The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Grasses

29 comments


I’ve never grown many grasses. Would you share the names of your favourite ones please, preferably smaller varieties that behave themselves. Thank you :-)

More blog posts by dawnsaunt

Previous post: Light Bulb Moment - Let's Build A Stumpery



Comments

 

Yes indeed! My favourites are all evergreen. I love carex oshimensis ‘Mount Evereste’ with its icy white stripes. And Carex testacea ‘Prairie Fire’ which is a bit taller and has lovely bronzy tones all winter. Uncinia rubra has a broader blade and a more orange/red hue. Festuca glauca turns bright blue in summer but can be slightly less tough through the winter. I love my Carex elata ‘Aurea’ which is golden and quite large when mature. And Luzula sylvatica ‘aurea’ is even better as it shines most brightly in the y winter, but it spreads out rather than grows up. Acorus is a lovely plant with very strongly erect blades, almost phormium like but much smaller. Theres a Carex called ‘Banana Boat’ which I love but havent yet tracked down in UK. And you can’t beat the Liriopes...they are grassy but also bear flowers in november. Blue or white. And Opiophogon nigrescens is fabulous on a pale gravel or beside something brighter. The only deciduous grasses I grow are the Hakonechloea. But they look superb all winter with their straw left in place. I just cut mine back a week or two ago so I could use the straw on my strawberries to keep them warm during the cold snap. Don’t go for the Carex flacca - blue Sedge- unless you want it all over...it seeds like billy-o. Useful for a bog though. The other one that doesn’t behave for me is the pony tail grass, stipa tenuissima. It was a thug. I took it all out.

6 Feb, 2019

 

Perfect Karen, I've had a few but not entirely happy with them, I'm wary of the ones that go crazy, off to research on them now :-) thanks

6 Feb, 2019

 

My pleasure! X

6 Feb, 2019

 

I've never grown many grasses either Dawn, but Sheila Bub suggested a nice one to me recently called Hakenochloa macra, a small cascading grass that is perfect for edging. I'm going to try and get one for my garden.

6 Feb, 2019

 

I only have quite large ones used as substitute for shrubs I also have hackonekloa but is young so yet to see how it gets going but very attractive, also have a blue festuca which has done well :-)

6 Feb, 2019

 

Hywel, Daylily, thank you.
I’ve admired Hakenochloa for a while so will definitely get that one.

7 Feb, 2019

 

Morning. I have a few ornamental grasses, carex oshimensis evergreen and evergold. They are reliable and they don’t grow very big. I do have a couple of stipa tenuissima, they look nice in mid summer. Personally, I’m not so keen on them in winter, they look a bit scruffy. I agree with Hywel and Daylily, the Hakenochloa looks lovely, Great colour too!

7 Feb, 2019

 

I also saw a nice one with Shirley Tulip recently, called Festuca glauca 'Blue Fescue'. (I hope she won't mind me telling you about it) and it's a bluish colour and grows about 11 - 15 inches high.
I'm going to try and get one of them too.

7 Feb, 2019

 

I agree with most of Karen’s suggestions, but thought Uncinia rubra was tender? Love Anemanthele (used to be called Stipa arundinacia), but it does self seed. You would definitely have room for Stipa gigantea Dawn, and I do like Stipa tenuissima - looking good all year round. There is also a variegated version of Hakonechloa macra, called Aurea. My favourite grass is the Japanese blood grass, Imperata rubra, but it is safer to plant it in a slate or gravel bed as it disappears completely in winter. Have fun!

7 Feb, 2019

 

Hi again Dawn . . . I just went for a walk, and realised that I could have told you about THE website for grasses: www.knollgardens.co.uk I still have their catalogue after many years, and (on their website) they have detailed descriptions of every grass you can think of with preferred aspect, height, etc. Also, the owner, Neil, has written a book "Designing with Grasses" which I'm planning to borrow from the library to see if I want to buy it! Good luck with your research :)

7 Feb, 2019

 

'Designing with grasses' is one book I'd like to read, Sheila.... Will Google it. Blood grass never seems successful here.... as you say, it completely disappears in the winter. The reviews seem very encouraging.

7 Feb, 2019

 

Hmmm..interesting Sheila. It does OK here, the Uncinia.

7 Feb, 2019

 

Hi Dawn...I agree with Hywel, the Hakonechloa is really lovely, I wouldn't be without mine. It doesn't like being split tho, preferring to remain a large clump. The aurea is the golden form and stunning.
Also love Acorus grammineus...more a water grass, but showy all year round with its golden stripes, bright during winter. It seems to grow in a roll, so you can lift it, cut off a section and plant it up again..

7 Feb, 2019

 

Hi Kate, thank you, I will look at your suggestions.
I think I have the blue one Hywel, it's nice and neat.
Great Sheila, really helpful thanks, I have lots of exciting research to do :-)

7 Feb, 2019

 

If you want a grass that self seeds everywhere, then go for Carex comens. A mid green silvery grass and as tough as old boots!

7 Feb, 2019

 

Hi Janey
Love your new Avatar.
Thanks, that carex might be ok in my woodland? Maybe

7 Feb, 2019

 

Ok Karen, maybe I lost my Uncinia for another reason. Also love Janey’s new Avatar, and hate to disagree but we have often sliced our Hakonechloa in half and made two new perfectly happy plants!

7 Feb, 2019

 

We've done exactly the same here.... Infact the original grass produced 3 more plants.

7 Feb, 2019

 

Mine is Pony tail Dawn.

7 Feb, 2019

 

Thanks 3d.
Im so pleased I asked the question as I have a great list now and Knoll Gardens to browse!

7 Feb, 2019

 

Your welcome Dawn. Yes that's great your browsing Knowl Garden. I always email the traders and ask how these grow or if no email addy I look them up off other people asking the same about plants and read their replies 😊

7 Feb, 2019

 

Hello Dawn. Are you looking for ornamental grasses or do you want to plant a lawn? I have 2 favorite grasses; both are ornamental & clump forming - not for a lawn, virtually pest & maintenance free except for having to divide the clump every few years.

1) Black Mondo Grass. I find it very striking. It sets off anything planted near it. Very beautiful when it blooms in Spring in pink or white flowers.

2) Fountain Grass. Very striking how it moves in the wind. Comes in dwarf size & in various colors.

8 Feb, 2019

 

Can't contribute any suggestions but do not be seduced by Carex Pendula - looks gorgeous but a pain in the butt for ever after as it pops up everywhere years after you get rid of it..

8 Feb, 2019

 

Thanks 3d.
Stera, I have that by the pond, came uninvited!, Thug to remove.
Yes Bathgate, ornamental grasses, I will look into your suggestions, thanks

8 Feb, 2019

 

😊

8 Feb, 2019

 

Hi Dawn I haven't many small grasses since moving I'm actually aiming to grow tall grasses but my absolute favourite is the Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron' they look amazing when you grow them in groups of several plants , ( I dug some up to bring with me ) I also have Scirpus cernuus Fibre Optic Plant and Carex comans' Frosted Curls ' sorry I'm not much help ...

11 Feb, 2019

 

That’s brilliant Amy, thank you, I remember you had a grass bed before, I will look into your recommendations :-)

11 Feb, 2019

 

This has been very helpful and informative as we have never gone in for ornamental grasses and I know we are missing out.
We have so many unwanted grasses in our flower beds that we hesitated to actually buy some!!! Time for a change!

12 Feb, 2019

 

It is a thought Chris, isn't it...... We have a few here but, as you, noticed self - seeded ones popping up every where.

13 Feb, 2019

Add a comment

Recent posts by dawnsaunt

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 Jan, 2014

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Oct, 2013

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Feb, 2018

  • Gardening with friends since
    24 Mar, 2011