Eric Robson may be the sharpest wit on the radio, but he’s a bit of a snob. I mean a gardening snob of course- I’m sure he’s not the sort of person to wince if he hears someone using the word toilet. But he does wince when he sees Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana) growing in someone’s garden, which must make any drive through suburbia a painful experience for him. He was very condescending on Gardener’s Question Time to a poor woman who asked how to control her clump of Pampas Grass. He said that Pampas Grass belonged on the pampas, not in a garden. His prejudice arises, no doubt, because Pampas Grass is seen so often in suburban gardens, usually too large for the site.
But in the right place, where it doesn’t get too big for it’s boots, it is the most magnificent of grasses. The Victorians loved it and so do I. The majestic plumes appear in the autumn, just when everything else is starting to die down and, weather permitting, they will last until the spring.