Transplanting grasses in spring

eragdetailSo I have spent a year digging out the grasses from this bank. And now I’m putting them back again.

Welcome to the illogicality of garden design.  But there are grasses, and there are grasses.  Out came the annual grasses and perennial nasties. And in went my beloved eragrostis curvula grasses.

I finished weeding and landscaping the bank last month; but I needed to wait until the grasses were in good lusty growth before I could move them.

eraglowerterraceIt’s the only rule of ornamental grasses. If you have a variety that you cut back in spring. Then as soon as they put on good new growth, you can haul them out and move ’em.

And I have had my eye on dozens and dozens of beasties all over this farm.   Some are in the wrong place on the lower terraces.

Others just too large beside the path down to the pool.


You have to squint to see the huge eragrostis that was growing for a few years below the mulberry on the lower terrace.  I was trying so hard to get the gorgeous cherries and my new narcissus Thalia in shot that I kept walking back down the road.

And yes, the Ikea bags get an outing. I was with Alice in the Alps last weekend and came back with some gorgeous mulch from her neighbouring forest. So not only would I get to put grasses into this huge bank; I’d have mulch to protect them from annual weeds as well.

It took the whole day. Transplanting the grasses, beetling down with a wheelbarrow full of plants; digging large holes and shoving them into position.

eragplantedupIt was only at the end of the day when I was watering that I was able to count up the number of plants I have transplanted.

Sixty. 60! This is such a huge area. The bank doesn’t even look crowded.

The longest part of the whole job is the watering. As long as you really drench the grasses you have a good chance of them thriving. I’ll do my trick of watering them every two weeks for a few months and then happily ignore them.  The first part of the bank I planted up earlier last year is just romping away.  And these should be fine. They are in proper soil down this end of the huge long bank. Unlike the dreadful subsoil that is all the bulldozer driver left me in the middle part of the orchard.

I have three spaces left for the quinces I want to plant this autumn.  No point planting them until I can water them properly. This bank is the limit of my hose. And will to haul such a heavy object so far from the tap.

eragrostishorizI have all the ballota to transplant as well. And the purple sage.  I was determined to have a bank that is full of plants which I had either sown from seed or taken from cuttings. It limits my repertoire, but I am very pleased with the result.