A grass with excellent drought tolerance, lovegrass is great option for adding soft texture to the garden nearly year-round. Emerging in late spring, this perennial’s foliage moves gently in the slightest wind. Its airy, cloudlike flower clusters appear in late summer. Allow the tufted mounds of leaves to stand through winter to enjoy their graceful swaying when much of the landscape is dormant. Lovegrass spreads slowly to form a meadow so is popular for stabilizing slopes and preventing erosion as well as in perennial borders, wildlife plantings, or wherever you need an easy-care plant.
Using Lovegrass in the Garden
Plant lovegrass alongside other natives and low-water plants to create a garden with color and texture throughout the growing season. Great companions include blanket flower (Gaillardia), tickseed (Coreopsis), shasta daisy (Leucanthemum), perennial salvia (Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna' and others), and black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia). Establish a wildlife garden by planting these perennials in groups of three to five in a large landscape bed. Blanket the soil with a 2-inch-thick layer of mulch to minimize maintenance.
How to Grow Lovegrass
Lovegrass grows best in full sun and quick-draining loam and sandy soil. An easy-to-grow grass, it tolerates a wide range of planting sites. It tolerates part shade (but will have a loose, open habit) and in clay soil. Plant lovegrass in spring, then water it regularly during the first month. Continue watering weekly during the first growing season when rain does not fall. Established plants have good drought tolerance.
Lovegrass requires little maintenance. Simply cut plants back to ground level in early spring before new growth emerges. Lovegrass may self-seed but is not invasive. Plants are easy to divide. In spring dig up the entire clump. Use a sharp spade to cut the clump into three or four sections and replant. Water divisions well.
Plant Lovegrass With:
Asters get their name from the Latin word for "star," and their flowers are indeed the superstars of the fall garden. Some types of this native plant can reach up to 6 feet with flowers in white and pinks but also, perhaps most strikingly, in rich purples and showy lavenders.Not all asters are fall bloomers. Extend the season by growing some of the summer bloomers, as well. Some are naturally compact; tall types that grow more than 2 feet tall benefit from staking or an early-season pinching or cutting back by about one-third in July or so to keep the plant more compact.
With brilliant yellow, pink, or white cups or goblets, beautiful evening primroses are so easy to grow that you'll see them thriving uncared for along roadsides. Their cup-shape flowers of various sizes open during the day, and many are wonderfully fragrant. Take note, though: Some spread enthusiastically and need control.
One of the longest bloomers in the garden, coreopsis produces (usually) sunny yellow daisylike flowers that attract butterflies. Coreopsis, depending on the variety, also bears golden-yellow, pale yellow, pink, or bicolor flowers. It will bloom from early to midsummer or longer as long as it's deadheaded.