Ornamental grasses continue to grow in popularity. They look great both summer and winter and have so much going for them as a garden plant. Most Ornamental grasses are easy to grow and maintain, many are as tough as old boots and yet they are graceful, elegant and create movement in the border. On a summer's day, with the light behind them, ornamental grasses shimmer and dance; in the winter they sparkle in the frost and snow.
Ornamental Grasses make me as lyrical as I can be about any garden plant. They look good grouped together, but are also ideal planting companions. If you are not growing grasses now, I hope this page, the images here and on Pinterest will inspire you to do so. The Pinterest pages have lots of images of the different types of Ornamental grasses to choose from. There are too many to fit on this web page.
The new garden at RHS Bridgewater has made extensive and inspired use of grasses in the planting. A visit in later in the summer will not disappoint when the grasses are at their best. There are some images of RHS Bridgewater's grasses on the Pinterest page.
Grasses look terrific in the winter when the frost catches them. For this reason, it is always worth planting some grasses where they will be in sun in winter. The combination of frost and sun makes the grasses sparkle. There are images of Ornamental Grasses in winter which illustrated this point.
Ornamental grasses are a diverse bunch. Some grasses are at their best in late spring and early summer, such as Phalaris arundinacea (common name Gardeners garter.) This grass flowers in the summer and is ideal for pond margins. Other grasses, such as Stipa gigantea, flower later and are at their best from late summer onwards.
Often included within the classification of grasses are those which are technically sedges such as Carex elata 'Aurea' Bowles' golden sedge which is a lovely golden sedge, and will grow in pond margins and borders. "Ornamental Grasses" is an imprecise term and if you are planting grasses, it is important to check the plant label to assess if it is suitable.
Listed below are some of the most popular, and easy to grow grasses. It is always worth checking the frost hardy rating of the grass before setting your heart on it as many offered for sale look just great, but often are not fully hardy, which can be a problem in some parts of the UK. I have noticed quite a few Ornamental grasses offered for sale at garden centres which are not fully hardy, very attractive and a compelling purchase, but the label does not make it clear. Anything on which the label says "needs winter protection" is not likely to be hardy and will need care over the winter.
Ornamental Grasses mix well with a host of garden plants. Check out Best grass planting combinations and also Pinterest board with lots of inspirational images on growing grasses.