Growing up with a meadow in my backyard educated my love of blossoms but observing, constructing and managing gardens gave me confidence in fishes’ effectiveness. The way that they dance in the end, diffuse and reflect light, evolve through the seasons and create shadows makes them an important, durable and flexible addition to the landscapes of today.
Whether they are highly stylized or more natural, grasses eventually become a landscape’s dominant species. Their planting palettes let the architecture to be appreciated and to harmonize with all the landscape that is regional of a home.
Plant in masses. Grasses planted in masses create a lively experience. The drift of feather reed grass (Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’, USDA zones 3 to 9) in this picture connects and frames a view of the meadow beyond. This tall grass that is cool-season displays views and harmonizes with all the landscape.
It brings life into the winter landscape as well — this bud can stay standing until the first part of spring, even when it’s cut into the floor in spite of new growth.
Contemplate views from your dwelling. Selecting plants that change color throughout the year may produce a strong effect, even in the winter. Reed bud (Calamagrostis spp), bluestem (Andropogon spp), woodoats (Chasmanthium spp) and Spodiopogon are a couple of of my preferred grasses from the frost and snow.
This maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’, zones 5 to 9) shows the magic of the winter landscape — I love the way the snow sits on the seed heads.
Plant in context. Context is critically important in backyard design. A small number of grasses set in a group of evergreen shrubs or flowering plants reads shopaholic than Zen. Be bold and plant groupings of grasses on their own.
Grand masses of Pennisetum and Calamagrostisseat this home superbly in the landscape. This is as modern as planting design gets. No plants to call ornaments or specimens plants at a sublime composition.
Clinton & Associates, PC Landscape Architects
Stay low care. Underplanting airy, warm-season woody shrubs, such as Perovskia, can help suppress early cool-season weeds. Grasses like fall moor grass (Sesleria autumnalis, zones 5 to 2), prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis; zones 3 to 9) or sedge (Carex pensylvanica, zones 3 to 2)may also help reduce management needs.
Grand masses of grasses complement blocks of perennials within this landscape, along with a favorite woody perennial, Russian sage (Perovskia atrriplicifolia, zones 5 to 9). These grasses Both are long lived and over most weeds win out at time. Underplanting those will not disturb the roots of grasses.
Donald Pell – Gardens
Enjoy through the winter. Leave grasses and flowering perennials up through the winter. You’ll learn through monitoring what plants have a fantastic winter presence and which plants appear messy and need to be cut back in the fall.
This Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ was frozen to the floor in January in this Pennsylvania backyard. The bud stood right 9, the next day. This genuine workhorse of a plant is deemed cool season and may be 3 feet high before most grasses even emerge from their winter at the mid-Atlantic.
Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture
Look for year-round green. Autumn moor grass, a tough plant that will take a variety of soils, makes a great ground cover. This bud stays evergreen through winters in the Philadelphia region — a pleasant burst of colour in dreary weather. Along with reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha, zones 4 to 9) and most Carex, this bud grows with good success in light shade.
Terra Nova® Nurseries, Inc
Embrace seasonal colour changes. Japanese forest grass(Hakenachloa macra, zones 5 to 9) could be one of the best woodland grasses for dry shade. The foliage turns a gorgeous blonde and looks lush and clean in summer. The chartreuse foliage of this cultivar ‘All Gold’ brightens landscapes, and I have never seen it revert the way other cultivars do. Try out these two under maples and other trees with surface roots.
Grounded – Richard Risner RLA, ASLA
Highlight textures. Play with grasses that stand out due to their feel rather than their colour. Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima, zones 6 to 10), for instance, has beautiful fine foliage and a billowy inflorescence. This is a very versatile plant that’s indigenous to the Southwest, but I have observed this plant thrive for several years in gardens around the East Coast. In the mid-Atlantic, I enjoy this implanted in blocks around flowering perennials, such as giant hyssop (Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’, zones 5 to 9).
Gardens by Gabriel, Inc..
Let grasses dominate the floor plane. This backyard utilizes Carex at a simplified mass to dominate the ground plane. Punctuations of agave contribute to this planting design’s method. The millstone fountain, fire bowl and chair wall are excellent architectural capabilities. I envision that distance is home to a cocktail parties — I am convinced I will be receiving a call any day now.
Those that are adventuresome and welcome disappointment as an exciting opportunity to learn will have good success in the backyard. However much I’ve read about plants and design, nothing has come close to telling me more than error, trial and monitoring. So do something and enjoy the excitement of the unknown.
More: Let Nature Inspire Your Landscape: By Grasslands into Garden