Fruit, Foliage and Grasses Follow Up

I’ve been meaning to post a few more photos as a follow up to GBBD, but things have been very busy and I just got back from an overnight work trip. In addition to flowers, the seed heads on the grasses are ripening. I have three switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) ‘Northwind’ in the front bed along the sidewalk. Of these, two are very robust, the third is struggling with the shade it’s getting from the surrounding forbs.  I love this plant for the blue green color, the airy seedheads, and the fact that it is tall and substantial but also very upright.

Switchgrass in the front yard.

The ‘Donald Wyman’ crabapple is loaded with fruit this year.  The fruit, as it ripens, is just as beautiful as the flowers.


Also, I did find some ripe grey dogwood berries before the birds got to them. There are also a handful of black chokeberries – I have four dwarf shrubs still very young and recovering from being chewed down almost to the ground by rabbits during the winter. The first spicebush berries have turned red, but I have yet to see any spicebush swallowtail caterpillars, which is disappointing.  And the snowberries and coralberries are coming along.

Grey dogwood berries.
Grey dogwood berries

Oh yes, and foliage. The caladiums in the backyard are doing well, and for the first time this year I have planted Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus). At first I thought they were too dark, but I’m growing to like them.

I have these caladiums and Persian shields in containers located to hide the fact that there is a turnoff to this path that ends very abruptly.




12 Comments on “Fruit, Foliage and Grasses Follow Up

  1. I love ‘Northwind’! This is my first full season with them (planted last fall) and I love them for the exact same reasons…so upright. Can’t wait to see them bulk up over the next few years.

    • I need to try more grasses and sedges. I know I like switchgrass, dropseed, and palm sedge. I have mixed feelings about northern sea oats and bottlebrush grass, and can definitely do without wild ryes.

  2. Thanks for reminding us to look at all aspects of the plant–flowers, foliage, fruit, and seed. Beautiful samples in this post.

  3. Ah, crabapples. Growing up they were a real treat when cooked in honey and cinammon. Where I live now they are not grown due to the orchard industry, to do with pest and disease protection. I miss them!

    • My mother used to make crabapple jelly. These days I leave them for the birds, who seem to enjoy them unsweetened.

  4. Your crabapples are beautiful! Thanks for identifying switchgrass for me! I bought it a few years ago but forgot what it was. Everytime I’d see it I wondered… Now I know!

  5. I also love Northwind panicum. It’s great in dried fall arrangements along with some seedheads. Wonderful photos as always.

  6. Hi Jason, I do like the Switchgrass and might look for those to put in the garden here. I’ll be trying Verbena Bonariensis from seed next year to give an “airy feeling” as well as looking into small Stipa grasses.

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