Manual Designing with Grasses

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Facebook Twitter Pinterest Share. Description Ornamental grasses are the ultimate success story as garden plants and tick all the boxes for today's gardeners.

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As well as providing a glorious visual impact with their swaying stems and feathery seedheads, they also provide a dynamic sense of movement and calming background rustle as the wind catches their leaves. On top of all this, they are easy to care for, provide excellent wildlife habitats and are truly sustainable if you plant the right one in the right place.


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Free Returns We hope you are delighted with everything you buy from us. However, if you are not, we will refund or replace your order up to 30 days after purchase. Terms and exclusions apply; find out more from our Returns and Refunds Policy. Recently Viewed. Designing with Grasses. Test Garden Tip: Tight, mounding grasses work best in knot gardens. Avoid grasses that are too loose and open; they can make the knot garden feel messy because of their loose habit.

Designing with Grasses

Grasses are a great accent plant for beds and borders. Here, a clump of fountaingrass subtly complements bold black-eyed Susans, canna, coleus, and petunia along a deck. Test Garden Tip: Tuck grasses in here and there in your landscape. Use the same grass in several different parts of your garden as an accent and it will help tie your garden together. Edge your beds and borders with a tidy line of neat grasses. Small selections, such as the blue fescue shown here, are best for this.

Designing with Grasses

Test Garden Tip: Edging with grasses works best if you plant them a little closer together than you normally would so the grasses grow together in one line. Grasses really shine at the end of the season when most annuals and perennials look worn. Many grasses offer twice the interest: They have beautiful seed heads and great fall color. Test Garden Tip: Switchgrass, big bluestem, and little bluestem are some of our favorite grasses for great fall leaf color.

Your favorite ornamental grasses can be the perfect complement to sculpture. Here, feathergrass creates an intriguing foil to broken pottery sculptures and lamb's ears. The effect is a contemporary design that will look great all year long. Test Garden Tip: Don't be afraid to be dramatic! Your garden can look however you like. Play with different plant and art combinations and keep trying new things until you find what suits you best.


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Grasses can be great for attracting wildlife, especially birds. They'll use the leaf blades for making nests, find shelter in larger grasses, and many species will eat the grass seeds. Test Garden Tip: If you wish to attract birds, it's best to select grasses native to your region.

Designing with Grasses by Neil Lucas | Waterstones

Don't limit ornamental grasses strictly to your landscape. Consider tucking them into your vegetable garden. Here the buff plumes of feather reedgrass contrast wonderfully with the rich purples of a group of eggplants. Test Garden Tip: Clump-forming grasses, such as feather reedgrass or blue fescue, are best choices for vegetable gardens. Avoid running grasses such as ribbongrass that can become weedy if they spread too much.

Many grasses such as feather reedgrass or the big bluestem shown here have a distinctly upright form that's perfect for enhancing a formal theme.

Landscape Design with Grasses

Plant them in pairs to maximize the effect. Test Garden Tip: One of the easiest ways to create a formal feeling is to plant in symmetrical patterns. Low-growing or mid-size grasses are top-notch ground covers. They'll do a great job of smothering weeds while creating an interesting texture for your landscape.

Test Garden Tip: Mounding grasses often make better ground covers because of their dense habit. Create a meadow or prairie effect with grasses.

Garden Ideas: Designing with ornamental grasses

These extra-tough plants provide lots of natural beauty with minimal maintenance. They're lower care than a lawn -- and more environmentally friendly. Test Garden Tip: For best success with a low-maintenance meadow, select grasses that are native to your region.