Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Perennial Grasses

Grasses are wonderful for adding colour and texture to a planting scheme and as a foil for other plants. They’re low-maintenance, drought tolerant and excellent for cats to nibble on! Here are some of my favourites:-

Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’ – upright, variegated grass, great for adding height and drama to a border. Beautiful pink flower heads in late summer. 120cm – 150cm tall.

Miscanthus ‘Zebrinus’ – a tall upright grass with gold bands at intervals up the stems and leaves from which it derives its name. Purple plumes in late summer. Grows up to 1.2m tall. Plant several together to make an informal screen.

Pennisetum ‘Hamelyn’ – mound forming grass grown for its fluffy flower heads - up to 80cm tall. One of my absolute favourites for planting with herbaceous plants.

Carex elata aurea – a golden grass that will tolerate shade so is excellent for brightening up dull areas. It is a low growing grass (70cm) with pretty brown flower heads in June. Plant with purple leaved Heuchera for contrast.

Deschampsia cesspitosa – a mound-forming grass with a head of diaphanous flowers that blend beautifully in a herbaceous planting scheme. I like to dot it around amongst Helenium, Salvia and Echinacea. It also works well planted in a group towards the front of a border.

Hakonechloa macra aureola – bright gold and lime green arching leaves that forms a cascading mound 40cm high. Will tolerate some shade.

Eragrostis elliotii – striking blue grey foliage and airy flower heads in May. Up to 1m high.

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