Cutting back ornamental grasses

Oh dear, more beige and brown.  It’s such a tricky time of year when you want to present photo essays of the garden.

Bring on spring.

But for now I’m pleased when I see that hard frost every morning. It means the weeds aren’t germinating.

And that gives me time to think I’m still in control.

I left my tools down in the stables yesterday and that was a big mistake. I only had ‘cut back grasses’ on my list.  I yearn in that sad way of a child looking onto an empty sandpit to have a play. Bare earth. Just waiting to be landscaped.

But who knew that playing in the dirt involved so many rocks? I do love my wall building. And I trotted up to the potting shed to get my string to measure a straight line.

I had an idea. I have an awful lot of ‘excess rocks’. Why not extend the wall?

Getting the tool from the potting shed took ages as Artur is in a lap sitting mood at the moment. But even he will wander off if I wriggle. But he loves how warm the potting shed gets when the sun hits that polycarbonate roof.

Nothing is going to improve that ugly look of the wall beside the stables. There used to be a water trough there during the animal days. And for some reason it has been half destroyed. Why, I have no idea. I did rather want it entirely dismantled during the bulldozer day, but we ran out of time.

And all the time I was placing rocks in the straight row I was muttering ‘step away from the wall, step away from the wall’.

Grasses. I need to cut back grasses.

Because there is one thing I have learned about the gentle art of cutting back ornamental grasses is it is never simple.

For months on end they perform without any fuss. And you have no idea what is really happening around and under the soil. For me on this steep bank it is the hidden bramble forest that I never notice during the growing season.

So it’s cutting back, and also garden maintenance. And all the time trying to work out where to try and mulch the mess.

Because miscanthus grass (and that is all I managed to cut) is a tough old beast. No wonder they use it as biofuel.

I tied them up in bundles and placed them along the gap between the fence and the dry garden. I need to fill this space in. And it’s going to take years. Unless I can work out how to move the damage from the lower terrace where the wild boar churned up the grass and soil, and barrow all that lovely stuff to this gap.

For now it’s lightweight grass bundles. Easy for one overwhelmed gardener.