Create movement with grasses. Ornamental grasses bring height, texture and movement to the garden. Taller grasses bring swaying movement to otherwise static displays, which adds interest and catches the eye. They develop through the seasons, with colourful foliage joined by graceful flower heads that last well into winter.
It’s a lovely idea to recreate a natural prairie landscape in a section of your garden. Prairie planting is where you create landscaped areas of perennials and grasses for a lovely unstructured look. The natural style of planting is very appealing and you can combine different heights, colours and textures of grasses with flowering plants. It not only looks good, it can attract wildlife too.
Ornamental grasses give year-round interest and offer great value with their long-lasting displays that can mix well with your existing planting schemes. In large borders, you can plant grasses in striking drifts. Golden oats (Stipa gigantea) grows to around two metres high, and is a real showstopper.
Colourful planting combinations can be created with flowering perennials like coneflowers (Echinacea). Grasses often go well with country garden favourites like aster, sedum, and the Heuchera. Heathers and the silver grey foliage of lavender also mix well. You can plan ahead and mix in the autumnal Rudbeckia with Miscanthus and Panicum grasses for a high impact effect.
The most popular grasses that have received an Award of Garden Merit (AGM) from the Royal Horticultural Society are Festuca, Pennisetum, Miscanthus and Stipa, which includes the already mentioned Golden Oats.
Tips for planning and planting your grasses:
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