Sunday, February 10, 2013

Grasses in the garden

Since it's pretty wintery here today I thought it was a good time to look through some garden pictures from last season.  This inspired me to write about the grasses that I grow in my garden.  I don't grow any of the big dogs.  They scare me a bit. I have found some wonderful small to medium sized grasses to grow.   Some are warm season grasses and some are cool season grasses.  The cool season are nice in the fact that they sprout up quite soon in the spring but the warm season grasses are worth the wait.  Here are a few of my favorites.  

In the front is Panicum virgatum 'Cheyenne Sky'.  Further back in the picture is miscanthus 'Morning Light'.  They mix nicely with  a tall celosia in the entry garden.
Calamgrostis acutiflora 'Eldorado' plays nicely with Rosa 'Morden Sunrise'

A shorter more rounded shaped grass is Helictotrichon sempervirens.  This is also known as blue oat grass for it's steely blue color.
Pennisetum 'Fireworks' is an annual grass that I've grown for several years and just love it.
Another steely blue grass is Panicum 'Heavy Metal'

I have this hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' planted where it can drift over a stone wall.

Here is a wider view of 'Aureola'

Miscanthus Sinensis "Adagio' colors up nicely in the fall.

This is a small grass with big impact.  Schizachyrium scoparium 'Blaze's' name really does describe it's vibrant orange color in the fall. It holds up well and keeps this color all winter.

This shot of Miscanthus 'Morning Light' and Panicum 'Cheyenne Sky' shows the lovely seed heads of the Panicum.   They look kind of like fireworks.  They are very hard to get a good picture of.

So if you have a small garden or have been scared away from grasses when you hear the stories of having to cut them back with a chain saw, you may want to check out some of these smaller but equally as wonderful specimens.