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To many people, ornamental grass means one thing: Pampas grass. Beautiful as they are, the Pampas grasses are only a small part of the grass family which are useful in the garden.
There are many excellent forms of grass/ sedge/ rushes, which add form, texture, movement and contrast to the garden.
In this section, I aim to describe all that is great and new in the wonderful ornamental grass world and perhaps suggest some uses for them that you may not have thought of
A very fashionable plant at the moment. Beautiful evergreen, thin grassy leaves in a range of fascinating forms and colours. Plant in full sun/part shade.
Carex buchananii: Very narrow, upright, coppery brown foliage. 18" tall.
Carex comans "Kupferflamme": Threadlike foliage in beautiful bronze. 12" tall.
Carex elata "Aurea": Fascinating lime green foliage. Good pond-side plant. 16" tall.
Carex "Frosted Curls": Unusual low , curly habit in silvery green. 10" tall.
Carex oshimensis "Evergold": Yellow edged green. 10" tall.
Carex "Ice Dance": Green with a white margin. 12" tall.
The beautiful, evergreen, tufted hair grass. Plant in sun/ semi-shade.
Excellent forms are:
Deschampsia caespitosa: Dense, thin, deep green foliage. Pale brown spikelets in summer.
36 " tall.
Deschampsia caespitosa "Northern Lights": Green and gold variegated foliage. 12" tall.
Deschampsia flexuosa "Tatra Gold": Bright gold foliage with airy brown flower-spikes in summer. 10" tall.
The well known Blue Fescue. Evergreen tuft forming and an excellent contrast to other foliage plants. Best in full sun. Makes an unusual edge to an annual bed.
Festuca glauca "Elijah Blue": Bright glaucus blue thin foliage. 18" tall.
Festuca glauca "Golden Toupee": Well named, fine, hair-like golden foliage. 12" tall
Acorus are semi- evergreen grass like plants, which often have aromatic foliage. The flowers spikes are green and insignificant.
Makes an excellent pond side marginal plant, but can be used in patio containers, raised beds, as a front of the border plant and in rock gardens. Plant in full sun.
Good varieties are:
Acorus gramineus "Ogon": Cream and green foliage. 18" tall
Acorus gramineus "Variegatus": White and green variegated foliage. 18" tall
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|