Ornamental grasses have become fashionable plants . They take up residence in the city gardens and on the balconies which they animate with their graceful beauty. Their maintenance is simple and they lend themselves to multiple uses. But how to navigate among the countless varieties of grasses on the market? Here are some ways to choose.
Which grasses in a small garden?
With their elongated leaves and their ears dancing in the wind, grasses bring life to any small garden ! They also have the gift of catching light and thus create a beautiful decorative effect. They give relief and structure a massif like no other plant. They serve as a foil to flowering plants and know how to take over in times of thanklessness (to hide the foliage of defused bulbs for example).
In a small garden, avoid invasive species or plotters otherwise you will have the same problem as with bamboo (which are also grasses). Favor vertically growing varieties, which grow in clumps and stay where you plant them.
Pennisetum alopecuroids or Miscanthus sinensis for example, are non-tracers and can be associated with each other or with perennials. Some of the tracing varieties are non-invasive because they grow slowly.
This is the case with Hakonechloa or Imperata . To create a balanced massif, you can use few species that you will repeat here and there. You can also multiply the species to give movement to the whole.
Beautiful grasses all year long
Grasses change appearance at the beginning of each new season! Their young green shoots are lovely in the spring . In summer , you will not tire of admiring their luminous transparency. When autumn sets in, they reveal their most beautiful colors. The show continues in winter with their dried foliage covered with frost or ice! This is why they should not be pruned before the end of winter but also because their foliage protects them from the effects of cold and humidity.
Grasses can also create graphic effects by combining the volumes and shapes of different varieties. They can thus structure, soften and embellish any small space !
Grasses for all situations
The great thing about grasses is that it’s possible to find varieties for all situations! In the sun, in ungrateful terrain, in the shade or in pots, just choose the right species for the right places.
Grasses are able to colonize dry corners. The good idea is to install them in a gravel garden , they play the role of mulch and are excellent stooges.
Helictotrichon sempervirens with a gray-blue luster is in full sun . The Imperata with glowing shades is also a lover of warmth . It can also be grown in pots which has the advantage of channeling its growth. Some species like Molinies even appreciate limestone !
Reputed to love the sun, grasses also have representatives in the shade and cool. This is the case of the Hakonechloa which forms a flexible and moving carpet in partial shade. This variety is also spectacular in pot and staged as a sculpture!
Indeed, the hotpot is perfect to put the grasses in value. It is advisable to choose containers adapted in size and shape and to water copiously. It is better to avoid high-growth subjects, although pot cultivation tends to miniaturize the plant. (All the advantages of growing in pots in ” Potted Garden, All Terrain Garden “).
In addition to Hakonechloa and Imperata , many species can be grown in tanks . Small grasses with soft leaves ending in fine feather dusters such as Stipa tenuifolia or Carex bronze give a playful note to the decor.
Blue fescue , Miscanthus sinensis or Pennisetum are perfect for creating elegant compositions that enhance a balcony , terrace or entrance .
Grasses , by their grace and their airy pace, have the power to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere (learn how to integrate them into a zen city garden ). They also have the advantage of being undemanding on the nature of the soil, exposure or maintenance. They really have their place in a small garden or on a balcony in town.
To end in style, here is a beautiful example of a garden of grasses to discover over the seasons: the Jardin Plume in the Rouen region. Good visit!