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A few words about grasses on Wednesday

I know I go on a bit about ornamental grasses and how much I love them (are you tired of this subject yet?) and so rather than bore you with another one of my rants on how amazing, spectacular and gorgeous grasses are, I thought today I would show you in photographs why grasses belong in my garden …

The Mexican Petunia is a beautiful plant in its own right and looks really stunning … but look how extra-stunning it looks with the dainty flower heads of the Panicum virgatum just peeping through. And it does that without detracting from the beauty of the plant – I love these two together.

Mexican Petunia - Ruellia brittoniana

Miscanthus sinesis “Zebrinus” and Salvia Coccinea are both plants worth having in your garden. But look how stunning they are together! Another reason I love grasses – gorgeous alone but whatever you put them with just seems to “pop” right out of the bed, straight at you!

Salvia coccinea
The Weigela is sadly not doing much this year because I believe I pruned it at the wrong time. But look how simply gorgeous the few blooms and all the foliage look against the soft flower heads of the Panicum virgatum. Just lovely.

Weigela and Panicum

So my few words about grasses on Wednesday are …

If you don’t already have, just get some! Find your favourite grass and then start with just a few. You will find they brighten up the dullest areas, are gorgeous on their own, in combinations and en-masse and provide interesting colour almost all year round. It’s a no-brainer for me.

What’s your favourite grass?

Happy Gardening

More of the pretty …

[one_third]Panicum virgatum "Shenandoah"[/one_third]

[one_third]Combination of Duranta and Mexican feather grass[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Carex and chameleon[/one_third_last]

By Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

25 replies on “A few words about grasses on Wednesday”

My favorite ornamental grass is — all of them! If I had to pick it would be Zebra Grass.

Such a surprise to see the Mexican Petunia there, It’s a native here and grows wild in untended spots around town. The native one looks slightly different, but I enjoy the cultivated ones in my yard too.

The combo’s are so stunning – you have a really good eye design 🙂
The Panicum virgatum is my favourite – the colour changes in the different seasons and the wispy seeds, like Alan points out – how gorgeous is that??

And Mary talks about the sound – we forget that it has the most soothing sound when the wind blows – thanks Mary for highlighting this 🙂

Hi Christine,
I was wrong about the 400 grasses in Texas….turns out there are 560 species of grasses in Texas!!!
Ooopsie! Not all are ornamental of course, but to go shopping for grasses here, you just pull over on the side of the highway and look around the roadsides. I guess I never thought about Texas as being a grassland superpower. LOL
Here’s the link from Texas A&M University:

Hi David – I think being a grassland superpower is a pretty cool superpower to be, hehe. 560 options – I would need a very, very big garden if I lived in Texas 🙂

I’ve only just started putting ornamental grasses in my garden – they definitely add a wonderful dimension and texture to the area. I’m still uncertain as to where to put them and what plants would look best with them… it’s great to see your combinations!

Hi Indie – I am in exactly the same stage as you are with grasses – I only started very recently and don’t have many yet. What I do is buy them, bring them home and move them around in their bags under I find a spot where they look good. Then I plant! And every time I am awed by the outcome a few weeks later. And they just get better as time goes on!

Looking out at my winter gardens, I see many places where I want to add grasses–for height, texture, and sound. I pick a color in the leaf and try and match it with other perennials. And what’s nice about grasses is that you don’t have to worry about concurrent bloom times.

Mine is still fairly new. I think I’ve only had it since August or September, so it hasn’t had much time to misbehave. I’ll keep my eye on it 🙂

Another thing we have in common…no, I would NEVER get tired of talking about ornamental grasses. I love them all. I think we have over 400 species of grasses in Texas. Panicum….one of my favorites genera. I loved your photo.
David/ :0)

Over 400 species of grasses in Texas – thats amazing! Must be such a pleasure to go shopping for grasses over there. I really battle to find what I want here.

I do not have as many grasses in my garden as you, but after seeing how brilliantly you combine and contrast these in the garden…I may just have to add much more. This is a great illustration of the beauty and form function of grasses.

I know, aren’t they beautiful? I feel like a real nit-twit sometimes when I get carried away and go into raptures about how gorgeous grasses are – even their flowers / seeds are so dainty and beautiful. I’m so glad I’m not alone in this fascination with grasses 🙂 🙂

Christine, where were 20 years ago? It took me a long time to discover the virtues of grasses in the garden. I went through the Japanese garden phase, the rose garden phase, the clip-everything-within-an-inch-of-its-life phase. It wasn’t until about 7 years ago that I dabbled in ornamental grasses. I was so mad at myself! Mad for not trying them sooner. I was afraid they’d give the garden too relaxed a look (if anything, the garden looked much less uptight). I love the contrast of their foliage, and their seed heads, and the added movement in the garden. I’m actually about to plant a rather large mass of native ornamental grasses in front of the house (I’m getting braver in my old age). I really love the purplish tips on your Panicum virgatum seeds, an unexpected splash of color! I’d say to any gardener on the fence about ornamental grass…get off, and take the plunge!

Hi Clare – I’m so fortunate I discovered the ornamental grasses very early on in my gardening hobby, and it has been primarily from reading the blogs I do! I’ve been introduced to so many wonderful plants I would not have thought of myself, thanks to my gardening blog friends!

I’m looking forward to seeing the large mass of native ornamental grasses you are planning to plant in front of your house!! When is that happening, I can’t wait to see. 🙂

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