Best plant and Ornamental Grass Combinations

Grasses combine really well with many perennials to stunning effect. In the image  above,  Stipa tenuissima, a wonderfully fluffy ornamental grass is combined with Dierama, the Angel's fishing rod to make a fine summer display.

Ornamental grasses combine well with so many perennials, and look good grouped together, hopefully these various images of planting combinations offer some inspirational planting combinations. 

One garden which displays a lot of Ornamental gardens and is well worth a visit if you want to see planting combinations in a garden setting is Hillier Garden in Romsey Hampshire. It is a fabulous garden to visit and the planting and use of Ornamental gardens is really inspiring. 

More about How and Where to Grow Ornamental grasses

Stipa tenuissima, Allium and Achillea

Stipa tenuissima, Allium and Achillea

This is a great combination  which is at it's best in July and August. Planted alongside the S. tenuissima is the late flowering Allium sphaerocephalon and terracotta Achillea. 

For this combination to work the choice of Allium is important as generally Alliums thought of spring flowering in May, this variety flowers later in July and August. Plant this combination in a sunny spot with well drained soil and it should return reliably each year.

Verbena bonariensis, Sedum, Aster and Pennisetum alopecuroides

Verbena bonariensis, Sedum, Aster and Pennisetum alopecuroides

This combination needs a sheltered spot only because the grass, Pennisetum is not fully hardy. It combines here well with the reliable perennials Verbena, tall purple spires and pale mauve Aster with the dark Autumnal shades of Sedum.This is an easy to grow combination if you have a sheltered spot.  If not a good substitute  for the Pennisetum would be Stipa tennuissima or Deschampsia to create a fully hardy combination.

Crocosmia Lucifer with grasses

Crocosmia and grasses.

All varieties of Crocosmia look good with grasses as they reflect and share with chosen grasses the arching habit.  The variety illustrated is C. Lucifer  which is tall and looks good teamed up with tall grasses as both have an arching habit. The smaller yellow and orange varieties of Crocosmia also work well and grasses such as  Deschampsia cespitosa and  Molinia caerulea, purple moor grass look good together. Both Crocosmia and the grasses are easy to grow, simply plant in sunny spot. The taller Crocosmia may require staking.



Thalictrum aquilegiifolium and Phalaris arundinacea

Most grasses like a sunny spot, but this is a combination ideal in damp ground and partial shade. Thalictrum (common name meadow rue) is an easy to grow perennial.  Phalaris arundinacea, common name gardener's garter of has leaves with a mauve tinge which tones in well with the Thalictrum. It is also easy to grow and both plants are fully hardy. It can be vigorous which means it is only suitable for large spaces, but ideal ground cover where needed. 


Molinia en masse

An effective planting scheme can be to repeat plant the same grass creating a shimmering wall of Molinia. This was a planting scheme at the Hillier garden in Hampshire and it looked really effective, especially with the sun catching the grasses.

Repeat planting of a single plant can be eye catching, check out plants for shade to see shuttlecock ferns planting in large group looking very effective.

Stipa tenuissima, Allium,  Nigella and Cosmos

Stipa tenuissima, Allium,  Nigella and Cosmos

This is a combination from RHS Harlow Carr and it is stunning. The soft flow of the Stipa tenuissima, purple heads of Allium, blue Nigella also known as love-in-the-mist, and chocolate Cosmos. 

This combination needs a little attention. Although the Allium and Stipa are easy to grow in any sunny spot, Nigella an annual so will need to be re sown each year.  One drawback is thatCosmos is not fully hardy and has to  be overwintered in a green house and re planted in the spring.