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Ornamental Grasses for Any Size Landscape

Add motion, sound and texture to your landscape with strategically placed ornamental grasses.

Large masses of ornamental grasses can create big impact in large landscapes. Combine with masses of perennials and you have the New American Garden.

Single plants can be used in large or small landscapes to provide a vertical accent or focal point. Zebra grass (Miscanthus) planted near a bench draws attention inviting visitors to stop and sit for awhile.

Some grasses like Molinia are see-through. They create a sense of space while allowing you to see the garden or other landscape feature beyond.

And include ornamental grasses in mixed borders for a change of texture, seasonal interest, motion and food for birds and butterflies.

For shady areas try the grass-like sedges or Hakone grass. Their fine texture plays nicely off the bold leaves of hosta and combines well with other shade plants such as ferns, astilbe, and ginger.

A bit more information: Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is an ornamental grass native to much of North America. This tough plant tolerates a wide range of soils including dry to wet soils and is salt tolerant. The airy flowers appear in summer and the seedheads persist through winter. The upright habit make it a good plant for using en masse, as a backdrop for other perennials or mixed with other natives. The finches like the seeds and several butterflies nectar on the flowers. Use seed from your region to avoid overly aggressive plants. Plant the clump forming cultivars such as Northwind, Heavy Metal or Shenandoah for landscape situations.

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