Sun Harvest Great Ornamental Grass Selections 2016
Ornamental grasses continue to gain prominence and use in the landscape. They are the great architectural features in the garden, whether used a specimen focal point or the thread that links many gardens together. They are easy care and so versatile when combined with many different plantings from shrubs, to flowering perennials, shade plants, to annual gardens and containers.
Here are a few of the Great Grass selections that we are offering this season, so click on the image to discover how best to use in your gardens this season.
What Grasses Contribute
- sound & movement – grasses move and sway in the slightest breeze rustling and singing nature’s song.
- light & translucency – leaves and the flowering plumes of grasses back lit or side lit by the sun take on an unrivaled luminosity; this quality is especially valuable in winter when other plants are at their lowest ebb.
- quality of line – some grasses are vertical in line while others hold their leaves with curving sinuous grace adding a strong linear presence to the garden.
- form, texture & scale – shapes of grasses vary from low tufted mounds to nearly symmetrical fountains and irregular cascades; texture can be ultra-fine to coarse; size may vary in scale from 30cm (12”) to giants that attain 5m (15ft); these elements in combination form a well designed garden.
- colour – steely blue, bright green, chartreuse, yellow and red are all colours on the ornamental grass palette.
Cool or Warm season?
To help you choose ornamental grasses you should know that they are generally divided into the following two categories.
Cool Season Grasses – These grasses like cool weather. They also:
- begin growth in late winter, have lots of foliage by early spring and flower anytime from late winter to early summer.
- go dormant in hot summer weather so clip back in July for lush new growth in fall. eg. Arrhenatherum bulbosum ‘Variegatum’ or Variegated Bulbous Oat Grass.
- some stay evergreen in mild climates but may suffer in summer heat so sheer back in late winter to remove last year’s foliage and allow for fresh new growth. eg. Blue Fescue or Festuca glauca.
Warm Season Grasses – These grasses prefer hotter temperatures. They also:
- begin to grow late in spring, grow fast in warm summer weather and flower near summers end.
- go dormant in winter so cut back to the ground in late winter before new growth begins.
- examples include Miscanthus varieties and Pennisetum varieties.