Curb gravity with ornamental grasses! | Lifestyles

Curb gravity with ornamental grasses!  |  Lifestyles

“July is marshmallows and hammocks, fireworks and holidays, hot and steamy weather, cool and refreshing swims, beach picnics, and vegetables, all outside the garden.” -Jean Hersey.

“Tears of joy are like drops of summer rain penetrated by the sun’s rays.” — Hosea Ballou.

“Rest is not idleness, and lying occasionally on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the trickling of water, or watching the clouds floating across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” -John Lubbock.
“Summer afternoon, to me, those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” -Henry James.

Look around and see all the greenery covering the landscape floor setting the stage for play, competition, curb appeal and erosion control.

When it comes to the topic of lawns, we often focus on lawns and sport, then mowing and maintenance. But, wait a minute, there's a whole different group of grasses with alternative applications — the ornamental type used in landscape beds and containers.

Ornamental grasses can be used in landscapes for lasting performance, strength and visual impact. Unlike grass or turf varieties, ornamental grasses are encouraged to grow without the expectations of mowing. Landscaping with ornamental grasses reveals the many varieties, sizes, shapes and colors available. Also, ornamental grasses have great applications in container gardens and provide deer tolerance.

Ornamental grasses provide curb appeal throughout every season. From their vibrant botanical qualities and attractive seed head displays during the growing season to their eye-catching dormancy in the winter months, they provide unique and valuable characteristics to the landscape.

Native ornamental grasses include: Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) is a gorgeous, hardy prairie native that displays gray-green leaf blades that turn strong shades of purple, red, and orange in the fall season. It reaches three feet tall, and prefers full sun and well-drained soil. The value of this grass is its beautiful blue color in summer and its effective fall coloring.

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a favorite grass of many gardeners with its airy plumes in late summer and fall, its blue-gray foliage during the season, and its brilliant shades of gold or red in the fall. It reaches a height of five feet, and prefers full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil. The value of this grass is its beautiful fall color, shade tolerance, and wildlife habitat. Dallas Blues is an excellent breed.

Optical fiber grass (Isolepis cernua) is an unusual perennial that is often grown as an annual in cool climates. It brings the soft texture and low-clumping habit typical of container gardens to our landscapes.

It reaches a height of 6 inches, and prefers full sun or partial shade and moist soil. The value of this grass lies in its unusual appearance and suitability for small space.

North Sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) are a fast-growing species that has interesting seed heads that hang from the stems like windchimes. It reaches three feet in height, and prefers full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil. The value of this grass is its rapid growth (cultivate carefully) and attractive fall seed heads.

Introduced ornamental grasses that are not native but offer sustainability characteristics include: Feather Reedgrass (Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster') is a very popular ornamental grass that provides a distinct upright growth habit that maintains its aesthetics throughout the winter. It reaches a height of six feet, and prefers full sun and well-drained soil. The value of this grass is its hardness and architectural form.
Fountaingrass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) is an attractive plant that displays a beautiful shape and soft, feathery plumes that dance in the wind. It reaches a height of five feet, and prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

The value of this grass lies in its graceful arched shape and attractive columns

Blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens) is a low-maintenance grass with a steely blue color and a striking growth habit. It reaches a height of four feet, and prefers full sun and well-drained soil. The value of this grass is its attractive silvery blue color.

Purple millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is a very hardy annual grass with striking burgundy foliage and rich purple seed heads that resemble delicate marigolds. These grasses are very beautiful and attract birds. It reaches a height of five feet, and prefers full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil.

The value of this herb is its burgundy leaves and rich purple seed heads.

Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra) is a low-growing favorite that provides an excellent growth habit. 'Aureola' and 'All Gold' are variegated selections that display brightly colored foliage and do well in shaded areas. It reaches a height of 1 foot, and prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. The value of this grass lies in its color properties for illuminating shade gardens.

Maidengrass (Miscanthus sinensis) is a very popular ornamental grass that is very easy to grow. Their characteristics include narrow, arching foliage (many variegated selections available) that add color to the landscape and silvery plumes that provide captivating displays. It grows up to 8 feet tall, and prefers full sun and moist, well-drained soil. The value of this grass lies in its attractive columns and elegant, arching growth habit.

Ravennagrass (Saccharum ravennae) is a massive, fast-growing perennial that produces tall, silvery plumes that make a powerful statement in the fall landscape. It reaches a height of 12 feet, and prefers full sun and well-drained soil. The value of this grass is its height and attractive feathers.

Purple Fountaingrass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Purpureum') is a favorite garden plant that displays burgundy-red foliage all season long. It is a tender perennial and is frequently used in container gardens. It reaches a height of three feet, and prefers full sun and well-drained soil. The value of this herb lies in its rich, deep purple color.

Zebragrass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Strictus') offers bold color with each leaf blade marked by a series of bright yellow bands. Zebragrass provides a strong focus in the landscape thanks to its color and upright growth habit that works well in perennial borders. It reaches a height of five feet, and prefers full sun and moist, well-drained soil. The value of this grass is the strong colors of its leaves.

Purple moorgrass (Molinia caerulea) is an ornamental grass that offers attractive, trailing foliage that turns brilliant gold in fall. It reaches a height of five feet, and prefers full sun or partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. The value of this grass lies in its bold form, effective fall color, and shade tolerance.

Hairwort (Deschampsia cespitosa) is an evergreen ornamental grass with airy plumes in shades of gold, silver, purple and green with a vigorous growth habit. It reaches a height of six feet, and prefers full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. The value of this grass is shade and moisture tolerance.

The time you spend selecting and planting ornamental grasses will provide you with seasons and years of personal satisfaction.

“Christ has set us free for freedom. So stand firm, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1. “In (Christ) and through faith in Him we can approach God with freedom and confidence.” Ephesians 3:12. And above (The Lord) seraphim, each with six wings… And they called out to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, and the whole earth is filled with his glory.” Isaiah 6: 2-3 “But God’s way is perfect.” The word of the Lord is faultless. He is a shield for all who trust in Him.” Psalm 30:18. “You love Him even though you have never seen Him before. Even though you don't see him now, you trust him; And you will rejoice with glorious, inexpressible joy.” 1 Peter 1:8.

(Tags for translation)Botany

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