Ornamental Grasses provide Winter Interest in your Backyard Garden

Part of the You Can Learn Landscaping and Gardening series.
By Ken Brown
Editor, YouCanLearnSeries.com
January 24, 2005

Are you looking for winter variety? Ornamental grasses provide visual interest in your landscape design for the harsh winters. Your garden may be under snow during the winter, what can you do to add winter interest in your landscape design?

Try adding grasses to your backyard garden. Here are a few photos of grasses after this area received 4 to 8 inches of snow. We have already received a few days of below zero temperatures. These grasses have survived winter's toughest components. Imagine the joy you will find when you have native grasses in your backyard.

Whether you choose fountain grasses, feather reed grass, moor grass, or plume grass, you can find something to interest you. I have a Korean grass in my mailbox design. It is soft and fluffy, but seems to bounce back easily from the damages of winter, road salt, and snow.

You can use these grasses as the featured winter plant or for the tall plant in a landscape setting. For winter interest, you can place in front of an evergreen tree. The dark green acts as a backdrop to enhance the beauty of the grasses.

Some grasses are taller than 6 feet. While others are smaller than 6 inches. You choose what will work best in your garden. You can divide the clumps of grasses after a few seasons and replant.

The Moor grass is resistant to disease and insect infestation. The Fountain Grass is sometimes planted with Sedum, Coneflowers, and Russian Sage. Ornamental grasses require little maintenance though some require watering and some can handle dry periods and little care and attention.

Click on any of the images for a larger view.

A photo of grasses in winter. A photo of grasses in winter. A photo of grasses in winter. A photo of grasses in winter. A photo of grasses in winter.

Available Landscape and Garden Ornamental Grasses

Blue Fescue
Dwarf Pampas Grass
Feather Reed Grass
Fountain Grass
Moor Grass
Plume Grass
Tufted Hair Grass

Decide to use ornamental grasses in your landscape design. You can choose one grass for your garden or pick two or three and make a little planting. Put the tall grasses in back and the smaller grasses in front. Be sure and plant more than one clump of grass. Plant 5 to 10 of each kind of grass to make the biggest impact.

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