Git Along Little Muhly


Git along, little Muhly. In other words, hurry up, quit poking around and get your pink dress on, Muhlenbergia capillaris!


Even though you are not the only show pony in the garden right now, the calendar says it is time for you to take the center ring.


So step lively, now. Your mamma can tell that you are not meeting your full potential just yet. Those little telltale bits of whitish where the pink meets the stem means there is more color yet to emerge and unfurl.


It is the herd on the hill behind the main house that decides to step up first. Either it is sunnier, warmer, colder, drier, or something-er up there in the highest part of the property where one can see clear over the rooftop of the house to the woods across the street.


The rodeo clowns, Japanese anemones, Anemone hupehensis ‘Prinz Heinrich’, which is suspected of not being this cultivar at all after some online searching revealed that the true prince is a double form, have been keeping the folks entertained but the act is wearing thin and the crowds are getting impatient. Added: This has now been identified as A. hupehensis ‘Praecox’.


The angle of the sun has shifted noticeably since the fall equinox, backlighting the steep slope in a more flattering way. Viewed from the deck and inside the addition, the pink muhliness draws our attention like a moth to a candle. We can’t stay away from the frothy cotton candy waving at us from atop the concrete stairs.


The pink muhly hillside planting is just the warm-up act for the Muhlenbergia capillaris headliner, however. It is the mass planting at the front of the buildings, along the driveway, that is the main attraction. Aster oblongifolius ‘October Skies’ decided to plant itself along the front of the pink muhly with seedlings spilling downwards by wind, rain and snow last year. It promises to be a memorable display. So get with the program, already.

Frances

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21 Responses to Git Along Little Muhly

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Pink and blue are always a pleasing color combination. Soon you will have your eyes filled with that pink cotton candy.

    Thanks Lisa. We finally found a good mate for the pink muhly in the October Skes. Blooms at the same time, right height, likes the conditions, great color and the self seeding was an unexpected bonus. Just a few more days for the driveway patch to open.
    Frances

  2. Gail says:

    Frances, The earliest muhly looks wonderful~especially with the pink anemone. I can’t wait to see how the blue aster looks with Big Pink! I remember my first visit with you and coming upon your house and the fantastically wonderful sight the Muhly was in full bloom. xoxogail

    Thanks Gail. It was lovely having you here in fall, for the muhly and leaf peeping. The October Skies is the MONEY as a companion for the muhly. Funny how it came up with the idea of trailing along the driveway in front of the grass, the aster that is. I would have never thought of it.
    xxxooo
    Frances

  3. Charming title and so well written Frances. I always look forward to your muhly pics and postings. Thank you for sharing this part of your garden with us all. Yes, get along little muhly. Get along.~~Dee

    Thanks so much Dee, you are very kind to say those sweet things. The muhly is a favorite here, we all love seeing it coming along. It always seems so slow to pink up, but does stay colorful into December.
    Frances

  4. Nicole says:

    LOL I wish I had that showstopper!

    Thanks Nicole. It does stop traffic when the driveway patch is in full on show. No one ever knows what it is, either. What a shame.
    Frances

  5. commonweeder says:

    I always wait for your Muhly grass. It is so lovely, but too tender for our region. And, of course, everyone knows I love pink.

    Thanks Pat. Maybe someday there will be a cultivar with more hardiness that you can grow. Or else global weirding of the weather will allow it to grow in Massachusetts.
    Frances

  6. Beautiful! The combination with the pink Japanese anemones is brilliant!

    Thanks College Gardener. It is a nice surprise, the bloom timing and the color echo.
    Frances

  7. Wendy says:

    Gorgeous!! What is that tall hot pink flower in the 2nd photo? That is Gorgeous as well!!

    Thanks Wendy. The tall beauty is Japanese anemone, Anemone hupehensis ‘Prinz Heinrich’, although I am now unsure of the cultivar name. I bought a small pot of it years ago at a farmer’s market and that is what the label said. It spreads by runner and seed.
    Frances

  8. Leslie says:

    Lovely photos…you have so much color right now in your garden!

    Thanks Leslie. Fall is a good time here. Lots blooming and once the leaves start changing, it is breathtaking.
    Frances

  9. Christina says:

    Frances, I have to admit so far I am not a big fan of having grasses in the garden, but your muhlenbergia capillaris is absolutely stunning. You created magical scenes with it in your lovely garden! I especially like it together with the anemones.
    Christina

    Not a fan of grasses? You are truly missing out on making your garden much more interesting and beautiful. There are some that are too large and coarse, like the pampas, but so many good ones, like Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’. I wouldn’t be without them, for winter interest alone. The pink muhly is the queen, for zone 7 and warmer, but there are plenty of others for colder climates. I am trying to change your mind, here! Thanks for the kind words, BTW.
    Frances

    Thanks for trying to make me a better gardener I appreciate your effort, Frances ! I will definitively have a closer look at grasses from now on.
    Christina

    Thanks for giving grasses a second look, Christina. I apologize for being so shrill!
    Frances

  10. The pink color of your ‘muhly’ is stunning! It adds so much to the plants surrounding it…just lovely! And finally, the way the sun bounces off of the blooms and stems is a sight to behold!

    Thanks Sage Butterfly. The pink shows up the most when backlit and the situation of my slope along with the angle of the sun at this time of year are a recipe for success.
    Frances

  11. Cindy, MCOK says:

    I do love Pink Muhly! Someday I hope to see it in bloom in Fairegarden up close and personal!

    Hi Cindy, come on up! Usually mid-October into November is the best time for it, depending on the weather of course. It seems to open later each year, or maybe it is the wait makes time stand still!
    Frances

  12. It is hard to imagine your Pink Muhly so far behind mine. In the spring it is the opposite way. My zone 5b/6a is pushing Muhly hardiness, but so far so good. Now where’s the seedlings?

    I know, Christopher! Why is yours so far ahead of mine? Glad to hear the hardiness is not a problem for you, yours is gorgeous. As for seedlings, they are usually in the gravel paths, where you dug yours. There are not a million of them, either. You almost have to wait for them to bloom to spot them.
    Frances

  13. Lyn says:

    Oh, wow. That’s all I can say. Well, maybe a bit more. Please tell me I can grow it in alkaline clay with 600ml rain a year (24 inches). And that I can get it in Australia. Sometimes I think I will outgrow bright pink. Not today.

    Thanks Lyn. I can tell you that you can grow it, but that won’t make it true! HA The alkaline and low rainfall should not be a problem, you would do better to add sand to your clay, in nature it grows on the sand dunes of the Gulf of Mexico and southern shores of the US Atlantic coastal areas. Good luck in your search. Hound your nurseries to get it for you.
    Frances

  14. GA says:

    Hi GG! I am doing this on my iPad. Thank you. Love you.

    Hi GA!!!! I am so glad you got the ipads and know they will help you in school. Love you more.
    GG

  15. Michael says:

    Good morning GG. Thank you for my iPad. It is so cool. Can’t wait to see you. Love, michael

    Good morning dear Michael! I am very pleased that you figured out the ipad so quickly. Maybe you can show me how to use one soon. I love you bunches!
    GG

  16. I think these are my favorite grass. Had never seen them before reading your posts on them last year. How hardy are they? I’m wondering if they will tolerate my Canadian winters.

    Hi Heather, thank for visiting. I have a friend who winters the muhly over in a protected spot with excellent drainage in zone 5 Pennsylvania.
    Frances

  17. Elizabeth McLeod says:

    Wow/……I never knew they had a grass this color? It looks splendid in your photos. Thanks for sharing them.

    Thanks Elizabeth. The pink muhly grass is something quite special, there is nothing else like it when backlit.
    I will be showing more of it as it opens fully. The pink color fades to more purple in November into December, still lovely.
    Frances

  18. I’ve never planted these particular grasses, but I love the splash of fluffy pink seed heads, it really really brings quite a punch to that part of the garden. Complements the color of your anemones perfectly too!

    Thanks CV. The pink muhly grass is a fall stand out here, it lights up the landscape like no other plant when backlit, which is whenever the sun is out with the steep slope. The anemones are having their best year ever, too.
    Frances

  19. Lisa says:

    I love the look of Muhly grass, but appreciate the Aster ‘October Skies’ even more. It’s a bit of a spreader, but talk about 3 season interest!

    Hi Lisa, thanks for stopping by. It took years of expermenting to find the proper mate for the pink muhly. October Skies has more than met the criteria. We welcome spreaders here, the conditions are tough.
    Frances

  20. Rose says:

    Every fall I get excited to see the Muhly show–the early ones are showstoppers, as usual. Can’t wait to see the late arrivals soon! Uh oh, did you say ‘October Skies’ spreads? I planted three this spring after seeing them on your blog last year, and I love them. But I like just the three, just where they are:)

    Thanks Rose. It promises to be a good year for the muhly. As for the October Skies, pull the seedlings that you don’t want. I cannot imagine not wanting them, though. Plant them somewhere else that you want a froth of blue in the fall. They are natives, pollinators love them.
    Frances

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