Back to the School of Grasses

Back in May, we posted about grasses at the Montessori Children’s House of Durham. Hoffman Nursery donated more than 6000 grasses for their new site. Go back to the original post to read about the project and see what it looked like at installation.

Now that fall is here, the grasses are blooming and starting to fill in the space. They’ll look even better with another another season of growth. The Head of School, Happy Sayre-McCord, says the kids and parents love the grasses—especially the Pink Muhly.

Pink Muhly on the school hillside
Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) and other grasses were planted on the steep driveway slope to help control erosion and brighten up a large, blank space.
Pennisetum 'Piglet' in the school landscape
Drifts of Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Piglet’ dot the landscape with their fun, bottlebrush plumes.
Muhlenbergia lindheimeri
The bright green Muhlenbergia lindheimeri has matured beautifully and is sending out tall plumes that will emerge soft pink.
Panicum virgatum 'Hanse Herms'
This very difficult spot is surrounded by asphalt and has no irrigation. Panicum virgatum ‘Hanse Herms’ comes to the rescue. It’s beautiful, drought-tolerant, and trouble-free.
Pink Muhly Grass on the driveway strip
A narrow strip between the drive and the fence is planted with a mixture of flowering perennials and grasses. Here, Pink Muhly Grass begins its fall show.

The plants were installed in May near the end of the school year. The students were thrilled to see how much the plants had grown over the season. They especially enjoyed seeing the blooms emerge. The grasses capture every breath of wind and make it a very dynamic landscape.

The grounds have been well maintained, so weeds haven’t been a big problem. Once the plantings fill in more, less maintenance will be required to keep it weed free.

As before, we’ll check in again on how this exciting landscape is progressing.

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