May 27, 2012

Blood Grass, Broadway Lights and a Bush

Spirea 'Magic Carpet' (back)
Japanese blood grass 'Red Baron' (middle)
Shasta 'Broadway Lights' (front). May 27, 2012.
While rearranging the garden last fall, I was inspired to move, rather than give up on a Japanese blood grass (imperata cylindrica rubra var. koenigii 'Red Baron') that had been struggling during drought. By the end of summer 2010, the poor thing was looking rather sad and I wasn't sure if it could be saved. Surrounding it with plants to shade its roots seemed the best solution. The red color of the grass echoes the deep red of a spirea 'Magic Carpet' in my garden.

Please note: The species Japanese blood grass is on the noxious weed list of many states. In 2009, the reputation was so bad and the confusion so widespread that a local nursery couldn't sell blood grass. After a few months of waiting, I was allowed to purchase the better-behaving cultivar. If you are shopping for this grass, make sure you purchase imperata cylindrica rubra var. koenigii 'Red Baron'. It is suitable for zones 5-9.

Spirea 'Magic Carpet' has been moved more times than I can count! I think I've finally resolved my color issues with it. The spirea starts out quite orange tips in early spring, then the tip color turns to the deeper red-rust that I love. I have three of these shrubs in the deer resistant garden and there have been no issues with self-sowing. The blooms are a nice pink and I don't deadhead this spirea as I do another variety, 'Neon Flash' (also shown below).

Beyond the blood grass:
Spirea 'Magic Carpet' (front)
Stipa grass (middle)
Spirea 'Neon Flash' (back).  May 6, 2012.

Leucanthemum 'Broadway Lights' ™
begins as a soft yellow and lightens to creamy white.
Blue ageratum is allowed to roam around the path plants.
May 27, 2012.
My existing leucanthemum 'Broadway Lights'™ turned out to be a pretty good candidate to complete the combination with the spirea and blood grass. I've had this shasta for many years and use it to dot the path in the deer resistant meadow garden. A perennial for zones 5-11, deadheading is not required as the buttery flowers fade to white, but I like to neaten up the plants. The foliage remains evergreen in my zone7b garden.

I snapped today's photo when the first blooms of the shasta were open. Soon, the path in the deer resistant garden will once again be dotted with yellow daisies.

The leucanthemum clumps are just beginning to bloom along the path.
Deer resistant meadow garden. May 27, 2012.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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