Thursday, September 3, 2009


Sometimes I get really lucky and wind up with some great specimen plants. Sometimes not, but that is another story. In the case of Adagio Miscanthus sinensis I got real lucky. I originally thought this grass to be Morning Light, but upon doing some research and cataloging all of my plants I found the label clearly identifying this grass as Adagio.I love this grass! Why you ask? Because it grows in the shade, is reliable, easy to divide, stands up straight and tall and makes a nice presence sans colorful flowers. Ornamental grasses also make great foundation plants. I just put these three clumps here in my foundation bed in the fall of 2007. They really have filled in fast and make a good presence on this side of the house; which slopes down a bit from the left side. The grass adds some weight, along with the Emerald Green aborvitae and anchors the whole right side foundation beds

Adagio will grow to about 5 feet tall (flower portion) and about 4' wide. It is a smaller type miscanthus than you typically find and will fit into any garden.

Variety is good and this grass, or any ornamental grass (and there are tons!) for that matter, adds a great deal of variety and interest to the garden. What are some other plants that add
interest to your garden besides flowers?

in the garden....


  1. I have just turned my attention to some grasses this past year. I have them in containers....I plan to expand my knowledge and collection pretty soon....

  2. I'm with Darla, I'd like more grasses. Is there any that are reedy? Like cat nine?

  3. Tina I am such a fan of ornamental grasses .. I know I have said that a million times .. it still puzzles me with how many gardeners haven't gone this route though ? .. I don't have large spaces to work with but even so I have as many as I can and for the life of me I can't stop planting more .. this one is a GREAT one because of the shade tolerance and straight structure !
    Joy : )

  4. I love ornamental grasses too Tina, but only have room for a couple. I think they are a great way to add texture to a garden. I also think rosemary adds texture, plus I love the fragrance. And, I like cactus (guess it's the Texan in me!). Talk about texture! Ouch! :)

  5. Adagio is the variety that my landscape planner in SC wants to put in...I am leaning to Dixieland. I like having the variegation. Your endorsement of Adagio gives me pause...will look at it again.

  6. Interesting post, Tina. It reminds me of pampas grass, but I like it even better!

  7. I'm enjoying the switch grasses: 'Shenandoah' and 'North Wind'. But anything with interesting foliage is fun in the garden. I like the ninebark I added and the artemisias. Trees too!

  8. I'm a big fan or ornamental grasses and need to divide a huge one (with a chainsaw!) this fall. I finally mapped out where the sun is in my garden and now know where I can create a new bed!

  9. Hi Tina, I will look at this grass. It isn't often you find a nice grass that tolerates shade. Just how much shade is yours in?

    I have decided to use grasses on a small portion of my foundation. This might work.


  10. I love ornamental grasses too but tend to use the small ones: Stipa, Pennisetum, Muhlenbergia, Panicum. I do have Panicum 'Cloud Nine' that I love. It's majestic yet very light and airy.

  11. Thanks for the recommendation, Tina! I don't have a single ornamental grass in my garden, but I do like the grasses I've seen in other gardens. My problem is in selecting just the right one and placing it somewhere with accompanying plants so that it looks like a garden and not one of the many weedy grasses that grow around our farm:) I'd love to hear some recommendations for plantings with grasses, too.

  12. Good morning all! School starts today and I am working on a client's garden so I've been busy but here I am for a minute.

    Darla, They are great! Love the variety.

    Dawn, Lots of reedy grasses. The variety is endless!

    Joy, Not sure why more don't grow them. Some have bad reps for self seeding everywhere but there are so many good choices too.

    Linda, Rosemary and cactus are great companion plants for grasses. Texture is great!

    Janet, It is really a soft looking and feeling grass that stands out. I'm not familiar with Dixieland so need to check that one out. P.S. I've not had a chance to get one of those berries but will soon. Been no-stop.

    Lzyjo, The pampas dies here-everytime so I gave up. I so loved it in NC. This is a good one but not a substitute-to small different bloom.

    Dave, Switch grasses are something I don't have. I did just buy Hameln but I am not sure if that is one. It is nice. I plan to add some switchgrasses soon.

    Monica, Now that would be sight you with a chainsaw and the grass-wonder who will win? My money is on you:)

    Marnie, I have several clumps all around the yard that started from one small clump. I am a perpetual divider. These clumps grow in from 1-2 hours of sun per day and bright light to this spot which is probably 4 hours or so of direct overhead sun (faces east but trees are on the east side). Some of the other do not bloom as well but still bloom. It is a keeper as I can find no other grass that will work in these situations. We seriously lack sun here-no where do I get 6 hours on my spot of land but it is workable so far. These add so much to my foundation.

    Sweetbay, I just added muhly and hope it blooms. I need to add others as they are so wonderful and especially since they last thru the winter.

    Rose, I bet one would look great in your wild garden. These are easy care and big rewarders. I pair mine with things like artemsia, browneyes, evergreens, lantana, even peonies close by-just about anything. Depends on the look you are going for but they really do fit in anywhere. Being from the coast of Maine I like the grasses with rocks and roses too. I even have some grasses growing next to witch hazel and I tell you the combination of the leaves with the blades is very nice. A good contrast. That is the key.

    By now, gotta get to work...

  13. It tolerates some shade? Then it is the miscanthus for me! I just love this grass - beautiful!

  14. I love ornamental grasses. Is adagio a problem reseeding about the garden?

  15. Megan, It is great in the shade as far as ornamental grasses go.

    Donna, Never does Adagio self seed around. I think it is the pennesetums that have that issue more than the miscanthus. I was careful with that. I increase my stock by division.

  16. It is very pretty and has grown well in only 2 years. Good choice I would say.

    Word for word this is what I read in the garden column of the Times Record in this past Tuesdays edition....Gooseberries are secondary hosts for the white pine blister rust, a disease that can kill pine trees. In New Hampshire and Maine there are restrictions and prohibitions about growing these tasty fruits. There are now named cultivars that are resistant to this malady, and available and legal to plant and purchase. In Maine, contact your local extension agent. It goes on to say more but this sure got my attention. I will call extension later. Do you know what kind you planted in my yard Tina? Dawn if you wanna call the # in Portland is 780-4205.

  17. I like the Hens and Chicks, they are a fun, low-growing plant that need little or now care.
    The grasses are sort of a fire hazard up here in the mountains, so I tend to only grow a few of them, I still love them!

  18. Mom, Contact the extension agent right away and ask about the gooseberries then. I am sure these are American gooseberries but I am not sure of the cultivar. Some areas of the country do have restrictions growing gooseberries but I thought it because gooseberries spread so fast and did not know on the disease. Check with them. You may be better off ripping them out as we don't want to kill any pine trees. Let me know.

    Rosey, Hen and chicks are great. I have some too. I heard on the news that it is pretty smokey in Colorado and thought of your mention of that the other day. I hope some rain comes to the west soon!

  19. I love grasses and paddy-like blooms! It is a wonderful sight to behold - a carpet of paddy blooms!

  20. Those are beautiful specimens! I like grasses but don't have much room for them. I have been growing a polka dot grass for a couple years now. I have moved it a couple times and it has protested. Thankfully it is in its final home now so I hope it gets growing like yours.

  21. Garden Wise Guy just recommended this grass to me on twitter. I've tended to avoid most Miscanthus as they get too big (other than M. transmorrisonensis, which I like because it's evergreen) but this one looks lovely. Will give it a try soon.

  22. It's a good one, Tina! I am making a new bed and need to find those grasses which tolerate wet soil in winter. I'm wondering if such grasses exist.

  23. Tina your grasses are great looking and I love the statement they make in a group like that. I bought my first grass this summer and it also likes some shade, is fairly small, varigated foliage and the feathery plumes are wine colored - made for me!!! I love mine too.

  24. I love how those nice clumps of grasses look. I don't really have much in the way of grasses, but if this grows in the shade I might be able to find a spot for it.

  25. Chandramouli, Hello there! Glad you like grasses. I am not sure what paddy blooms are? Waterlilies?

    Dan, too funny on the traveling grass. I'm sure it's happy in its final home.

    Susan, This is a smaller miscanthus and a lovely one. Whatever is transmorrisonis?

    Tatyana, There are grasses that are okay in wet soils. This is probably not one of them though. Good luck finding the right one.

    Linda, You'll love grasses for winter interest. I don't like cutting them though. I do hope your father is doing okay.

    Catherine, Our gardens seem to be sun challenged so you might find this one does okay in yours but it does need some sun.

  26. I'm always a bit timid when it comes to grasses since some can be quite invasive in my zone 7b garden. But I'm starting to understand the attraction. :)

  27. Grasses sure are beautiful right now! I moved the miscanthus I had and replaced them with Panicum North Wind...It's a lovely more upright grass. I do miss the swaying seed heads! The curious thing is, I continue to remove seedlings and Morning Light wasn't supposed to be invasive....maybe it was mislabeled gail

  28. Love those grasses. I have 2 kinds. "Shenandoah" & Cord grass. I don't know too much on how the Cord Grass is going to do here so I put it in a pot to watch. I also have the Shenandoah in a whiskey barrel with an Echinacea & a mum. They seem to be doing ok together.

  29. Paddy is the rice in husk that're still in the fields

  30. This is the most interesting thing in internet blogging. I can find live encyclopedias as to plants and flowers nomenclatures without opening my own book. lol.

    thanks for this very informative piece. I think the name adagio suits this ornamental grass fine by its own physical character.

    thanks for visiting my flower/plant blog. i am just bit lazy to do my homework that i cannot incorporate it with proper info.

    have a nice weekend!

  31. Hi tina

    I'm very interested in this post.
    Your pretty adagio reminds me of our susuki, a type of sinensis, which grows here and there in our country. But I think yours has a more artistic shape. I took a picture of susuki in the distance, so if you have time, please take a glance at my next post. Thank you for sharing!!

  32. Love ornamental grasses. Wish I had that kind of space to plant them...
    You have a nice blog, Tina..

  33. Racquel, Some grasses do for sure have that potential. I'm pretty sure this miscanthus is not one of them though. A good thing for me.

    Gail, I had never heard of 'Morning Light' being a pest but anything can be in the right conditions. That 'Panicum' is supposed to be a good one.

    Lola, Ornamental grasses are such fun. You are smart to watch the new ones.

    Chandramouli, Ah ha! Got it now. I was thinking water lillies. Now I need to Google it to see what it looks like!:)

    Bonnie, You bet on the visiting. I was not sure which blog to pick but figured fleur MUST be flower (French or something right?). I enjoyed your last rose. I too like to blog since you can learn so much-one of the best thing about it-no research required just reading.

    Sapphire, You bet. I'd love to see your grass in Japan-the king of gardening with grasses:) I'll stop by no problem.

    Urban Green, Welcome and thanks. You have a very nice blog too and it is always nice to meet another blogger from India. Have you registered your blog with Blotanical? A directory of sorts of garden blogs. Thanks for dropping in.