Monday, 17 September 2007

Pampas Grass

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I think it was about eight years ago when they had a special offer in the local supermarket (again) for pampas grass. My garden had started growing and I decided it would be a nice plant to put in the middle of the “lawn” (I am not a lawn type – so it is more daisies than grass). When it arrived it was quite compact with a few strands of leaves forming a circle. I had often admired the gardens with pampas grass being the main attraction in Autumn showing their flowers. My pampas grass was very reluctant to show any flowers for the first two years. Although it grew quite a lot of leaves, it just stayed a bundle of long grass.

I think it was the third year when at the end of August some sturdy stalks started stretching through the leafy mass. As they grew taller there was something strange poking out of the middle of the stalks. Imagine the pride I had when I realised they were the first flowering stalks that were appearing. The first year there were only about five of them but it was a beginning.

A year later I was visiting the family in London for a week and called in at the local Internet café (my dad doesn’t have a computer – he found that when he got to the age of 80 it wasn’t worth bothering about), I tuned into home and found that I had a mail in my mailbox from my other half with an attachment. The pampas had managed at least ten stalks that year and my husband had sent a photo to prove it. Since then we havn’t been disappointed any more.

We usually leave them until the following year in Spring, so they usually get a coating of snow during the Winter.

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When Spring arrives we take the hedge cutter and give it a short back and sides. The leaves are razor sharp when cut and we do have a bit of excitement now and again if they happen to get wound around your fingers. That is when the colourful mixture of German and English negative remarks are to be heard in the garden. However, eventually after collecting the cut grass and fruit spears the plant looks tidier, although a bit naked. By the time June arrives it is already half way there in growth and in Autumn, as now, we have our show once again.

Did I mention that our cats like to relax under the pampas grass in Summer to get away from the sun’s rays.

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