Archive for the ‘Ornamental Grasses’ Category
Looking for an easy garden design idea that will add some impact to your perennial garden? I love using Festuca Boulder Blue for a number of reasons. This sun loving ornamental grass is easy to grow, looks great throughout the year and thrives in sun, high heat & humidity in well drained soil. Hardy from Zones 4-9. I believe it is one of of the best drought proof sun loving perennial groundcovers out there.
Add Color & Texture
Have some unpleasant spots in your garden? The handsome mound shape and narrow blue foliage make be just the ticket as it adds season long color & texture.
Break Up Competing Colors
If you have two strong competing colors that are just rubbing you the wrong way try planting a group of this soothing blue Festuca between them. Festuca is the ideal perennial to help break up strong competing colors in the garden
Small Space Gardening
Festuca grows 12”x12” so it tucks ever so nicely along narrow pathways, beneath shrubs or edging a perennial border.
Plant in Groups
If you really want to add impact, plant in groupings of 5 or more.
Some of the most beautiful gardens do a great job in repeating similar plants in adjacent areas. This frequently leads to a more harmonious flow in the garden.
Care & Growing Tips
- Add sand to heavier soils.
- Allow plants to dry out between watering.
- In the spring, use a sheers to prune away any dead foliage from winter
- Fertilize in the spring with Osmocote or a balanced granular fertilizer
Where to Buy Festuca Boulder Blue – www.GreatGardenPlants.com
Feather Reed Grass or Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ is definitely one of my favorite ornamental grasses to use as a privacy screen, low growing hedge or to add vertical height to the perennial garden.
This non-flopping, sun-loving vertical grass is a delightful accent that is both easy to grow and easy to maintain. The slightest breeze sets this grass in motion.
Professional landscapers and garden designers love using Calamagrostis for creating a fast developing screen or Hedge Plant.
Calamagrostis will add height while create a focal point or accent in the sun loving perennial garden.
Facts about Calamagrostis Karl Foerster:
- Grows up to 60” (in flower)
- Tolerates a wide range of soil from clay to dry sand
- Blooms early in the season (most grasses bloom late)
- Drought Tolerant once established
- Deer Proof
- Winter Interest
- Salt Tolerant
- Low maintenance
- Landscape appeal from summer thru winter.
- Long lasting cut flowers
- Virtually pest free
The only thing I do in the spring is cut back the stems to about 6 inches from the ground in late winter or early spring.
If you are looking for a an easy perennial to grow and maintain, this ornamental grass might be just the ticket.
Here’s a simple and EASY Garden Design idea using sun loving drought proof plants that look attractive throughout the growing season.
This garden landscape uses only a few type of plants. Ornamental Grasses (Miscanthus) create a hedge effect by add height and interest in the background. Sedum Autumn Joy provides midsize interest while the bed is edged in ground cover Sedum.
This island bed requires low water and little maintenance while creating a welcoming entryway and some privacy from a busy and noisy road.
By late summer, Autumn Joy Sedum will be bursting with color while the ornamental grasses develop showy plumes that last well into fall. Both plants add wonderful interest to the winter garden.
Related Articles: Our Top 10 Long Blooming Sun Perennials
Hakonechloa produces a gorgeous mound of narrow, arching leaves that is useful for bringing bright color to the shade garden. It has a graceful, almost tropical like habit and is considered by some to be one of the most stunning groundcovers for the shade garden. Two of the more popular varieties include bright gold leaf All Gold and Aureola which has gold leaves with stripes of bright green.
I’ve known gardeners that have been successful with growing Hakonechloa and others who struggle growing this shade loving groundcover. Essentially, this is a slow growing shade perennial that takes more than a couple of years to become mature.
Hakonechloa works well in so many shade settings as a foliage plant. Use it singly, in containers, or mass as a ground cover in front of a shady border. For inspiring design ideas & photography check out Design Ideas with Hakonechloa –Elegant Shade Ground Cover. Since you get 3 seasons of foliage color it combines terrific with various colors of Heuchera.
1o Tips on Growing the most beautiful Hakonechloa ever!
1) Soil. It thrives in a rich, somewhat acidic soil in well drained site. If you give them average soil, they will be small to average in size.
2) Planting. Dig a hole 3 times the height & width of your container and fill in with good organic matter. Take the time to do this because it will make a difference
3) Exposure. Full sun to part shade. Hakonechloa grows well in full sun (in the north anyway) Protect from the hot afternoon sun.
4) Water. Hakonechloa require lots of moisture. Water frequently the first year. If you have an irrigation system – terrific.
5) Keep away from tree roots. Best to plant near but not directly under trees or large shrubs. Depending on the type, tree & shrub roots are moisture & nutrient robbers. Plants often will stay small and often struggle if competing with neighboring roots.
6) Keep roots cool. Plant in a location where they will receive shade during the hottest part of the day. Use 3” of mulch after planting to keep roots cool until plants become established.
7) Feeding. Use a slow release fertilizer such as Osmocote according to package directions.
8) Don’t cut back in the fall. If you are in a northern climate, wait until spring to either cut back or rake away previous year’s growth.
9) Winter protection. My friend, Barb is a landscape designer in Minnesota (Zone 4) and use LOTS of Hakonechloa is in her garden design. She uses pine boughs as a winter mulch. She has always been successful overwintering these plants.
10) Planting & Spacing. I’ll often space Hakonechloa closer than other groundcovers (8-10” apart). That way they fill in faster. Plant in the spring so roots can establish themselves and be patient.
My friend Jayne, grows Hakonechloa in containers in her Zone 4 garden. Here are her tips for container growing:
- Use drip irrigation (keeps the plants evenly moist)
- Slow Release liquid feed
- Replace soil every 2 years
- Bury the pots & cover with pine boughs for the winter
Growing Hakonechloa is a bit like reading Tolstoy’s War & Peace. It is a bit of an undertaking, but don’t let these proven growing tips intimidate you from growing this magnificent shade loving groundcover in your perennial garden.
My friend Jayne is gardener in Minnesota (Zone 4) who has been in LOVE with Hakonechloa and growing it as a shade ground cover for as long as I can remember. There are few grasses that are both deer proof & elegant yet impart an exotic, almost bamboo look that provides up to 9 months of interest! The two varieties that we are both pretty fond of are Aureola & All Gold which do a bang up job livening up any shade garden. There is a new variety called Fubuki which I’m anxious to try this year.
Line a Shaded Pathway. Use Hakone grass along a shaded pathway where their leaves fall in one direction. The above picture shows a pleasing shade perennial combination with dark foliage Actaea or Cimicifuga.
Add blue! Put some quick finishing touches to your garden design by adding blue pottery placed next to your plants.
Create Contrast! The narrow foliage combines elegantly with the bold, rounded foliage of Hostas.
Raise It! Elevate your containers on the shaded patio or garden where you can appreciate the cascading foliage.
Shaded Entryway. Place Hakonechloa pots along a shaded patio entryway. This softens the entryway in addition to being more welcoming to guests.
Hakonechloa is a wonderful shade plant to add to the garden. I hope you enjoyed a few garden design ideas. I’m anxious to hear about yours!
Garden Tip: Hakonechloa will have a brighter appearance if it receives some morning or filtered sun.
We’ve got more valuable garden tips on how to have success growing Hakonechloa coming next!