Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Masses of Grasses :: Edhat August 1, 2010

Gimme grasses. Gimme blades of green, gold, silver, striped, speckled, ghostly gray, purple. Grasses that fury in the wind and nod in the rain. Enchanted grasses that capture first and last light of day. Grasses of every size: ground cover types to walk on, giants to get lost in.

Grasses fit into every style of garden from Tarzan-meets-Gilligan's-Island-tropical to Muffin-Mouse-cottage.

And the flowers! No, not like your great granny's geraniums, all lipstick red and showy. I'm talking about delicate, smoky puffs of soft purple, or stiff, quaking stalks that sound like a prairie rattler.

Use them in big drifts or pop just one into a perennial bed for an explosion of contrast. Group different types of grasses together to create tapestries of subtle color shifts, or mash them up for high-contrast impact.

Get the idea? You need some ornamental grasses in your garden. If you find that when you're done reading this article, your pulse has quickened (or you've overflowed your drool cup) get these books (preferably at a local independently owned book store): Grasses-Versatile Partners for Uncommon Garden Design by Nancy J Ondra (Storey Books), and The Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses, by John Greenlee (Rodale Press).

There's more to read...

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