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Adding to Your Garden with Ornamental Grass

Gardeners are always looking for good looking, low maintenance perennials. While perennial flowers add color, ornamental grasses add much more. Ornamental grasses are the darlings of the garden world for many reasons. They provide interest to a garden in all four seasons with their unique leaf blades and flower shapes and textures. Ornamental grasses are low maintenance, drought tolerant, make great cut flowers and can grow in most areas of the country. 

When choosing an ornamental grass, get a hardy variety for your area. Also, look for ornamental grasses that grow in clumps and don’t send out runners or self-sow readily. These later types can become weedy quickly.

Here are some to try.

Karl Forester Feathered Reed Grass– This 5-foot tall grass has golden colored flowers in late summer. It’s hardy in zones 4 to 9 and doesn’t spread or self sow seeds. 

Procupine Grass– This Miscanthus sinensis grass is hardy to zone 5. The 5-foot tall clump has striped yellow and green leaves with a unique appearance. 

Blue Fescue Grass– This unusual 2-foot tall mounding grass has stunning blue grass blades. It’s hardy to zone 4 and looks great in a perennial garden paired with other flowers.

Ornamental Grass 

Grow ornamental grasses in a full to part sun location on well-drained soil. Place tall grasses in the back of a flower garden to create a beautiful backdrop. Leave the flowers on all winter to enjoy their color and motion when little else is blooming in the garden. In spring, cut them back to the ground. Follow this tip Janet Endsley at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show shared with me this year.

Wrap the grass stalks into a bundle with a VELCRO® Brand Tree Tie. The tree tie keeps the stalks together making them easier to cut and remove. Cut the grass with a hedge trimmer beneath the tree tie and compost the bundle. 

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