An Appreciation Of The Plumage And Bold Distinction Of Ornamental Grasses

Fall's Plumage:  The Beauty Of Ornamental Grasses
Fall’s Plumage: The Beauty Of Ornamental Grasses

The glory and bold botanical glory of ornamental grasses. Ornamental plants of distinction with multi-season appeal. For certain, throughout the year, the striking appearance of the blades of bold and strong form of ornamental grasses offer visual delight. Low-maintenance with four seasons of interest

True grasses, known as “Poaceae” along with several other families of grass-like plants are typically marketed as ornamental grasses and are referred to as “monocotyledons”, typically with narrow leaves and parallel veins. Of course, almost all ornamental grasses are perennials although a few are annuals. Alas, it is the perennials of bold distinction that I focus upon. Vibrant green (or even a favored gray-blue) grasses embark into the Spring landscape from their deep roots (dormant in the Fall or Winter). Drought tolerant, grasses prefer well-drained soil and full sun. However, to a gardener’s delight, some grasses tolerate wet soil and some accept shade. Of interest, regarding botanical specifics, the stems (or “Culms”) of ornamental grasses are round and hollow with the stem sections “joined by solid nodes” and feature an “Awn” or a long, barbed appendage. As with all perennials, the process of renewal will begin again with season’s change and the annual Spring “cutting back” or pruning of the previous year’s stems and course leaves at the base before new growth begins to emerge. The beauty of ornamental grasses is the added bonus of Spring division. Versatility of expansion within our outdoor spaces paired with botanical glory…

Preparing For Renewal:  Winter's Glory Awaiting Spring's Return
Preparing For Renewal: Winter’s Glory Awaiting Spring’s Return

When one considers the foliage and the “Seed Heads” of these showy perennials, the additional benefit of their beauty that extends the garden season through Winter is gained. For certain, ornamental grasses add visual interest with movement and elegance with their lofty, feathery and graceful movements of plumage within the garden scene. Moving gracefully within the forces of nature’s winds, the glory and boldness of the ornamental grass, with its striking linear form paired with texture, color, movement and sound, is evident. Plumage of interest and texture gained in late Summer and Fall with the beauty of the Winter scene of grasses laden with snow. Again, it is the foliage the landscape holds until the arrival of the plumes of late Summer. It is only when Summer unfolds that the foliage begins to tower in height and the glorious plumage arises to display its grandness. An annual renewal of nature that is worth anticipation. A natural progression of distinction. The subtly colored plumes (transforming as they age) arrive in late August. In the Fall, the tall “seed heads” are formed that open into plumes persisting well into Winter. Bold specimens with graceful winter plumage. With straw-like colors and plumes of a season passed, the seasonless appreciation endures. The Winter delight is divine with its texture and color providing Winter interest in perhaps a barren exterior world. And of the crest of the new fallen snow? For certain, the ornamental grasses hold themselves and the snow with bold appeal. Although swaying and spilling downward in a cascade of perennial beauty with the weight of the snow, the appeal endures…

Snow Topped Elegance:  Ornamental Grasses In Winter
Snow Topped Elegance: Ornamental Grasses In Winter
Multi-Season Appeal:  Distinction With Ornamental Grasses
Multi-Season Appeal: Distinction With Ornamental Grasses
Showy Natural Delight Within My Garden Lanscape:  Ornamental Grasses
Showy Natural Delight Within My Garden Landscape: Ornamental Grasses

And of the designing with grasses? The fine texture and vertical bliss of grasses allow for a stunning specimen plant or natural screens when planted in mass. As a side note, I must add that shorter grasses can beautifully edge a walkway or define the shape of a garden bed. Whether compact and tidy lending to a formal formation or an informal formation with grasses that possess wispy habits, the shorter grasses also deserve acknowledgement. Certainly, the shorter varieties provide fine textures to blend among plantings, but alas, it is the towering grasses of dense and arching forms that I again turn my attention to. Adding interest to the perennial border, it is the massive height and sprawl of the tall grasses that beckon me. Aside from blending with foundation plantings, perhaps it can be stated that ornamental grasses are foundation plants. Stunning, vertical formations, for certain.

Of course, personal choice prevails. Whether it is the formal or informal grasses that speak to your garden sense, consider the addition of stylish display. Whether vertical formations of formal display or informal and loose, the beauty and distinction within the garden landscape can meet your individual design plan. Whether a stunning contradiction of form, a soft edge or a hard edge of towering style, the choice is yours. And of my personal favorites? An expanse of tall, thick grasses which create a natural wall- Miscanthus Sinesis Gracillimus (Maiden Grass) which forms a fountain of narrow, graceful, green and white blades. A striking hedge of these stellar grasses will naturally enclose an area and create privacy. Natural division of seasonal appeal throughout the year. Another favorite that admittedly fills my landscape is Miscanthus Sinesis “Zebrinus” (Zebra Grass). With its long, bold, arching leaves dashed with horizontal bands of creamy delight, energetic bliss embellishes my exterior space. Yes, an array of personal choice awaits your landscape, of course, zone considerations as well as the considerations of formal or informal display are key when designing with grasses. Either way, an appreciation of the ornamental grasses and the beautiful possibilities of designing and incorporating them into simple arrangements within our interiors or into memorable and momentous occasions that define life…

Defining Style With Momentous Occasion:  The Incorporation Of Ornamental Grasses
Defining Style With Momentous Occasion: The Incorporation Of Ornamental Grasses
Interior Embellishments With Ornamental  Grasses
Interior Embellishments With Ornamental Grasses

Consider ornamental grasses within your garden design. Certainly, my admittance of being lured by the colors, textures and plumes has been expressed. Visual weight of bold distinction that fills my landscape. Yes, grasses grace my exterior world in abundance. A “Sea of grasses” is a concept I can readily accept. Masses and masses of linear form with towering, arching grasses. The dense, arching forms certainly define a garden. Whether used as a hedge to visually enclose the landscape or a border of prominence, the addition of vertical, upright grasses or grasses that spill onto our landscapes with season’s change paired with the graceful visual transitions they present are worthy of our consideration. An appreciation of the plumage and bold distinction of ornamental grasses, indeed…



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