I must admit to a bit of myopia when it comes to grasses, the same affliction that I have with conifers. I like them but I can’t quite get my head round them or rather I don’t like them quite enough to study them in enough detail to sort them out in my mind. But as with the conifers I do like those that really stand out. When it comes to grasses the annual ones tend to be easy to recognise and I like them, at least those that are readily available. So I am growing a couple this year including pennisetum ‘Purple Baron’ (more for its usefulness than a great affection for it) and panicum ‘Frosted Explosion’ which I love. I also like quaking grass and the beautiful Hordeum jubatum but I forgot to order those for this year.
But at the moment the cute Lagurus ovatus is making everyone smile.
This is a Mediterranean native but it is naturalised around the world including Wexford apparently. It is the only species in the genus Lagurus. Being an annual it can be sown in spring where it is to bloom but I sowed the seeds in cell trays, a pinch in each and made sure that no more than three were left in each so they were not too crowded. You need to plant them out while young and before they get stressed or, like all annuals, they will rush to bloom at an immature stage and not make good plants. I grew them in cells so I could plant them out later than I would have to sow them and that gave me time to prepare the plot in the cutting garden.
It is a dwarf grass, no more than 30cm high, and each plant produces a flurry of cute, fluffy heads. They can be cut fresh or dried and they last in good condition for quite a while on the plant.
It is very tactile and you can’t help giving them a stroke.
I wasn’t very happy with the photos above, taken on a dull day. So I went out to take some more to show how lovely this grass really looks!