In August and September, ornamental grasses take the stage. Their soft textured foliage weaves among perennials and shrubs as their flowers and seed heads nod in the wind. There’s an ornamental grass for every situation.
In the shade garden, grasses can soften the bolder foliage of hosta. Try a Carex or sedge! We offer an incredible selection of sedges, many of which are native. Most sedges tend to be short and prefer a moist situation, but there are several that thrive in average to dry soils. For height, try northern sea oats. It reaches two to three feet, and is known for its dangling seedheads that resemble flattened fish scales and dance in the slightest breeze. They make wonderful additions to bouquets and container designs. Also happiest in shade is Japanese forest grass. The cascading softness of the golden variegated foliage is striking along paths or over walls.
Upright grasses can provide screening and soften a view. Try a switchgrass for a narrow, upright grass that won’t collapse under winter snow. This tough native has several cultivars in a variety of heights. ‘Ruby Ribbons’ is a standout with blue-green foliage that by mid-summer has developed a rich purple-red hue. For an arching shape, try Miscanthus or Pennisetum. These sturdy grasses tend to be a fountain shape and come in several varieties and heights. Miscanthus flowers resemble pink or purple tassels on tall stems. Pennisetum forms soft fuzzy seed heads that resemble fuzzy caterpillars. One of our most beloved prairie grasses, big bluestem, can reach six feet in height and offers dramatic fall color of reddish-copper with purple. It is lovely planted in masses or ribbons. Little bluestem offers a smaller option with the same stunning fall color.
These are just a few of the many ornamental grasses you can find at The Growing Place.
Posted on 8/13/2013 at 8:45:00 PM