Stipa Gigantea maintenance

And speaking of well behaved and garden disasters…

I was weeding the stipa gigantia area of the courtyard yesterday.

It was blowing a gale, so possibly not the best time to sort the grasses. But it was on my list so off I went.

I had filled a wheelbarrow with the desiccated dead grasses at the base of these wonderful plants. So to avoid it all falling about the nicely tidied courtyard, I covered the barrow with a bit of carpet.

Warm soft bit of carpet, full barrow, close proximity to favourite human, sunshine…

That didn’t take long.

But as The Creature has a very short attention span, she decided to try and get my attention by having a bit of a play.

Now there is a big difference between hard core gardeners and photographers. If I were a proper photographer I would have stayed with this amazing image and snapped the inevitable disaster that followed.

Yep. She upended the entire contents of the barrow all over the ground.

Cue a mad scramble from me to try and catch the desiccated stalks of grasses before they decorated the entire just tidied courtyard. Camera entirely forgotten.

Madame was sent to the naughty step.

And no, she wasn’t chastened by the experience. But at least she could look on from close by but out of cross-patch gardener and her wheelbarrow range.

The reason I wanted to do a bit of work here in the courtyard was because I have neglected these wonderful stipas.

They actually are a low maintenance plant in the fact you don’t have to cut them back every year. You just don the gloves and give them a sort of tickle to pull out any dying grasses and off you go.

Except you don’t.

I know this because I have planted up three other stipas in the garden. Seedlings from these originals. If you come by I will no doubt thrust a pot full of these seedlings I have weeded out of the stones in front of this hedge.


This one in the dry garden is up, flowering and has absolutely no need of intervention from me.

Right plant, right place, right conditions.

This courtyard is definitely not. I never water the stipas. The bed is very narrow and is crowded.

And as a consequence they look desiccated and do their best and even throw up wonderful flowering spikes.

But this gardener needs to do better. So on my knees I went to work, pulling out hanks of old thatch, and mess.

And don’t laugh. This is the After Shot.

Better, right?


Have one of the shots of the two stipas in the Dry Garden instead.