Great Plants this Month

Miscanthus nepalensis

Himalayan fairy grass

image of Louise Sims
Louise Sims

This morning there was a definite chill in the air. Summer has surely given way to autumn, and this is the time of year when the ornamental grasses come into their own. In the average sized garden, it’s a mistake to grow too many different ones together, as they then lose their individual impact; so autumn is the perfect season to visit a few gardens and take a closer look at each of their qualities.

It was just a few months before the pandemic that we last went to Great Dixter and I saw a magnificent clump of this beautiful miscanthus positioned on the corner of a bed, which was the perfect place for it to strut its stuff – a veritable fountain of sunshine.

This is a graceful and distinctive, other-worldly sort of grass (hence its common name perhaps?), and the pendant, bronzy-golden plumes are held well above the foliage to about one and a half metres. Hardiness is clearly a much-discussed issue around M. nepalensis, and it’s fair to say that sun, shelter and – critically – very sharp drainage are essential, because it dislikes nothing more than winter wet.

Some plants really are worth cossetting and this is one of them.

NB Louise has published a beautifully produced book of her plant profiles – A Plant for Each Week of the Year. It costs £9.99 and is for sale in our online shop here.

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By the3growbags

We're three sisters who love gardening, plants and even the science of horticulture but we're not all experts. We'd love everyone even remotely interested in their gardens to be part of our blogsite.

4 replies on “Miscanthus nepalensis”

There are some nice ones in the Dukes Garden at Kew, where I am a volunteer weeder. So splendid are its silky tassels that we nicknamed it Miscanthus Littleponyensis.

We had a great garden tour around The Pig at Harlyn Bay, Scarlet the head gardener has done wonders with massed grasses there. Anyone can go, any time and no charge to wander round the grounds and fabulous veggie garden.

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