Gardening with Grasses

Ornamental grasses come in a wide variety of sizes, varieties, and colors. They mix perfectly with shrubs like hydrangeas in a cottage style garden; or blended with lavender or Russian Sage in a seaside garden.


Blend grass varieties to create a natural appearance. Pennisetum Rubrum (purple fountain grass) shows off its stunning foxtail plumes.


Don't be afraid to mass plant grasses for a sweep effect. Muhlenbergia capillaris (muhly grass) has seed heads that seem to float like cotton-candy above the foliage. A sweep of that color can take one's breath away.


Ornamental grasses make a wonderful border element to define space and give a bit of height in the border as needed. Mix your ornamental grasses to step your border height.


Grasses always seem to shine when used around water elements in the garden.


Combining ornamental grasses with flowering perennials and other bedding plants is typical, but don't hesitate to create a true grass garden. The diversity is spectacular.


Fountain grasses work very well along walkways where they can properly show off their plumes.


Sometimes a bit of scale is needed and there are many ornamental grasses that suit this need. Erianthus, Arundo, giant Miscanthus, and Cortaderia (pictured) are all tall grasses that make a stately presence.


Use ornamental grasses as a groundcover planting. Fescue grasses add dramatic blue color to the landscape.


And don't forget that ornamental grasses are also well suited for container gardening and patio planting.