Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses seem to standout among the fall foliage with their colorful plumes.  But I can't remember seeing them while growing up.  We lived in Washington, DC, and my parents loved planting flowers and fruit trees.  We had a huge grapevine on the side of our two story house, covering the entire width and height.  My brothers dreaded climbing the ladders every summer to pick the grapes so my mother could make wine and jelly. My mother also had a garden where she planted  greens, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and corn. But, like I said, I don't remember seeing any ornamental grasses.  Until recently.

I think they're relatively "new" to landscaping. Today, looking around at most landscapes, you're bound to come across some form of ornamental grasses. This time of the year, they seem to be everywhere. As part of my communities' landscape design they're growing at the end of my back yard and they are absolutely beautiful. 

 I read somewhere that "the only purpose of ornamental grass is to be pretty, to be an ornament." And that they are.

Ornamental grasses offer graceful habits of movement.  If you watch a group of ornamental grasses on a windy day, they seem to be swaying with the autumn breeze.

I planted a couple of small ornamental grasses in my rock garden back in June.  Today,  one has pink plumes and the other, wheat color plumes. 

  I can imagine in the next few years these plants will look pretty much like the ones at the end of my backyard.  How wonderful that will be!



  1. OK Gail, this is the first time (and maybe the last) I have ever used this word.....Swoonworthy!!! I have a thing for ornamental grasses and yours are gorgeous!!

  2. I had never seen the ornamental grasses while growing up, nor do I see them now around where I live....your are very pretty.

  3. I have already planned to "dabble" with ornamental grasses on my little concrete patch here... some sources say that some grasses are quite happy in containers, so that's something for me to look into. Our "front yard" is, literally, a square of concrete with a wall around it, and it still looks sad, even after we made those planters from junk in summer.
    I am kind of hoping that some tough, pretty grasses will produce the volume, colour and movement I miss so much from our old garden- just the feeling that there's a lot of green, without constantly having to mourn the demise of yet another pretty flower that gave in to bad weather, bad light or bad somethingoranother.
    Grass me up anytime :D

  4. When I moved to the west coast, I was struck by the sight of pampas grass on the hillsides of L.A. These ornamental grasses, which I had only seen in floral arrangements, looked like alien structures growing in clumps around the town. I believe pampas grass originated in South America and found a welcome environment in the mediterranean climate of L.A. It's interesting to see that pampas grass now has migrated to the east coast.

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