Samara Farms is Selected to Contract Grow Rain Garden Grasses


Samara Farms, a nursery located in Nashville Tennessee, was selected to contract grow the ornamental grasses for the reconstruction of the Howe Garden. The liners for the grasses were purchased from two different plug production nurseries. These nurseries were North Creek Nurseries and Hoffman nursery. The plugs were potted into 4” pots and grown in Samara Farms greenhouses. They are to be installed late September and early October 2011. The selections of grasses being produced are a perfect blend for the rain garden and will provide great horticulture value to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens.

The four grasses chosen are as follows:

Bushy Beardgrass or Bushy Bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus)Indigenous to the southern East Coast, Bushy Bluestem also grows throughout much of the bottom half of the U.S. Unlike others in the Andropogon genus, this plant prefers moist areas and does not like to dry out. Bushy Bluestem is found growing along sunny roadsides and in low-lying areas where it thrives in damp soil. Foliage is vibrant green in the summer and turns copper-orange in the fall. Its crowning glory is bushy seed heads that appear in September which add unique texture to the fall landscape. Seed heads are often used in cut or dried flower arrangements. With an upright structure, Bushy Bluestem is a great looking native plant for marshy or low areas where little maintenance is required. For a tidy appearance, cut back old foliage in spring.

River Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)This U.S. native produces a multitude of beautiful pale green seed heads in midsummer that are reminiscent of sea oats found at the beach. Panicles drop under their weight and look absolutely beautiful when backlit by the sun. It is a tall ground cover that grows in just about any situation: sun, shade, moist or dry. It can be found in rich woods or rocky slopes along streams. This is a great landscape solution for areas of dry shade. When planting, keep in mind that this plant will re-seed, so place it in appropriate locations. 
Purple Love Grass (Eragrostis spectabilis). This is a tough plant that can withstand a variety of soil conditions from sandy to infertile. Its subtle blues, greens, and purples are particularly spectacular in mass plantings. Its airy flowers are a delicate purple that look magnificent in the morning sun. This grass prefers sunny and dry locations. Its origin is North America.
Soft Rush (Juncus Effusus)This native clump-forming, wetland plant has dark, evergreen foliage that is a striking vertical addition to any garden. In nature it lives in wet or dry conditions, often preferring low spots in meadows or near pond edges. Leaves are round and reach about 4 feet in length. In the early 1900’s soft rush stems were used to create inexpensive candle-like evening lights called “rushlights”. 
These grasses will provide sustainable beauty to both Cheekwood and its visitors. We at Samara Farms are both honored and excited to be a part of the Howe Garden project.

Matt Dawson

3952 Stewarts Lane

Nashville, Tennessee 37218?