Thursday, June 08, 2006

Minou - meow

Here is a photo of the newest addition to the menagerie - Minou - climbing on a pile of washing. She is now asleep, in danger of tumbling out of the laundry bin. Bix and Phoebe, our older cats, are staying clear of her with just the occasional growling grumble when she passes them - Jasmine, the miniature schnauzer, is terrified!

I am about to go out and do deliveries up to Aberfoyle - I think that I might take Jasmine with me.

Each week's subscription flowers seem to take on a different hue. This week they are blue and lilac with silver - the silver comes today from a very pretty grass Briza minima. At least I think that is what it is - one of the downsides to having a dog who loves to chew plastic is that labels have a tendancy to go missing (just after I had trained the children not to take labels out of pots!) so it is an unlabelled grass I sowed last year but which has only just come into flower. If it is Briza minima then all I can say that it isn't very "minima" at all - the stems are about 18" - and the seed heads unwrap themselves from their stem sheaf all crinkled like hair just undone from a plait and then push themselves outward as if suspended in air.

I love using grasses in flower arrangements - airy, floaty ones in particular - as they give a sense of movement, texture and lightness. Personally I like two different sorts of arrangement - a single type of mad flower massed together - a bunch of parrot tulips or bicolour dahlias for example - or a bunch that look like a herbaceous border with different heights, flowers, seedheads and grasses. Grasses also look wonderful on their own - that is how I like to use Stipa gigantea when I have a lot of it - cut full height and displayed in a large glass vase.


Heather said...

Well I'm going to have lots of questions now I found you!

How do you keep the grass contained - the one thing I hate in my garden is grasses because they take over and are the devils own to get rid of.

Mine of course aren't pretty grasses - its couch grass type stuff but invades boarders and I can't seem to control it.


Jane said...

Hi Heather - because I need lots of flowers etc. I tend to like garden thugs - one of my best cutting flowers is the white form of willow herb. Most of the grasses I grow for arrangements are clumpers rather than spreaders - they do self sow, but, perhaps because we are cold and wet in the winter, they don't take over.
However - as we cut the flower beds out of pasture we also have a BIG couch grass problem. Having raised beds helps a bit as it is easier to pull out the strands but as we have grass paths between the beds I am now resigned to it being an ongoing problem. Not so bad in the annual beds as they can be dug over in the autumn, but v. irritating in the borders. So sorry - can't give you any miraculous cure. I haven't tried Tagetes minuta which is meant to shade out and thereby cure couch grass problems as I know it would just snake back in from the paths.