Texture, Movement and Subtle Color - Savor the Triple Treat of Ornamental Grasses
It’s easy for flowers to steal the show. No gardener would argue the awesome appeal of their gorgeous colors and blossoms. But once you discover the feathery beauty of grasses? Well, there’s no turning back. These beautiful and interesting perennials seem weightless, in a beautiful dance with even the slightest breeze. And the good news is, they’re practically no-maintenance.
Most grasses are happiest in full sunlight and do not require any special attention, even fertilizer. In fact, these plants actually do better without extra nitrogen. They grow quickly, and often reach their mature size potential after just two seasons. And if you still need convincing, grasses are definitely not fair weather friends. Many varieties stand tall, even in fall and winter.
We know one gardener who planted what she calls “my swaying fence” to define and enclose her stone patio on three sides. The grasses she chose include Feather Pink Pampas grass (10 ft. tall), Zebra Grass (8 ft. tall) and Cordgrass (7 ft. tall). There are nearly a dozen different varieties in her “fence.” She thinks of it like a bouquet of many wildflowers – each one, beautiful by itself, but coming together to create a “Wow!”
Make a Habit of Cutting Back
Grasses need to be cut back once a year, with a technique that can be described as “a crew cut.” There’s no need to fuss or prune, like you may with other perennials. Just a clean horizontal cut is the goal. First, search online to learn if your grass is classified as “warm season” or “cool season.” Warm season grasses can be cut back in the fall, leaving a few inches above ground. Cool season grasses look good in fall and winter, so you can wait until spring to trim, but take only the top two thirds of the plant.
It’s hard to stop gushing over the ethereal, light-catching beauty of ornamental grasses, but their chameleon-like nature must be noted. Whether in a calm Japanese garden, a lush tropical setting, a classic English garden or a sand-duned beach, ornamental grasses are a natural. Long may they wave!
Ornamental grasses are easy to grow, but like any plant, they do need watering. Check out which awesome Teknor Apex garden hose is right for you.