10 REASONS TO PLANT ORNAMENTAL GRASSES

 Written by Kim Smerek

1. Ground Cover  

Low-growing or mid-height grasses, like Elijah Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca) that only grows to 12", are excellent ground covers. They do a fantastic job of smothering weeds!  

2. Texture  

Ornamental grasses add an interesting and unique texture to your landscape. Between soft, mounding grasses and more upright growing grasses, like Porcupine Grass (Miscanthus sinensis) or Standing Ovation Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), you're sure to find something to complement what you already have growing.  

3. Low Maintenance    

These are grasses you don't have to mow! Just cut them back once every fall, and they're ready to come back strong in the spring.    

4. Soften Hardscaping  

Whether its steps, walls, or other hard-scapes, ornamental grasses can soften the look.  Around pools, they are a great choice as they don't attract bees.

5. Attract Wildlife  

Grasses can be great for attracting wildlife, especially birds. They'll use the leaf blades for making nests, find shelter in established grasses, and many species will eat the grass seeds. Even better if you plant native varieties.  

6. Pretty Up Your Vegetable Garden  

Don't limit ornamental grasses only to your landscape. Tuck a few into your vegetable garden. They will perfectly complement the textures and colours of your veggies! 

7. Add a Garden Accent  

Grasses are a great accent plant for beds and borders. Adding a few of the same grasses in different parts of your garden helps tie your garden together.

8. Privacy  

Tall grasses, grouped together make a great privacy screen. Some, like Giant Maiden Grass (Miscanthus gigantheus) grow as tall as 7-12 ft!  

9. Garden Art 

Don't be afraid to be dramatic!  Your favourite ornamental grasses can be the perfect complement to garden sculpture, and will create a long-lasting contemporary design. 

10. End-of-Season Beauty

Many grasses have beautiful seed heads and great fall colour when most annuals and perennials are finished for the season.