow-so surreal. That grass is quite another dimension and a great addition to Faire Garden.

    Hi Tina, thanks. The muhly has added a lot to the garden. The conditions of the moisture on the grasses was otherwordly as someone said. It was a lucky day with the camera.

  43. Chloe.M says:

    So beautiful! And as always, fabulous writing. You’ve definitley inspired me to add more grasses to the garden. They bring such beauty with them.

    Chloe M.

    Hi Chloe, thanks so much. Grasses are such an easy addition to any garden, they give much and ask little in return.

  44. Philip says:

    OOH AHH… I am making noises people make when they see fireworks… I am so entranced by the effects you have created.
    Magical! No wonder you need a password! Thanks for the tour! I can draw treasure maps!
    🙂 I am sure it would lead right here!

    Hi Philip, thanks and I do appreciate your noises! That is great about the treasure maps. I actually have a treasure hunt for the offspring’s offsprings when they are all here for the Thanksgiving fiesta that is coming up soon. This will be year three of the hunt and I have to make it a little harder each year as they get older. They love running around the garden with their list of clues in hand. I could sure use your help in the map drawing department! I usually give each boy a list with the clues numbered to take them to different spots. This year I want to have each spot hold the clue for the next spot. A map would be a treat, maybe next year I will do that, not enough time for this one. Thanks for the inspiration!

  45. Zach says:

    How beautiful, are all of these pics from your house? If so, You have some beautiful property! You are right, the grass when wet does really look like dew covered spider webs! Love it all, you all ways have great pics!

    Hi Zach, thanks so much. All of my photos are from my own garden unless otherwise noted. I have been gardening a long time and this particular garden is eight years old. That was a lucky day with the light and the heavy dew and the camera in my hands to be able to capture those images.

  46. Patsi says:

    Unbelievable !!
    Your landscape looks magical.

    Hi Patsi, thanks. It was a special moment in the garden.

  47. Melva says:

    What lovely pictures. Yuor garden is magnificent. Thank you for sharing.

    Hi Melva, thanks for stopping by and welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  48. Pam/Digging says:

    “my photos are nothing but lucky timing”

    Frances, don’t sell yourself short. Luck—being at the right place at the right time—is half the secret to good photos. The other half is taking lots of images from various angles. Then you’re bound to get one or two nice ones. You got more than just one or two for this post. Rock on!

    Hi Pam, thanks, you are so sweet. I was so lucky that day with those conditions of the grasses. It was a gift. I take so many photos, and I agree that the more angles, etc. the better chance of getting a good one. Thanks for all the help too.

  49. ESP says:

    Wow! the Muhlenbergia capillaris shot is stunning, it looks like a large rolling wave. Great shots here on all the grasses. Love it!

    Hi ESP, thanks and welcome. It does look like a wave now that you mention it. Surf’s up!

  50. semi says:

    Wow! Those photos are amazing. A scene fit for Fantasia.Love Semi

    Hello my dear Semi, thanks. I wish you could have seen it in person, it was like a dreamscape.
    Love, Frances

  51. Lydia says:

    I just love your photos!

    Hi Lydia, thanks and welcome. You have lovely photos on your blog also. I think you could do a much better job at an English translation than the google button. It just doesn’t get garden talk! 🙂

Comments are closed.