Garden Design has progressed in leaps and bounds over the years. The use of ornamental grasses is on the rise. The strappy fronds of the New Zealand Flax are popping up in many forms. With leaves ranging from green, red, yellow, purple and blue grey they create striking backdrops for other plants.
Whether they are variegated, with stripes or in single shades, ornamental grasses can look stunning in large urns or pots. They are fantastic for the gardener who requires low maintenance plants.
Planting a sea of grasses is an effective way of dealing with large areas.
A few fantastic grasses that you may like to add to your garden are listed below:
1. Festuca glauca- Blue Grass
Vivid blue hair in low-growing evergreen tussocks which slowly expand over the years. In late spring, short blue-green flower plumes emerge, turning tan as they age. The more intense the light, the bluer the colouring. Lovely in gravel gardens, or even troughs or window boxes, with dwarf spring bulbs. Grows to 30cm.
2. Calamagrostis x acutiflora – Reed Grass
Reed grass is easy to grow but takes two or three years to bulk up before
delivering real wow factor by producing upright stems topped with feathery
heads. It performs in shade and sun in a variety of soils and can be used as a
single specimen or in groups. Calamagrostis comes into its own in cooler
3. Lomandra longifolia – Spiny Mat Rush
Lomandra is a wonderful plant native to Australia. It has long, narrow, green lance shaped leaves that grow from a central stem base. It produces tiny fragrant yellow flowers that grow in tight clusters on tall spikes.
Tanika- reliable and tough, 50cm high
Katrinus- fine leaves, 80cm
4. Dianella – Flax Lily
Dianella is a evergreen perennial native to Australia. It is best identified by its long, sword shaped green and white leaves. During the Spring and Summer season, Dianellas bloom blue and violet flowers with purple berries.
Little Rev- compact, blue green foliage, 30cm high
Little Jess- tough dwarf variety, 40cm high
Tas Red- tough and reliable, 40cm high
5. Pennisetum alopecuroides – Fountain Grass
Fountain grass is grown primarily for its bottle-brush flowers that fountain
outwards – hence the common name. The fluffy caterpillars take on extra sparkle
when jewelled by morning dew. But many pennisetums also produce a handsome dome
of foliage and look stunning at the front of a sunny border. They do best in
hotter summers and grow to around 3ft tall.
Nafray – compact habit, 60cm high.
Purple Lea- elegant purple flowers, 90cm high.
Pennstripe- Variegated foliage, 50cm high.