Another look at grasses

This is the time of year when the ornamental grasses really become the stars of my garden. It's not that they've changed colors or done anything too dramatic, it's just that their seed heads (or "inflorescenses") have all emerged, and they add so much softness and interest.

The way they catch the light in the morning is almost magical, and the slightest breeze starts them dancing and swaying. I've got a lot of grasses in my garden, so that's a lot of dancing!


Here's a quick look at the grasses in my garden this morning. It's one of those mornings where I'm eager to share with you, but my brain is sort of thinking that it's not going to help with that -- so keep that in mind while reading this.

On to the grasses...

Here's a closer look at one of the miscanthus, and some bamboo (Semiarundinaria fastuosa 'Viridis'):

Grasses and bamboos work so well together visually I think. Did you know that they're related botanically? Bamboo is a grass!

Purple fountain grass is really one of the must-have plants for my garden. I'll be digging some up to overwinter in the next month or so, because I'll need a dozen or so of these next year. Here's another look at the same planting:

Here's a different specimen:

I like being able to see some instance of this plant wherever I look in my yard. The multiple specimens also add some continuity to the garden -- sort of connects all of the different plantings no matter how different they look.

That's some native Little Bluestem in the foreground. It's a nice little grass, and will be turning bright orange-reddish when the first freeze occurs.

That's the "Karl Foerster" feather reed grass which flowers quite early in the year -- late June I think. I usually don't get to see the seedheads at this time of year, since heavy summer storms usually flatten them. We didn't have too many strong storms this summer though.

The "wood oats", Chasmanthium latifolium, also known as "northern sea oats", "wood oats" and several other names:

I love the seedheads, but I'll be removing them from most of these plantings. I've got plenty of these plants already, and they do reseed quite readily.

More grasses with bamboo. I love it! Finally, this unique grass:

I love the black coloring of these seedheads. This is "Moudry" fountain grass, and it's so distinctive. Very different from the other grasses in my yard. Take a good look, because I'm going to cut it down in the next day or two. This grass reseeds so rampantly, I'm still pulling the strong, tough seedlings out of my yard from previous years.

So that's what the grasses in my garden look like right now. I'll have to remember to look back at these photos in late winter when I'm sweating and complaining about how many grasses I need to cut down, so I can remind myself that it's worth the effort!

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