Container-Happy Grasses For Privacy
Grasses are becoming increasingly popular for containers. New trends in meadow gardening transform urban spaces into natural, wildlife-friendly gardens. Grasses provide a great deal of movement to the container garden, and can easily hide a difficult view in a way that doesn’t seem blocky or forced. They can be effective blockers of street noise while adding a pleasant rustling sound of their own to the balcony or patio. As a bonus, they’re often drought resistant, and can do well in the harsher conditions of a container. Many are self-supporting, and when paired with a beautifully shaped container can create a focal point that is almost more ‘art’ than garden. If you’re looking for a lighter, less formal touch, adding grasses to your private retreat might be the answer.
When selecting a container grass for privacy, your first consideration should be height without the tendency to flop. There are lots of wonderful medium grasses (4-5’) that are self-supporting, but the container gardener has even more from which to choose. Small grasses (1-3’) paired with a large container might just give you all the height you need.
Grasses don’t just grow up – they grow out too. Look at the mature width of a grass and its shape. Nothing is worse than wispy foliage tickling your nose while you enjoy a late evening drink. There are many grasses with a more vertical form – like ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass – giving you height without all the bulk.
Best Privacy Container Grasses
Choose medium cultivars of the vase-shaped maiden grasses when choosing for containers such as Morning Light Miscanthus or Purple Miscanthus. Foliage is most often very narrow and comes in a variety of colors from variegated, to gold banded, to light cream. These grasses will make an effective but gentle screen, and when flower plumes appear in mid- to late-summer the effect is magical.
Popular in seaside towns for its ability to tolerate salt, Pampas Grass can make its home in a variety of soils, as long as it can spend plenty of time in the warm sun. A statuesque plant, its ornate, flowering plumes are always eye-catching and look almost weightless as they bend and sway in the breeze. Generally considered to be a large and fast-growing grass, Dwarf Pampas varieties offer a shorter choice for suburban, small-space and container gardeners.