Ornamental grasses are tough and long-lasting. See five ways to let their beauty add color and texture to your garden.

Ornamental grasses run the gamut of simple to showy, but any can deliver bold impact to your landscaping. From their decorative properties to more practical uses, these low-maintenance plants will bring you enjoyment for years to come. Try one of these five ways to use grasses in your yard.

1. Walk the Line


Using grasses to line a walkway carves out a pretty path for visitors to step along. They also serve as a soft transition point between the hard edges of stone and adjacent planting beds, preserving a more natural appearance.

2. Textured Containers


Grasses are equally as appealing in containers as they are in your yard. For maximum drama, layer a tall grass with shorter flowers and a leafy ivy or coleus. Three plant species per container is a good rule of (green) thumb, but you can use less for a more formal symmetrical look like the pots shown here.

3. No Slippery Slopes

Perennial Border

One of the most beneficial uses of grasses is to prevent soil erosion, especially on hillsides. Ornamental grasses are well-suited for this task thanks to their extensive root systems. Dense mondo grass or blue fescue may be a good option. Native prairie grasses, such as bluestem, will also work well.

4. Draw the Eye

Fountain Grass

Good landscaping means varying the heights of what you plant to maximize visual interest. In a mostly low-growing plant bed, grasses stand out. Here, a spray of fountaingrass plumes provide both height and color contrast to the red flowers in front.

5. Gone to the Birds

flower bed

Offer a sanctuary for your feathered friends by planting grasses near your birdfeeder or birdbath. Do your research; grasses native to your region will have the best chance of attracting local wildlife. Providing a safe place to rest, eat, and even nest away from predators will encourage birds to stick around.


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