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Article: Ornamental Grasses: Beautiful and Easy Companions: I've always hesitated to use grasses

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Forum: Article: Ornamental Grasses: Beautiful and Easy CompanionsReplies: 9, Views: 117
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Bookerc1

Bookerc1
Mackinaw, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 22, 2009
7:15 PM

Post #6723939

I know very little about them, and I've always been reluctant to plant something that might spread and take over an area. Do they tend to stay where you put them, or is re-seeding themselves a problem? Are some prone to sending runners? I LOVE the look of ornamental grasses in a landscape, and have been trying to work up the courage to add some.

DiggerDee
Ffld County, CT
(Zone 6b)

June 23, 2009
12:23 AM

Post #6725313

Booker, I'm with you! I've hesitated to use grasses also. At first, I never really liked them. They are used extensively in corporate office parks around here, and so I always associated them with that, not a home garden. I've warmed up to them and have considered planting some, but I'm quite worried about them being agressive, as well as wondering if I want to deal with dividing them - looks like a big job!

Toni, thanks for including that incredible list of grasses! I will take some time and look through them, and that should help me make a decision as to whether to plant, and what to plant. Thank you!
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 29, 2010
7:08 AM

Post #7839071

I understand what you mean by the corporate look. What you want to do is make them special. Miscanthus does not seed, and you can use it for some stunning effects. I have had ornamental grasses since 1998. The key is to research your grasses for clumping and a tendency to die out in the middle (Silberfeil, an old grass that isn't used much anymore, does just that).

A pic in the fog.

Thumbnail by DonnaMack
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DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 29, 2010
7:12 AM

Post #7839080

Great with roses

Thumbnail by DonnaMack
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DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 29, 2010
7:14 AM

Post #7839162

And lilies.

Thumbnail by DonnaMack
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DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 29, 2010
7:16 AM

Post #7839169

And in the fall!

Thumbnail by DonnaMack
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wannadanc
Olympia, WA

May 29, 2010
2:09 PM

Post #7840331

Grasses work SO well when you have big spaces needing to be filled. I am glad that I never developed a love for grasses when I lived on a suburban lot. It isn't because anything goes to seed or becomes aggressive, but just because the ones I really like are robust once established. 5 acres gives me and them enough space to be happy.
busylizzycat
Colborne, ON
(Zone 5a)

May 31, 2010
6:40 PM

Post #7847173

Great pictures and such a timely article as I am in the midst of trying to plan a grass garden (35' x 4-5') across the front of my property to blend with the large open field gone wild across the road. So many choices - I want it to be interesting. Never thought of the rose combination - I'm hoping to include daylilies and sedum. What is the plant in the foreground of your autumn pic?

Bookerc1

Bookerc1
Mackinaw, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 31, 2010
8:40 PM

Post #7847514

Donna, such pretty pictures! Love the reddish tinge in the fall, especially against the color of your house! Did you plan that, or was it one of those happy accidents?

DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 31, 2010
10:51 PM

Post #7847671

Thank you, Bookerc1. How nice of you to say it, and yes, it was a plan. We were fortunate enough to be able to build a small but nice house, and I very much wanted red. It actually is an easy color to landscape against, since you can use red, blue, purple, pink and white. I actually had a plan drawn up based on ornamental grasses. The ones in the picture bloom in October, and what else blooms then? By picking grasses with staggered bloom times (every month from June through October) I could get color and interest, and gracillimus, the one in the picture, really works, especially because of the color.

I'm so glad that you like it!

Donna

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Other Article: Ornamental Grasses: Beautiful and Easy Companions Threads you might be interested in:

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Grasses gamekeeper 0 Jun 26, 2009 9:11 PM
dividing edgeoftheworld 1 Jun 3, 2010 6:41 PM


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