Throughout the heartland of the United States grow the tall grass prairies. Once a force to be reckoned with for farmers and ranchers, these grasslands are now the source of graceful exotic alternatives to shrubs and trees in the modern home or business landscape.
From formal to naturalized, decorative grasses fit any design scheme
There are many ways that tall exotic grasses add variety in the landscape:
Ornamental grasses can be found in any landscape style. In the formal garden, grasses make an interesting replacement for hedge shrubs and garden borders. In a naturalized setting, grasses at the periphery create a flowing introduction from lawn to a woodsy theme. Grasses are a must in xeriscapes grasses, offering dramatic backdrops to more subtle and delicate low-water requirement perennial flowers. As a specimen plant try the dramatic 12-foot pampas grass with its large, stately seed heads.
Year-round interest in the landscape!
With the exception of a brief period in early spring when the grass plant must be cut back for regeneration, grasses make a great show all four seasons. They provide an early green in spring, fill in rapidly in early summer, and will sprout seed heads by August. When other plants die off with killing frosts, grasses hold their dried shape and make dramatic statements in the winter landscape.
Grasses are great for the environment. They require very little water once they are established and are perfect at stabilizing soil on slopes that might be vulnerable to erosion. Grasses also provide both food and shelter for local birds and mammals and attract butterflies. They are generally resistant to pests and diseases, and the occasional aphid or mite infestation can be sprayed off with a strong stream of water from the hose.
Many to choose from!
Ornamental grasses come in all sizes and colors. Their seed heads are striking in the fall, ranging in color from purples to pinks to silvers and tans, and in textures from fine and lacey to bold and angular. Grass foliage is also attractive and assorted, from deep green to blue, red to variegated on leaf blades that can be broad or feathery to wiry and cork-screwed.
Come in all sizes!
Many grass varieties remain under a foot and are wonderful for garden borders. Medium grasses (up to 4 feet) can be used as hedges or medians, or planted in place of shrubs in the perennial bed. The tall grasses can grow up to 12 feet in height and most have showy seed heads. These make great backdrops or exotic specimen plants and are excellent for breaking line-of-sight against the broad side of a house.
Boulder Landscape and Design installs decorative grasses in many of our landscape plans. Let us know if you would like to create a bold statement in your yard with a specimen, hedge or border of ornamental grass.