Using Grasses to Enhance Your Outdoor Design

Grasses may seem to be forgotten in many gardens but they can add so much to a garden design. Grasses are becoming more popular these days as more and more people recognize their qualities, long season of interest, and their ability to withstand a great range of environmental factors

Grasses may not always fit into the conventional idea of what should be in a garden. They have a subtlety and simple elegance, and a lightness of touch.

Colorful Grasses

Grasses obviously do not fit with roses and bedding plants but do work in special situations. Contemporary gardens along with perennials seem to beckon the use of grasses to complete the outdoor design.

Grasses are still a kind of novelty as most gardeners do not know how to use them effectively,including where to place them in combination with other plants.

Many gardeners may be familiar with the smaller colored grasses. There are many other varieties of grasses that seems to evoke a closeness to nature. Most open, wild environments are dominated by grasses and form the foundation of many of the wild plant communities whose flowers are often the initial focus of our exploration of wild spaces. Simply having grasses in the garden immediately relates the garden to nature by forming a link with the surroundings. It may remind us of a country garden, or a timely reminder of wild places. Grasses also do well in all nature and wildlife gardens.

The effect of creating the feeling of nature is especially true of the medium-sized and larger grasses. Of all the varieties of the larger grasses miscanthus is the most useful. It has its tall flower spikes that ripen to seed-heads, which remain a strong feature throughout the winter with the asymmetrical look characteristic of reeds. Perhaps it is the most important border plant of the winter as it combines delicacy with bulk. Species of molinia, are smaller than most of the taller miscanthus varieties, but are also reminiscent of wild places where grasses may be encountered on walks along the woodland edge, or across mountain meadows.

The ability of grasses to respond to light makes them invaluable, particularly in the winter with their subtle browns and yellows almost glowing in low winter sunlight. The soft texture and quiet coloring of many grasses, combined with the fact that they do not have colorful flowers, makes them a useful element in any yard and garden design.

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