Why These Drought-Tolerant Grasses Can Light Up Your Winter Garden – Orange County Register

Why These Drought-Tolerant Grasses Can Light Up Your Winter Garden – Orange County Register

Feathertop Pennisetum illosum on the Parkway. (Photo by Joshua Siskin)

For everything you want to know about ornamental grasses, I recommend checking out “Herbs for Gardens and Landscapes” by Neil Lucas (Timber Press).

First, Lucas praises the “seasonality” of herbs, because they keep our interest all year long, changing as the months pass. Speaking of deciduous grasses—which must be cut back to within a few inches of the ground before they regrow in the spring—he calls attention to their “annual miracle of rapid green growth, gorgeous flowers, and fall color, followed by their brown winter coats that stand tall and tall.” . Firm until the following spring.”

Some herbs have all-winter appeal because of their continuous, luminous blooms that light up the garden under clear skies. Here, the genus Miscanthus takes center stage, with species such as silver banner grass (Miscanthus saccharifolius), and Miscanthus sinensis var. Silver Magic, Miscanthus sinensis var. The Fire Dragon is resplendent with glowing silvery-white flowers in winter. Fire Dragon has the added bonus of foliage that turns burgundy and burgundy in the fall and stays that way through the winter months.

In fact, you can create a garden containing only Miscanthus species and cultivars due to the wide range of attractive effects that are produced between them. In fact, over 50 different selections for Miscanthus are featured in this volume. They include Miscanthus x giganteus, whose gorgeous fountain-green foliage can reach ten feet tall, Miscanthus sinensis 'Bandwidth' with separate yellow bands running along the four-foot foliage, and Miscanthus sinensis Red Cloud, Red Spear, and Red Zenith, all Some of them bear reddish inflorescences.

Keep in mind that the leaves of ornamental grasses are not only green. You'll find them with blue, red, pink or purple leaves, as in purple fountain grass (Pennisetum x advena var. Rubrum), golden or striped as well. I can easily imagine an entire yard of perennial grasses in this color combination. Many of them are very drought tolerant and will only need occasional hosing once they are established in the garden. By the way, if you prefer pink, you'll want to plant pink muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris) and pink muhly (Melinis nerviglumis) because of the massive clouds of pink flowers they provide.

I was curious to know what the author had to say about feather grass (Nassella Tenuissima). I was curious because it's easy to be captivated by this grass – I know it – at first sight, especially in the fall when its leaf-thin tufts of leaves turn brown at their tips until they become quite golden and quietly attractive as well. The problem is they're so infested that, before you know it, the feather grass will be growing in your neighbors' gardens too, whether they like it or not. The good news is that feather grass is not deeply rooted and you can get rid of it without much effort. Although its ability to set seed, meaning that self-seeding can be a problem, is mentioned, there is no explicit warning about how invasive it is in this book.

Another grass I wanted to find was feathergrass (Pennisetum villosum). Ever since I saw it growing as a ground cover on a strip of road, I've been wondering about its usefulness as a grass substitute. I learned here that it usually grows to a height of about three feet, but based on what I've seen, it just flattens traffic, rather than killing it. Its white, caterpillar-like flowers are its prominent feature. In warm climates like ours, it is a perennial and I would not hesitate to plant it where people occasionally walk or get out of their cars, such as in the driveway between a sidewalk and a street.

When it comes to herbs, as in garden design in general, mass planting is recommended. With so many options to choose from, you may be tempted to grow a variety of herbs. Although this may be justified, as noted above, if you wish to create a rainbow of leafy colors or perhaps an expanse of different species sharing silvery blooms, where a dramatic effect is desired, staying with one or two or , most of the three types are generally recommended.

California Citizen of the WeekBeargrass (Nolina parryi) is a heritage plant intended for gardens that will be passed down from the current generation to the next, at least. I say this because it can take more than 30 years for a seed-grown plant to flower although it can be assumed that pot-grown specimens will produce a flower in a shorter period of time. The roses that will remind you of yucca may expand into a clump up to 15 feet wide, but the leaves are smooth, unlike the sharply pointed leaves of yucca. Eventually, bearweed will grow to a height of up to 12 feet, and its stem, or basal stem, from which new growth emerges and which stores water, may be up to 2 feet in diameter. The flower spikes are worth the wait as they grow up to eight feet tall and bloom from mid-spring to summer. Nolina parryi is available by mail order from anniesannuals.com.

Do you have any ornamental grasses to recommend? If so, tell me about them in an email to joshua@perfectplants.com. Your landscape-oriented photos of unusual plants are always welcome (which may be published) as well as recommended gardening practices as well as questions and comments about any plant species.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply