Stipa Gigantea This week in the garden Week 11
Stipa Gigantea This week in the garden week 11
Squaring up to this apparent beast – it having anchored itself in over more than three years – was not something I was looking forward to.
But it had been planted previously for convenience, rather than in the best position for it. It also needed tidying and dividing.
So with tread boards carefully placed to stop me sinking into the turned soil. I step in and start pulling out the long growth at about 12 inches from the ground. It reminds me of Hagrid. After removing a barrow full I can now see the extent of the clump.
The first fork goes in and meets – surprising light resistance. As the Stipa is up against a fence I have only 180 degrees to confront it, so place fork opposite the first lift and gently lever. And up it comes.
The roots are light and shallow, so getting it to split was no problem at all. In fact the outer sections with fresh roots showing look ready to fall off on their own.
To get a better look at I put on top of a wheelie bin. Trimming it back further leaves a neat Stipa “hedgehog”, that will be easier to part. Tough clumps can be split with a spade, but this was easily parted by hand into neat clumps with clear root divisions.
I have a spot in good sun and a lighter soil in mind, where it – or rather them after I have finished – will be seen.
Replanting Stipa Gigantea
The long established Hemerocallis that occupy the site have to be removed. At the same time I can dig in some home-made course garden compost. This and the continual mulching is producing a nicely textured soil compared to the slabs of clay that are otherwise the norm here.
From the one clump I made three, but one subsequently parted naturally and so there were four.
These two will soon be accompanied by Verbena Bonariensis, hopefully providing a delicate screen to peer through to see the main border.
The following photo shows the same plant 10 days after planting.