Experts and BHG readers answer.
What are the benefits of turfgrasses versus ornamental grasses?
Planting a variety of perennial grasses is ideal for creating an up-to-date landscape. Evergreen perennial grasses are truly sculptural and, if properly displayed, look as though they were created by an artist. To produce living sculptures, plant horsetail (Equisetum) in small water gardens or in simple containers as short-term houseplants. It can also be grown in a troublesome wet spot as an accent plant. The beautifully textured heads of grasses are excellent in fresh or dried arrangements. Be sure to include a few plants for the cutting garden when choosing ornamental grasses for your landscape. Clearing a large circular or oval area toward the center of your yard and planting it with a collection of ornamental grasses, such as eulalia grass (Miscanthus sinensis), reduces your lawn-cutting chores. The high point of this island bed could be a mature Ravenna grass plant (Saccharum ravennae) or a maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'). Surround the planting with a ring of fountain grass (Pennisetum), and finish off the edges with a line of dwarf fescue (Festuca). All you'll need to maintain the grasses are sharpened shears to cut back the previous year's growth in late winter or early spring.