It is easy to be allured by the glamour of planting things that will burst with colorful blooms in your garden. Yet, what is a star without her backdrop? Ornamental Grasses provide texture, uniqueness, and beauty that will set off your favorite blooming flowers. Not only a dynamic element to your garden, Ornamental Grasses are extremely easy to grow, maintain, and will provide additional interest by evolving in seasons while the rest of your garden may be resting. When most gardeners think of Ornamental Grasses, the word “plumes” come to mind. Grasses are a great addition to the garden because they produce full, green foliage all season and then wow in the summer to fall with their interesting, feathery plumes. We have quite a few grasses that will do just this. For white plumes, try the Hardy Pampas Grass Erianthus or Pampas Grass White Feather. Those looking for pink plumes should plant Pampas Grass Pink Feather, Purple Fountain Grass Rubrum, or Fountain Grass Karley Rose. Other grasses that boast unique plumes are Fountain Grass Hameln, Feather Reed Grass Karl Foerster, or Maiden Grass Malepartus. Ornamental Grasses not only work to fill in bare spots in the garden, but can even steal the show with brightly colored, unique foliage. The Variegated Purple Fountain Grass Fireworks is named for its burst of pink color, exploding from upright-growing foliage. This grass will not only add texture to the garden, but will impress with its beautiful show. Maiden Grass Gold Bars is another grass that brings interesting, unique foliage to the garden with its bi-color gold and green leaves. One of the most appealing traits of Ornamental Grasses is their unique evolution throughout the seasons. In early spring they could bring striking foliage, then elegant plumes, followed by a different look when they prepare themselves for winter. A lovely example of this is the Japanese Forest Grass Nicholas; its foliage is a striking green in spring to summer, then in the fall the leaves change to orange/red for a completely different look. Another grass that evolves throughout the seasons is the Hardy Pampas Grass Erianthus. It boasts lovely, white plums and green foliage in mid-summer. Come fall, its leaves turn to a lovely bronze/red color. Ornamental Grasses are a hidden gem in the garden; they provide a lovely, full backdrop to set off your garden beauties. Yet, their elegant plumes and unique foliage create their own show when the rest of your garden has retired for the winter. This spring, try planting an Ornamental Grass – you will be surprised at how such little work will provide great texture and dimension to your garden.
January 11, 2012.