Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Adding impact to your garden

Pixabay Public Domain
Have you considered #ornamental grasses? If you enjoy the view of a sea of green long grass waving in the wind or have a need to add more texture and dimension to your garden, planting ornamental grass could be very rewarding. While planting native grasses offers a better chance of success, experimenting with different varieties can be fun. Grasses can be used to enhance a corner, give visual impact to a border, hid your compost bin/s, invite birds and butterflies and add needed shape, textures and color. An added bonus to growing grasses is that many of them have decorative seed heads that are suitable for drying.

Pixabay Public Domain
Grasses are grown as annuals or perennials and can be either evergreen or deciduous. Their stems our reed-like, round and hollow with regularly spaced nodes and can be either erect or arching. The leafage varies from long and narrow, short and wide or feathery and are borne two ranks from from sheaths, which can be split or peeled back. Some grasses have variegated leaves, with horizontal or longitudinal stripes or cross-bands. The flowers or inflorescences form as spikes, racemes of tiny spikelets or panicles and are usually feathery. Color-wise, besides being shades of green, the stems, foliage and/or flowers/seeds can include yellow, red, silvery blue, cream and white.
Pixabay Public Domain

Grasses are low maintenance, once they have been established. Cut perennials to ground level in early winter or late fall, tender grasses should be cut back in spring. They enjoy full sun, moist well drained soil and do not require feeding as they can thrive in soils not too rich in nutrients. Be advised that some varieties of grasses can be invasive and are best planted in a contained environment, such as thick plastic sheeting ( grow bag or large planter ). There are different grasses for all climate and growing zones. You can propagate grasses by seed, best done in small planters and transplanted when growth is about 12 inches high or divide clump forming grasses and rhizomes in late spring or early summer.



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