October 20, 2011

wind + ornamental grasses = kinesis

Toronto Music Garden in its fall glory

When the wind picks up at this time of the year, I always think of ornamental grasses. They evoke waves on land and show the wind's kinetic energy pulsing, pushing and pulling. Gardens around the city are changing towards new forms previously hidden or distracted by foliage and, forgive me, flowers. Senescence comes to mind, a word more descriptive than dormancy. 

Grasses like feather reed grass  (Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’) in the fall show the inevitable sleep that descends on us all after a season of push and pull.

swaying in the wind at Toronto Music Garden by garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog
Feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’) 
in motion

Layers and waves of ornamental grasses and perennials in autumn Toronto Music Garden by garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog
Pennisetum , Miscanthus, et al: all texture, wave after wave

I visited the Toronto Music Garden earlier this past summer in a post called "Toronto Music Garden with the kids" when a greater emphasis was found with flowers. In the courante section of the garden, grasses and other sun-worshipping perennials spiral along the path towards the maypole at the top. Right now, I love this layer of purple coneflower seedheads, plumes from the fountain and maiden grasses, spires of the butterfly bush and Russian sages. No hot designer colours, just a repetition of a plant forms that makes for superb garden design.

What's around the bend? I suspect more Pennisetum, Miscanthus, Chasmanthium, and Panicum willing to embrace and caress you while you hear the rustling with each gust.

Ornamental grasses bordering path up Courante section of Toronto Music Garden by garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog
Ornamental grasses provide a tactile experience

Why wouldn't you want to proceed?

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