Monday, July 30, 2007

Ornamental Grasses

Last fall I purchased my very first ornamental grass, it was Fountain Grass Pennisetum Alopecuroides. I enjoyed it so much during the autumn months as I watched it sway in the breeze...

and I especially enjoyed how it added to the beauty of the landscape during the snowy winter.

It was particularly beautiful one winter morning when the fog froze and created a glittery masterpiece. Being from the south, I am in awe when I see the rare beauty of frozen fog on the trees and plants. I knew I had to have more of these wonderful grasses. So this year I have added many more to my yard and flower gardens. I have 25 new grasses, not counting the lily-turf and annual grasses. Some of them haven't done well with our weather extremes and others haven't transplanted well, drying up and turning brown. Hopefully they will revive as others have and in a year or two add to the beauty of our landscape.

The Purple Fountain grass Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' is an annual but I have enjoyed it in my containers this year. I'm going to try and overwinter it in the garage and I've also collected some seed to try my hand at growing my own as I did the pampas grass this past winter.
This is Japanese Blood grass that I just bought in Shipshewana. I have two of them waiting to be planted. I can't decide where I want them to go. The more sun they have the more red they become, so I definitely want a place in full sun.

This is Blue-eyed grass Sisyrinchium angustifolium, it's an iris-like grass with pretty purple flowers. I have two of these also.

Dixieland Maiden Grass Miscanthus sinensis
Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus' Zebra Grass

Maiden Grass
I am terrible at keeping up with the names of plants and since I planted over 25 grasses I've lost track of what they are. Most of the grasses I have are some form of Miscanthus Maiden grass, I know I planted several Karl Foerster Feather Reed grass. I don't want to guess and mislabel the grass so when I get a positive ID I'll come back and label them. If anyone wants to help out, please feel free.


vonlafin said...

Wow, that's a lot of grasses!! I have found that dividing grasses in the Fall is a no-no. They usually don't survive it. I love to see them through the winter too, but always cut them off in February or they end up breaking up and strewing junk all over the lawn.

Carol said...

I'm not much help identifying the grasses you have. I know from experience that the Japanese blood grass is a slow, deliberate spreader, so be careful where you plant it. It's hard to pull out later.

I love how the grasses look in the winter when left alone.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Kylee said...

That is some healthy blue-eyed grass you've got there! For some reason, mine struggles here. :-(

Carolyn gail said...

Hi Robin,

Quite a collection of grasses, all beautiful. I'm surprised that Carol experienced Japanese blood grass spreading because it is a zone 6b and is difficult to overwinter here.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Vonlafin, I'm glad you told me about not dividing in the fall. Is spring a better time or summer?

Carol, I did notice the Japanese blood grass at our library today and I didn't really like the way it was spreading. Thanks for brining my attention to that, it will definitely change where I plant it.

vonlafin said...

Spring division is best, but they will do fine divided in the summer if you keep them watered, but sometimes you have to cut them back or they blades dry up.

Connie said...

Thanks for this post...I am interested in adding more grasses to my gardens.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

You've got quite a selection of grasses which is nice. I've bought some too this week. I love grasses in my garden, they are such nice touchy feely plants. And they make me think of the wild flower meadows of my youth!