Grasses and no Bamboos

Why no Bamboos? They are often put together, but that one is for another day.

Now these types of grasses give me far fewer problems than the types of grass in our lawns. There’s no weekly mowing, feeding is minimal, no scarifying, no aerating and they are less susceptible to fungal problems. Also they are more pleasing to the eye, admittedly the grasses in our lawns are there to serve a different purpose to the ones planted in our borders.

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Silberfeder’

Ornamental grasses come in all shapes and sizes and colours, giving us also winter interest and good ground cover. There are grasses for damp or dry soil; as well as shady and sunny situations and many do well in containers; this group of plants gives you everything.

Propagating ornamental grasses couldn’t be more easier as well, the majority of them can be propagated by division, or by seed and collecting grass seed is always good fun.

So in this blog I have included some of the grasses that we grow at work, but also a few favourites of mine that I have still yet to get.

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Silberfeder’ (pictured above) has to be one of my favourite Miscanthus and is one we grow a lot of at work. It is a deciduous grass that can reach well over 6ft in height, with narrow, arching foliage and feathery silver flowerheads in late summer; this one is great for winter interest.

Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’

Now this one somewhere along the line, found itself in another one of my posts, now I wonder why and in which one….. The ……….

Some of the next bit I admit, I just copied and pasted some of it, well it was from one of my own blogs….

A truly wonderful plant. It has taken me a few years to persuade some of the gardeners to include this in our borders. Panicum virgatum ‘Dallas Blues’ is another great plant we have recently added to our gardens and I must admit, it is a better plant than Heavy Metal.

Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’ is a beautiful grass that can grow to over 5f in height, it has amazing blue-grey foliage that remains upright from spring until the end of the year; a must have grass and not just for it’s name.

Stipa gigantea

A magnificent, architectural, big bugger of a grass reaching 8ft in height, that likes a fertile, medium, well-drained soil in full sun and is very hardy. It is a must have grass if you have room, if you don’t have room … make room.

Pennisetum glaucum ‘Purple Majesty’

A new one for me this year but it is one I have instantly falling in love with. It has wonderful purple foliage and flowers and is good for cut flower arranging, it is also a good plant to attract the birds.

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’

A beautiful small grass, that I feel works well with most plants at the front of any border.  A compact, clump-forming deciduous grass that likes moist but well drained soil in full sun or partial shade.

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ is a wonderful small clump-forming, purple black foliage grass that will grow in full sun/partial shade. An evergreen that has bell shape white/mauve flowers in the summer.

With literally hundreds of grasses to choose from, this list is only a handful of what is out there, but there is a few on my wish list that I thought were worth a mention……

Muhlenbergia capillaris

I’ve got to have this one …. it’s pink for a start. It is a tender perennial deciduous grass with pink/red flowers in early Autumn. Likes full sun or partial shade, can reach 5ft in height and is drought tolerant, what more can you ask for.

Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’

Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ is a clump-forming deciduous perennial grass with arching leaves, reaching approximately 5ft in height.

And finally……

Sesleria autumnalis

Sesleria autumnalis (Autumn moor grass), a wonderful little grass that does well in sun/partial shade reaching over 1ft in height, this  evergreen hardy grass is good for any garden especially a rock garden.

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