Give your garden four seasons of interest with low-maintenance grasses.
Ornamental grasses have multiseason appeal: In spring, the shoots add a vibrant flush of green; in summer, their plumes bring color and texture to the landscape; in autumn, many varieties turn shades of red, orange, and yellow. They're fantastic in winter, too: When snow falls, standing grasses break up the monotony of a barren landscape, making the long season more bearable.
Use groupings of blue fescue to greet your guests and carry their eye up your walkway. The small size of drought-tolerant blue fescue -- usually 6-10 inches tall and 10-12 inches wide -- makes it perfect for planting along the edge of a bed. Additionally, its silvery-blue foliage works with every garden style.
The unique growing habit of Japanese forestgrass makes it ideal for planting underneath taller, upright shrubs such as 'Hellmond Pillar' barberry.
Japanese forestgrass grows best in shade and often turns shades of red, pink, and orange in autumn.
Plant zebragrass for a fun twist in the landscape. Its variegated foliage features creamy-white or yellow horizontal stripes up and down the leaf blades. This specimen adds height to a garden and is ideal for creating a flowing privacy screen with its tall plumes.
Soften the edge of your garden bed with free-flowing grasses that have arching foliage, such as fountaingrass. Its thin blades and colorful late-summer plumes make for a gorgeous addition to the garden.
Varieties of switchgrass such as 'Shenandoah', 'Cheyenne Sky', and 'Ruby Ribbons' sprout in the spring with varying tones of blue-green blades. Come fall, their blades transform into a fiery red that makes a strong statement in the garden.
Create a mixed border with varying heights, colors, and textures by combing ornamental grasses such as purple fountaingrass, feather reedgrass, and dwarf fountaingrass. Add in complementary perennials for a balance of foliage and flowers.
The wheat-color plumes of feather reedgrass look stunning in nearly every landscape style, and the easy-growing plant tolerates a range of growing conditions.
Create a dramatic display in your garden by partnering contrasting foliages such as purple smokebush, Japanese forestgrass, and 'Palace Purple' coralbells.
The perfect specimen to stand-alone in any container: purple fountaingrass. Three attributes make this plant ideal for your garden: heat-tolearant, late-summer flowing plumes, and gorgeous dark burgundy foliage.
Talk about a statement in the garden! Combining plants with burgundy and chartruese foliage such as Japanese forestgrass, Mondo grass, and 'Angelina' sedum creates a knockout look. Boost impact even more by creating contrasting geometric lines that carry the eye through the landscape.