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Grasses 26 Ideabooks

Selected as the official California state grass in 2004, purple needle grass (Stipa pulchra) has a tough constitution and showy awns, making this native bunchgrass an option for low-water home gardens and restoration projects (see the caution regarding growing it near pets below, though)....
Meet a Lawn Alternative That Works Wonders
For a few years I’ve been experimenting with sedges, namely Carex spp; many of the species are native to the United States. Lawns and I are in a relationship defined by benign neglect and occasional...
How to Get Your Prairie On
I have to admit that the first time I saw a prairie wasn't until the spring of 2007, when my wife and I were looking for a wedding reception venue. We ended up at Spring Creek Prairie, a never-plowed 800-acre remnant 20 minutes southwest of our city....
Energize Your Landscape With Masses of Grasses
Growing up with a meadow in my backyard informed my love of grasses in the garden, but building, observing and managing gardens gave me confidence in grasses' effectiveness. The way they dance in the wind, reflect and diffuse light, create shadows and...
Great Design Plant: Lively Fountain Grass Thrives Just About Anywhere
Here's a grass that I would describe as exuberant — animated, jaunty, vivacious, spirited, playful, bright and buoyant. Words out of a dictionary, but when a plant can give you these qualities in a landscape you want to sit up and take notice. The graceful...
Great Design Plant: Deer Grass
Plants should look good in the garden, but they should also do good too. Deer grass (Muhlenbergia rigens) is a no-brainer: native, adaptable, wildlife food source and shelter. It’s said that the successful...
Great Design Plant: Blue Fescue
Without doubt, certain plants are strongly tied to specific garden styles and are limited by climate and available square footage. But the last thing I'm looking for in landscape design is another rule to follow. Grasses are exceedingly flexible — which...
House, Meet Landscape: How Integrated Gardens Came to Be
When I think of the influence English garden design has had on gardens throughout the Western world, cottage gardens and Arts...
Let Nature Inspire Your Landscape: Grasslands to Garden
When it comes to choosing a style for a garden project, many people turn to cultural references: Japanese restraint, rigorously laid-out French parterres,...
Great Design Plant: Blue Oat Grass
While brilliant spring and summer colors awaken landscapes, and fiery fall color is a seasonal spectacle, sometimes you just need to cool down. Let's cool down with blue — blue oat grass, a must-know low-maintenance pick for calming color year-round....
Great Design Plant: Indian Grass
In my experience there are few grasses that can hold up to the drought-deluge cycle of a plains summer, but Indian grass is one of them. A native to tall-grass prairies, it's often found alongside big bluestem and switchgrass, residing on slopes and in...
Great Design Plant: 'Shenandoah' Switchgrass
September brings a change in the air — it’s almost tangible. Cooler evenings have us hunting for our favorite sweater again, heavy morning dew reveals the cobwebs spun overnight by busy spiders, and an indefinable fragrance tells us that fall has...
8 Spectacular Grasses to Energize a Fall Garden
It's hard to beat what ornamental grasses have to offer: incredible texture, sublime colors and seed heads that sway and provide movement in the garden. As autumn begins, these spectacular plants move out of the background to claim our attention in ways...
Great Design Plant: Pink Muhly Grass
By now we’ve established that most of us love ornamental grasses. Their movement, fine texture and minimal upkeep leave little to be desired. And with so many varieties available, you can choose from an array of grays, greens, blues, reds and even pinks...
Great Design Plant: Purple Fountain Grass
Gardeners looking for texture and movement in their outdoor areas should take a look at ornamental grasses, and one of my favorites is purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum)....
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