Despite the rain, the ground was still hard as a rock in places. Despite my sincerest desire to not hurt the dogwood, I ran into a lot of roots and might have just said, "Eff it, let's hope it lives." I really hope it lives.
Keeping with the tradition of doing everything wrong, I also planted everything too closely together. I followed Carolyn Kolb's recommendations for planting grasses . . . sort of. She recommends cutting off the bottom 1/2" from nursery starts (my bread knife worked perfectly), roughing up the roots a bit, then giving the grasses a smidge of granular fertilizer and some compost to get them going.
Despite the fact that I've been sitting on these grasses for over a month, I had neither compost nor fertilizer on hand. Fish emulsion a few weeks after planting will have to do.
Everything looks so lame right now but I'm hopeful it will look great come spring. And next fall should be spectacular. I have a mix of switch grass (Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah'), Pennisetum 'White Lancer' (Pennisetum macrourum), and little bluestem grasses (Schizachyrium scoparium 'Blue Heaven'), plus a fountain grass for good measure (Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Redhead'). This is part of the master plan that Scott drew up. Hopefully I won't screw it up too much. I need to smother more lawn so I can fit in the rest of the grasses and plants I have planned.
The inspiration for this planting scheme was a photo by Pam Penick, located here. Large swaths of different colored grasses will be intermixed with some bright drought-tolerant perennials. My goal is to water this once a week or less, once established.
I'm trying to tell myself that this will grow and look okay but I always doubt my spacing. But hey, this looked lame once, too.