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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Planting Combinations With Grasses

Leucanthemums and penstemons with Carex Testacea
 Grasses combine beautifully with herbaceous plants bringing texture and movement to borders
Achillia with mixed grasses

Grasses can bring  a border to life with foliage texture, movement and structure as some of the tall stipias and tall miscanthus are very structural.

Stipia Gigantia largely mixed with penisetium,salvia and achilia

 All flowers can often be too much. Most flower arrangements need foliage and different textures to look good and its the same with a garden border.

  Pennisetum Hamelm

As we move into late summer and autumn we can look forward to textural grasses frothy foliage  beautiful seed heads of grasses like the penisetiums.

Theres a grass suitable for most situations and they don't take up much space .
Here are a few suggestions.

Dry Open Situations 
Carrex varieties such as Evergold, Testacea, Jenneke, Milk Chocolate and Ice Dance.
Many of the carrex make excellent edging plants seen below with the smaller sport of Geranium Rozanne

Carrex Evergold

Carex  Evergold Geranium Azure rush
Stipia (golden oats) gigiantia or S. arunainace (Phesants Tail) and Festuca are all evergreen

Stipia arundinacea (medium hight)
Stipia arundinacea with my hemerocallis

Geum Scarlet Tempest with Stipia arundinacea

Pennisetums have wonderful seed heads and varieties like Red head exudes colour when caught by the sun.

They also often hold their seed heads all winter and look a picture tipped with frost.

Penisetium Fireworks and Penstemon Garnet
The striking foliage of Penisetium fireworks make a fabulous blaze of colour when combined with these penstemons.

Moist Sun or Semi Shade
Miscanthus varieties are tall and elegant some such a Strictus and Zebrius have stripy foliage. (They will also grow in sun.) We would also suggest Stipa arundinacea.
Miscanthus Zebrius

Miscanthus Morning Light has a soft silvery foliage lending itself beautifully to both subtle and contrasting planting schemes.

Seen below with the silvery blue eryngiuns. The latter do like a well drained sunny position and would not thrive in shade.

Erynium and Miscanthus Morning Light

Imperata Red Baron (Japanese blood Grass) and Panicum are also suitable.

 Imperata Red Baron
Red Barron with Black Grass (Ophipogon) and  Miscanthus behind.
The colours and contrast of grasses together such as these can be stunning and there is not a flower in sight.
Panicum Squaw

Sun or Shade Moist or Dry
These grasses are amazing as they will grow in almost any condition. Ophiopogon planiscapus Nigrescens (Black Grass) below has very dark foliage excellent for striking a contrast.

Ophiopogon planiscapus Nigrescens

Ophiopogon (Black Grass) with Echinacea

Lirope though not officially a grass is very grass like. It a very useful textural plant excellent for edging. Blue or white flowers.I Have have white in a shady dry spot under the light shade of a pendular tree.

Wetter Soils and Around Ponds.
A few sugestions would be Junctus Spiralis (Corkskrew Rush), Acorus is also an evergreen and Uncinia rubra and lastly Juncaceae Luzula (Woodrush ).
Junctus Spiralis
Uncinia rubra

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