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Ornamental Grasses

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May 16, 2015
People yawn when the talk turns to using grass in the garden. But many ornamental grasses are fantastic landscape choices and can really add color and textural interest in any garden. Pennisetum is a grass that offers many different varieties. It must be treated as an annual everywhere except right along the coast; it will grow up to 3-feet tall, and exhibit a wispy flowing grace of color and texture. Pennisetum ‘Rubrum’ has upright arching burgundy-tinted foliage that has that classic true fountain grass habit. Pennisetum ‘Fireworks’ is a great choice for its pink and white variegation. Pennisetum ‘Sky Rocket’ has a beautiful variegation of green leaves with white striped margins that will form a beautiful arching clump. Now how about the unique variegation of 'Gold Breeze' miscanthus; alternating bands of golden yellow and green is really different than the lengthwise variegation of the Pennisetum selections. If you’re looking for more interesting grasses check out these beautiful varieties. No other grass displays refined texture as feather grass with bright green blades resembling delicate filaments that softly arch outward and in the summer displays an explosion of feathery panicles. Golden variegated sweet flag is actually not a grass at all, but is called grass-like. It’s perennial that works great in combo containers and as edging. As you can see grasses don’t have to be boring. Plant some this year, I know I’m going to. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

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