A Little Tuft Of Inflorescence

subtitled: Current Obsession: Fiber Optic Grass

Perhaps you missed my recent Instagram announcement? This was when I was all charged up about giant Purple Fountain Grass. What a n00b!


The idea for a grass garden came to me about 8 days too late. I was still stuck on making an all- purple flower bed when I went to Home Depot on a dreary weekend morning. It was drizzling and I wasn’t wearing a jacket so I just went to look for a certain purple thing and was not inclined to browse around.

I mean … really? Is this too far out to stock in a big box store?

[Let me just interject here to say that I live in a shopping desert and when it comes to plants, magnify that by 10. My choices for plants are Home Depot, Lowes and Walmart. They have what they have to sell you and don’t expect anything different or exotic. An example of “exotic” is a bronze leafed white begonia. They have green leaf white begonias and bronze leaf red begonias, but don’t try to get fancy by looking for a bronze leaf white begonia because you won’t find it.]

So on that day I met with my usual disappointment in Home Depot and as I was on my way out of the garden center, I saw a tray of something very eye-catching. It was a full tray of something I hadn’t seen before called fiber optic grass in 3 -inch pots marked at $2.98 each. I picked one up and turned it this way and that and thought to myself “That’s really pretty – too bad I don’t have any use for it.” So I put it back and left empty-handed. Imagine the irony – the one time that some semblance of reason drove my decision making.

I’ve been thinking about fiber optic grass ever since. I went back 8 days later and it wasn’t anywhere to be seen. I asked about it but as you might already know, the workers in Home Depot are lovely people but not useful to a customer in any way. I tried going back every 2 – 3 days and even went farther afield to other Home Depots but came up empty handed every time.

Finally, I came across a worker who looked somewhat managerial and had the following exchange:

Me: I’m looking for fiber optic grass.

Her: We don’t carry it.

Me: Yes you had it 15 days ago.

Her: Was it mixed in with the grasses?

Me: No it was on that table with the flowers.

Her: Oh we just got a delivery from that vendor. I guess they didn’t send anymore.

Me: Well, can I order some?

Her: No we can’t order anything. We just get whatever they send us.

Me: Well, when is the next truck coming?

Her: We don’t know. It comes when it comes.

Me: Isn’t there a delivery schedule?

Her: Nope. We just wait till the truck shows up and the next day the vendor rep comes and unloads it.

Me: …

This is why I always treat Sami to a colorful variety of sailor talk when I come home from a local garden center. Anyway, I turned my attention to other ornamental grasses to try and fill in the void in my life and now I know the difference between grasses, sedges and rushes. And I’ve got some of each now. I’ll show you a picture of the bed as soon as the sprinkler guy gets done frigging around and finishes the job he started for us in mid-March.

Fiber optic grass is hard to find even online. I can only see one place left now that still has stock for this year. For one 3″ pot, they want $15.99 plus $15.99 shipping. GLAD I GOT MINE THREE WEEKS AGO. It’s a tough little thing – I’ve already transplanted it three times and once I watched the sprinkler guy carry it around by its beautiful slender blades. It did well with my challenging gardening ethos of go ahead see if you can survive this. I hope it does as well now that I’ve treated it to genuine potting soil and a new container:



It’s just a baby. It’s going to get bigger and more burst-of-fireworks looking, God willing. I hope I can keep it alive. It is my love.




5 thoughts on “A Little Tuft Of Inflorescence”

  1. Our gardening styles are very similar. I resort to rebellious challenges in hopes the things want to prove me wrong and thrive.
    And Home Depot?! Ha! I had to order canna rhizomes on the net this year, along with a very common ivy.. not one store is of use unless you want strange little cacti or a lackluster collection of house plants.

    We do have a nursery of sorts a few miles away, but nothing is marked -no prices, names, nothing- and the only information forthcoming is that they maintain a zoo in the back. No thanks! No markers means I’d probably not get out alive!

  2. I saw where Amazon’s going into the gardening business, that might be an alternative to dealing with the seasonal “horiticulturists” at the big box stores. 🙂

  3. From most locations in Fl. one has to drive inland to find the nurseries…So many plants do not thrive in the Fl. cllimate, so imo, the big box stores play it safe. I live in SE Fl., with all the other NY’er’s, so the shopping is overwhelming..If they will rsurvive in your zone, plant a mango tree, an avocado, and a banana tree. You will never miss the flowers..trust me.

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