Use Ornamental Grasses In Your Landscaping


An expanse of lawn can be a beautiful addition to your house. However, many homeowners prefer to add extra interest to their yard with gardening. It's certainly possible to plant a selection of pretty flowers in your yard. However, ornamental grasses offer even more bang for your buck. They feature showy architecture year-round – including the cold months. Add ornamental grasses to your landscaping to beautify your yard.

Select the Grasses

Many ornamental grasses started out as regular prairie plants. Even if you don't live in a prairie climate, you can add these plants to your landscaping. According to Better Homes and Gardens, grasses such as big bluestem, blue fescue, zebragrass and maidengrass grow well in cooler climates. Mexican feathergrass, dwarf pampasgrass, fiber opticgrass, ravennagrass and northern sea oats are more suitable for warmer climates. When choosing your ornamental grasses, look for a variety of heights and shapes to give you landscape visual interest. Group your grasses in a corner for an easy mini garden.

Frame a Foundation Garden

One way to use ornamental grasses is as a frame for a long, narrow garden, such as one along the foundation of your house. For this installation, choose taller grasses such as maidengrass or ravennagrass. Plant these in the back corner of a strip of land. Next, fill in the center of the strip with pretty flowers, such a garden phlox, peony, and coneflower. Finally, finish off the garden with groundcover plants such as Irish moss or thyme. You could utilize shorter grasses, such as fiber optic grass, for the front corners.

Plant a Low-Water Garden

Because ornamental grasses originated in the tough conditions of the prairie, they tend to be drought-resistant. This makes them good anchoring plants for a low-water garden. For this installation, start with a low-water shrub such as dogwood and aster. Add tall grasses between the shrubs to fill in the foundation of the garden. Cluster other drought-tolerant plants, such as spurge, sedum, deadnettle and lady's mantle, around this anchor. All the plants you choose should be full sun.

Edge a Pathway

A winding garden pathway is a charming addition to your yard. However, guests can stray off the path, especially if you've kept it natural-looking with spaced stones or pavers. Encourage visitors to stay on the path by edging it with ornamental grasses. You don't want to obscure the view, so select shorter varieties such as Japanese forestgrass, blue fescue and fiber optic grass. It's not necessary to line the pathway completely. Simply plant the grasses with natural spacing, concentrating on corners or other areas where people tend to stray.

Whether edging a pathway, anchoring a low-water garden, or framing a strip, the right ornamental grasses can add beauty to your landscaping. For more ideas, check out local home shows or garden shows to see what others are doing with their landscaping in your area.


8 June 2016

Discussing Landscaping Practices

Hello, my name is Willy Wilson. When I was in college, I rented a small home with my friends and coworkers. The home was in bad shape and needed a lot of help across the entire property. My friends and I decided to build up the home from the inside out with a unique landscaping layout. The landscaping process ignited a passion for creating gardens out of tired, patchy lawn space. I want to use this site to explore all of the different ways you can create a beautiful landscape around your home. Come by anytime to learn about this fascinating subject.