Old Favorite

“Old Favorite”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

For several years now I have been using two urns planted with Purple Fountain Grass as markers to show the entrance to the side garden.  About this time each year is when these plants start looking their best.  The purple-colored foliage and plumes help tie this area of the garden with the nearby area which is planted with the purple-foliaged lorepetulum.

Pur Fountain Grass (redu)

When these plants first were introduced, you seemed to see them everywhere, but, now, they do not seem as popular since so many other ornamental grasses are now available.  I still think that the purple fountain grass plumes are one of the prettiest there is.

Pur Fountain Grass Clsp (redu)

Even at dusk, this grass and its plumes look good against the evening sky.  You can’t say that about many of the newer grasses.  This photo is a little dark, but you get the idea.

Pur Fountain Grass Dusk (redu)

Even though there are so many attractive newer grasses, this is still one of my favorites.



  1. Randy said,

    July 14, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Our Purple Fountain Grass was so beautiful last year. It didn’t return this year and we decided not to replant it. The idea of putting it in urns is a very good one though. Maybe we can consider that in the future.

    • Jan said,

      July 14, 2009 at 3:04 pm

      Randy, I have had this grass in containers which sit in the urns for years. If a hard freeze is predicted, I just pop the containers out of the urns and place on the front porch for protection. So far, this has worked, but for regular winter, they just sit out in the garden with no problem.

  2. Janet said,

    July 14, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Nice!! Love the different photos during the day into night. Think my favorite one is the last one. (How is your Fireworks doing?)

    • Jan said,

      July 14, 2009 at 3:05 pm

      Thanks, Janet, for the photo feedback. Fireworks is coming along fine. I have two plumes now and think in a few weeks it will look gorgeous.

  3. Jake said,

    July 14, 2009 at 9:43 am

    You are right about them not being as popular. I have noticed that just in the last year. I think it is because they are annuals that just start looking really good about now. I will always plant it if I can find it though.


    • Jan said,

      July 14, 2009 at 3:10 pm

      Jake, one of the reasons I like to overwinter mine in the containers is that often you can’t find the “non-popular” plants when you want them. I don’t see them so much in the garden centers like I used to about eight years ago. Then, they were everywhere.

  4. Sheila said,

    July 14, 2009 at 10:05 am

    I was just admiring my own Purple Fountain grasses! You are right, they are so lovely this time of year!

    • Jan said,

      July 14, 2009 at 3:05 pm

      Shelia, I think they look their best in the fall. That is when I get a myriad of plumes, just in time for Thanksgiving.

  5. Phillip said,

    July 14, 2009 at 10:17 am

    I love it and I just bought some that was marked down at Lowe’s. It is an annual here.

    • Jan said,

      July 14, 2009 at 3:07 pm

      Phillip, I think this would come back for us here after winter, but I am not willing to take that chance since these urns make such a nice statement. I would hate not having them in early spring. I am glad to see so many gardeners still like this grass.

  6. nancybond said,

    July 14, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Definitely a beautiful grass. Especially wonderful against that sunset.

    • Jan said,

      July 15, 2009 at 4:05 am

      Nancy, I wish my photo could better show how the grass picks up the deep rose of the sunset. In person, it was so beautiful.

  7. July 14, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    I love the picture at dusk! I always seem to see the purple fountain in the fall. I usually buy a few for my planters as the center of a fall display. They are getting harder to find. -Jackie

    • Jan said,

      July 15, 2009 at 4:04 am

      Jackie, having difficulty finding my favorite plants is one of the reasons that I try and overwinter so many plants. I am afraid with this economy, we will find a lot of things difficult to find as nurseries reduce their stock. I was unable to get any ornamental millet this year for example, and I guess I’ll try seeds next year.

  8. Phillip said,

    July 15, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Thank you for telling me about the book with the mondo lawn. That gives me renewed hope that it might work. I’m leaning heavily toward using it and if you can grow it under a magnolia tree, surely it won’t mind some root competition.

    • Jan said,

      July 15, 2009 at 6:36 pm

      You are welcome, Phillip. I was just thinking about your situation when I was watering my plants and thought creeping lirope would also work. I have some growing around and under some shrubs. There is the added advantage of the purple flowers, too.

      • Phillip said,

        July 15, 2009 at 7:45 pm

        Thanks again Jan. I am not familiar with creeping lirope but I Googled it and it sounds perfect. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it in any of our nurseries. I will check.

      • Jan said,

        July 16, 2009 at 5:24 am

        Your are welcome, Phillip. I hope my ideas help you decide what to do with that area.

  9. Jean said,

    July 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    They really do have pretty blooms. I have a variegated form of Purple Fountain Grass that I got just this year. But the giant graveyard grasshoppers keep trying to eat it! So I’m not sure if I’ll have anything to overwinter. 😦

    • Jan said,

      July 15, 2009 at 6:39 pm

      Jean, I bought “Fireworks” about three weeks ago which is white at the base and purple at the ends. It is doing well, but is still small.
      I have been having problems with grasshoppers, too. I just killed three big ones yesterday. Earlier in the spring, I must have killed about forty small ones over a period of two weeks. I was hoping that I had got them all as babies, but that turned out to be wrong. They love to eat my amaryllis and Peruvian daffodils.

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