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Unique Ways to Use Ornamental Grasses

Suryasarathi Bhattacharya
Have you tried to give the backyard a new look, but not able to figure out how? Try ornamental grasses! These days, they are in high demand because they are economical, durable, and available in various shapes, colors, textures. Grow them in pots, containers, or in the open; they are a hit everywhere.
Ornamental grasses, with their diversity and durability, add an edge and volume to the landscape. When the air blows through them, they wave gently and create sounds that make the landscape all the more lively. This adds dimensions of motion and sound to the landscape.
With the changing seasons and the consequently changing hues and colors, the landscape appears new and fresh every season. Here are few ways and ideas on how to use ornamental grasses in your landscape.

Garden centerpiece

Well, your garden too would require a cynosure, right? Instead of an expensive and high maintenance water fountain, try grasses. Fast growing Sudan grass or Pampas grass can be ideal choices to grow in the center of your garden.

Natural fencing

If you want to compartmentalize your garden, grasses can be a great option. Some varieties of Miscanthus or Mexican feather grass give a border effect. You can plant them around your flower beds, or add them as fence around sections of your garden.

Define the edges

With a little bit of effort and time your walkways, garden paths, or landscape steps can steal all the limelight. Grasses like dwarf mondo can be either used alone along the paths, or they can be used in complement with golden sedge, thus adding a contrast.

Add privacy

If you have a swimming pool or an open bathroom, you would want some privacy. Tall species of grass such as big bluestem, moor grass, or ravenna grass planted close to each other can work as natural walls, and hence, provide personal space in your open garden.

Perennial gardens

Choosing the right variety of grass is really important if you want your garden to be live all year.
Grasses can be classified into two groups based on the seasons they grow - cool season grass and warm season grass. It is advisable to use a combination of cool and warm season grasses to extend the time span of your garden throughout as much of the year as possible.

Grasses and containers

Planting tall colorful grasses in containers (preferably in contrast colors) give a formal look to your porch, patio, and decks. Feather red grass, big bluestem, purple fountain grass adds an added height and chic edge to the landscape. This will get everyone's attention.

Ground covers

Short and low growing grasses can be used to cover grounds. Grasses prevent growth of weeds and provide a thematic texture to landscape. Mounding grass and other types of small dense habitual grasses are ideal choices for ground covers.

Flora and Fauna

Grasses can take a garden experience to a new level. Birds, small rodents like squirrels and chipmunks get attracted to the garden for food and shelter. Try using native grasses to attract more birds. Those clucks, chirps add a new meaning to serene landscape.

Accentuate hardscapes

This can be useful in an upscale urban backdrop having less space. These days floriferous hardscapes like balconies, terraces, and walls are in demand. Grasses and ferns, ivy can add new life to plain walls and used in both interior and exterior walls.

Garden art

For art lovers, grasses can be a great option to play with colors, textures, and space in your garden. From pathways to corners, one can adorn them with grasses of different sizes and colors, and thus make the garden landscape all the more eye catchy.