Sunday, November 6, 2011

Regal Muhly on a Misty Morning

Last week when I looked outside early one morning I was surprised to see that I couldn't really see very far at all.   It seemed a "cloud" had descended to earth.  Fog you say?  Or was it mist?   Did you know there is a technical difference between fog and mist?

Since there are no unanswered questions anymore with the invention of Google and Wikipedia, I got my head out of the clouds and learned that "fog is distinguished from mist only by its density, as expressed in the resulting decrease in visibility."   Basically you can see farther in mist than in fog.  
"Fog is a collection of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface.  While fog is a type of a cloud, the term "fog" is typically distinguished from the more generic term "cloud" in that fog is low-lying, and the moisture in the fog is often generated locally (such as from a nearby body of water, like a lake or the ocean, or from nearby moist ground or marshes)."
 Since "moist ground" has been a little scarce this summer, let's just say it has been a very long time since I have seen fog (or mist) in these parts.   And since I did not measure the visibility, I am not technically sure whether it was fog or mist that I was seeing, but it was beautiful, nonetheless.

With the drought we have had this year, resulting in the lack of moist ground, my Pink Muhly Grass is not quite as spectacular as it has been in years past.  But on this misty/foggy morning, it had a positively ethereal beauty to it.

Muhlenbergia capillaris  'Regal Mist'

The variety of pink muhly grass that I have is called 'Regal Mist.'   Quite fitting for this misty (or foggy) morning, don't you think?

Below is a shot of the pink muhly after the mist of the morning had dissipated.

Another muhly in the mist below is Lindheimer's Muhly  
(Muhlenbergia lindheimeri)

Here's another shot of it on a drier day.

Lindheimer's Muhly grows much taller than its misty pink cousin, but it has a regal beauty all its own.   It is extremely drought tolerant and pairs nicely with salvias.

These muhly grasses are just a couple of my favorite ornamental grasses.  

Fog can also mean "a state of mental vagueness or bewilderment, a state of confusion or lack of clarity."   While I must admit I can certainly relate to that state of mind at times, I have no "fog" over ornamental grasses.   I clearly have a fondness for them.  They are so easy and have so much impact in a garden  -- lots of "bang for the buck!"  I cannot imagine my garden without them.

If you're in a fog about what to add to your garden, you might try a muhly or two.

Toni :-)


  1. Toni, what a delightful post! Wonderful garden, fantastic muhly and such a good explanation of some foggy terms! Excellent pictures. Thank you!!!

  2. Hi Toni... I love photos taken in the fog1 (or whatever). I've wondered about muhly grass here but haven't investigated yet. Yours is absolutely beautiful as are your gardens in general. We've been doing a lot of tree cutting and major pruning... really have an urge to open things up a bit. Larry

  3. LOVE the muhly and your gardens! These autumn mornings can hold many beautiful vistas. You just never know what will greet you. Lovely.

  4. Toni, your garden looks enchanting in mist/fog! I've been eying the Lindheimer this fall season. It has great structure. I'm not sure I have enough sun though. Hope you're enjoying this glorious season!!

  5. I love that plant at this time of year. But this is the first I saw anyone picture it in the fog. It really seems made for both sun and fog in all its pinkiness. Beautiful gardens Toni.

  6. Toni what a beautiful scene of muhly grass and peaceful and surreal...I love this grass as well...stunning fall color.

  7. Very pretty scene. Almost mystical. I love the pink fountain grass! It fits the name 'regal mist' very well.

  8. Toni, I love your misty images! I always like how mist or fog creates an ethereal or even otherworldly atmosphere to the garden. Your 'Regal Mis't grass is very beautiful and looks great with its companions.

  9. Beautiful...there is something so wonderfully ethereal about the mist. Love the pink muhly (of course!). I'll have to look up the Lindheimer's...looks really lovely!

  10. I love the two different types of Muhly grass that you have. I'm familiar with pink muhly (although not that particular variety), but the Lindheimer's muhly is new to me. They are both beautiful, but in rather different ways.

  11. Wow, gorgeous images! You're right--the mist/fog is the perfect condition for the Muhly grass. And the companion plants look great with the ornamental grasses!

  12. Beautiful shots of your garden! I love the look of the moss on the grasses.

    I appreciate learning more about them, as I am just in the process of learning more in this area. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Hi Toni. (With an "i" and not a "y") I do not know why I always want to spell your name with a "y"! It must be an English thing?

    Love all of your ornamental grasses, that second shot is very cool, the Pink Muhly Grass really picks up on the mist it! A Gardening Gone Wild shot for sure!


  14. After what you endured this summer, you deserve all the moist ground you can get! Your garden looks spectacular!! I redesigned a huge chunk of mine. If it's half as beautiful as yours, I'll feel successful!! :o)

  15. Gorgeous, Toni! I love the Lindheimer's Muhly, but will have to enjoy it in photos since it's not hardy in my zone 6.

  16. Isn't it nice to have some moisture in the air and in the ground for a change? I always liked the look of moisture on plants in the morning, especially grasses. Your photos are great.


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