It’s easy to admire ornamental grasses as they show off their plumes in the late summer and fall. Many of these grasses grow quite large and you may be thinking you’d like them in your landscape, but don’t know where they could work. They can certainly be used intermittently in our foundation plantings, but many do get tall and spread a bit over time. So how else can these easy to grow plants be used?
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Create A Barrier: Would you like to have a little less exposure to your surrounding neighbors? Grasses make an excellent living fence. Ten or more Miscanthus or Panicum planted on your property line can be planted 3’ apart, quickly offering a 4-8’ living barrier. You could also plant a shorter variety such as Pennisetum or Little Bluestem in front offering more depth as well as color and texture contrast.
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Island Plantings: Creating island plantings around your yard using ornamental grasses is easy to plant and maintain. Islands can be round, oval or abstract – any shape will work. By planting only grasses you can simplify your gardens while creating an impressive show. Grasses sway beautifully in the wind for several months, while requiring very little maintenance. Grasses can be cut down in the late fall or early spring and you’re good to go for another season. There are many hardy varieties to choose from offering different heights, textures and colors.
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Slopes: Who hasn’t seen a slope overgrown with weeds or with assorted shrubs overrun by weeds. Let’s face it, slopes are a challenge. No one really wants to mow them, so what can you do to eliminate that difficult task without creating another challenge in maintenance? Grasses make an excellent choice for a slope. Depending on the size of the slope you can choose one variety or perhaps up to three, planting large groups of all the same. You will still be required to cut them down in either spring or fall but that only means one yearly visit to maintain the slope rather than mowing or weeding around shrubs and perennials.