Plant of the Month - Ornamental Grasses
With their elegant seed heads providing structure, interest and movement, ornamental grasses make a great addition to any garden.
There’s an ornamental grass for every garden style with different cultivars offering variations in colour, texture and shape.
The taller upright varieties, such as Stipa, Miscanthus and Panicum are perfect for making a strong statement or as a backdrop to other plants. Combined with their ability to sway in the wind, these types are especially useful for sensory gardens. The shorter and usually ball-shaped varieties, such as Pennisetum and Hakonechloa are excellent at softening the edges of paths, rocks and other hard-landscaping features.
Grasses are low maintenance plants, requiring a comb in early spring to remove old foliage. When planting, allow space for them to grow into – It’s worth remembering the old gardener’s saying: “In the first year they sleep, in the second year they creep and in the third year they leap!”
Tolerating a wide range of conditions, most like a sunny position in light, moist but well-drained, moderately fertile soil. They do not need much feeding as this can encourage lush foliage at the expense of flowers. One application of a balanced fertiliser in spring is usually adequate.
Don’t be too quick to cut them back once they’ve finished flowering as grasses offer winter interest when the rest of the garden is asleep.
- Low maintenance plants
- Seed heads provide movement
- Prefers a sunny position in a free draining soil
- Feed with a balanced fertiliser in spring
- Leave spent seed heads in place for winter interest