Monday, October 25, 2010

A Celebration of Fall Grasses

Close-up of an Ornamental grass at Rideau Woodland Ramble Nursery near Ottawa, Ontario.

Ornamental grass at Rideau Woodland Ramble Nursery near Ottawa, Ontario.

When I was growing up, the only grass in the average garden was the common green stuff  between the flowers beds. In the last ten years however, Ornamental grasses once popular in Victorian times, have begun to re-appear in suburban gardens.

The popularity of these grasses continues to grow in leaps and bounds and no wonder- they have a great deal to contribute to the fall and winter garden. 

For gardeners like me, who were raised on a steady diet of flowering perennials, Ornamental grasses are the new kids on the block. I find myself impressed with their variety and sightly intimidated by their unknown characteristics.

That generally they need full sun, is easy. As to the rest- well...we are just getting to know one another.

All summer, I have been making mental notes on plantings that strike me as beautiful. The images that follow are examples of gardens that have incorporated Ornamental grasses in ways that are striking.  Enjoy!

Tall Ornamental grasses at the Rideau Woodland Ramble Nursery near Ottawa, Ontario.

Miscanthus sinensis in the background and Blue Oat grass in the foreground. Public Library's garden, Brampton, Ontario.

Close-up Miscanthus sinensis 

Miscanthus sinensis at the Lost Horizon Nursery, Acton, Ontario

Unidentified grass at Edwards Gardens in Toronto

Hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra 'aureloa') in the foreground. Display garden at Lost Horizon Nursery, Acton, Ontario

Egyptian Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus 'Graceful Grasses King Tut') at Edwards Gardens, Toronto

Unidentified Ornamental grass and Obedient plant (physostegia virginiana) blooming in the same flower bed at Edwards Gardens in  Toronto

Hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra 'aureloa') in Edwards Gardens, Toronto

Perennial Fountain Grass illuminated

Perennial Fountain Grass in my own garden.

Annual Fountain Grass at Edwards Gardens, Toronto

The texture of a Miscanthus grass seen up close and personal. The Public Library garden, Brampton, Ontario. 

Japanese Blood Grass, at Edwards Gardens, Toronto, Ontario.


  1. Wonderful set of grass images! I also try to plant more grasses in my garden and I learn while doing that. Some plants didn't make it (for ex.,Schizachyrium Little Bluestem), and some became a great addition to my borders. Thank you for this inspiring post!

  2. Love ornamental grasses but only have a few varities in my own garden. The selection of these plants at the garden centres are mindboggling! Have a great day!

  3. Jennifer, I have several different types of grasses and always looking for a spot for one more - latest Miscanthus Little Kitten.


  4. They all have such lovely colors and textures that I think no perennial garden should be without at least one.

  5. Ornamental grasses are a relative newcomer to our garden, too. It took me a long time to appreciate them--I just couldn't get past the idea I was planting a potential weed in the garden on purpose. Now I love them, too! What a great post!

  6. Beautiful. Is amazing how many colors can come from grass.

  7. Wow! I absolutely love these textures! You're giving me some fab ideas for next planting season. :))

  8. Love all the grasses so attractive especially in the dead of winter

  9. As beautifully illustrated, indeed a fall celebration.

  10. You're right about the the types of grass from when we grew up, just the plain green type. Over the last few years I've been trying to add more to my garden. I love the many seasons of interest that so many have. Your pictures are all so pretty.

  11. I'm glad I read this post, I need to add grasses to my garden. I'm unsure why I've been so reluctant to do so, especially with all the different colors now available.


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