The Zebra Grass (Miscanthus zebrinus) planted there looked especially good while dormant so I crossed this spot off the to-do list.
Not so fast...
A year later the Zebra Grass and Ruby Crystals Grass (Rhynchelytrum nerviglume) in the front island bed had been reduced to toast by the drought and heat of 2011.
Clearly a rework was needed and since this is a highly visible spot, it moved quickly to the top of the to-do list. I replaced the miscanthus with three drought and heat tolerant Lindheimer's Muhly.
Or so I thought...
Soon after planting the "Lindheimer's Muhly" I noticed they didn't look quite right. These plants were purchased during the fall sale at a very reliable independent nursery and all three were labeled Lindheimer's Muhly. No reason to doubt, except they didn't look nearly as nice as the Lindheimer's muhly planted a year earlier.
In fact, they looked weedy and more like field grasses. Definitely not a good look for the front yard where I need plants to hold up through the winter. They were dormant when planted and I was pretty busy last fall so I decided to wait. When they began to green up this spring I compared the blades and, sure enough, they are not Lindheimer's Muhly.
This all worked out okay because I had changed my mind about what I want there anyway. I decided to add Gulf Muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris) to my yard after seeing the most amazing displays of them all over town last fall and noting that they continued to look good all winter. The Lindheimer's Muhly originally appealed to me because I didn't think I would like the Gulf Muhly pink as much. Plantings like this one along Josephine St. changed my mind.
The unidentified grasses have been moved to new beds in the back yard. Fortunately my husband disliked the mystery plants even more than I did and was more than willing to help me move them and plant the Gulf Muhly. We also relocated the Ruby Crystals Grass and replaced them with the more drought tolerant Mexican Feather Grass (Nasella tenuissima)
The three misidentified plants were deeply discounted in a fall sale last year and I've found a new spot for them so I'll just let the nursery know what happened. It'll be a fun surprise to see what they are when they bloom in the fall.
It's such a prominent spot that if this doesn't work, I'll rework it again. Meanwhile, I love it when I change my mind and it works out.