All Posts   Posted:   August 31, 2017 by Laura Mills & Jennifer Williams

When most people think of grass their mind inevitably goes to lawns: tightly shorn and of little ornamental value. There is a whole world of fantastic ornamental grasses that are in their prime in late summer and fall.

What makes a grass ornamental? Ornamental grasses have glowing or intricate foliage color and often have airy, fluffy or unusual seed heads. Ornamental grasses add texture and movement to the garden. Most need to be tided (evergreen varieties) or cut-back (herbaceous varieties) in February but their burnished foliage and delicate seed heads can be left through the winter.

Grasses are numerous in form and function – each with its own character, much like people, and they’re in the spotlight during late summer when they turn on the charm for a raucous show before winter sets in. Let me introduce you to some favorite picks from the staff here at Dennis 7 Dees Garden Centers:

The Switch grasses (Panicum) are an excellent group. A favorite is the variety ‘Shenandoah.’ Its foliage has glowing merlot-colored tips with almost bead-like seeds in open clusters to match.

Miscanthus has many names and whether it’s the broad-bladed type or the narrower-bladed type with delicately silver-lined foliage their open airy seeds heads often blushed with pink or red are the cherry on the proverbial sundae of visual treats. Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’ is the ultimate in elegance this beauty has narrow foliage with variegated silver and green blades and a lovely upright form. Miscanthus ‘Gold Bar’ is a chameleon that brings to mind patterns found in the animal kingdom with bold blades striped horizontally in gold and green.

If you have shade, Naomi Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa ‘Naomi’) has vibrant yellow and green variegated foliage through the season. Then in fall it is set aflame with spectacular burgundy-red color as it recedes to its perennials resting place for winter. Hakonechloa ‘Aureola’ is the eternal optimist and will brighten up any dark spot with gracefully arching leaves striped in vivid green and gold. Hakonechloa ‘All Gold’ is super cheery sibling to ‘Aureola’ with straight gold blades.

Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’  is a true romantic with beautiful feathery plumes colored in shades of rose and burgundy that dance atop a sturdy mound of foliage. Pennisetum ‘Baby Bunny’  is irresistible with wistful little plumes that adorn neat green foliage.

Juncus ‘Blue Arrows’ is a true Oregonian, at home in our wet winters and dry summers. Consistently cheery through it all with plucky thin blades of blue green.

If you want an ornamental impact that lasts throughout the year there are some excellent evergreen grasses too.

Evergold Sedge (Carex ‘Evergold’) holds a dear place in our heart for its superb foliage color that makes a year-round display. Its individual blades have an arching habit giving it a pleasant rounded shape and subtle grace. Prairie Fire Sedge (Carex ‘Prairie Fire’) has olive green foliage that smolders like orange embers at the tips. It is perfect for adding glowing height to containers or in the garden. Its wispy habit catches the wind making it look like gracefully darting flames. Carex testacea is the workhorse of grasses with glowing orange blades that are at home anywhere, anytime; mass plantings, boarders, and containers . . . even through the winter months. Carex ‘Red Rooster’ lives up to the name with its intriguing shade of tawny bronze, it’s perfect for rustic combinations and is very much at home on the farm.

Black Mondo grass (Ophiopogon ‘Nigrescens’) is unmatched for its color and versatility. Its black foliage is excellent in containers. Black mondo is an effortless way to create a sophisticated modern look. In addition, its ability to tolerate anything from sun to shade makes it indispensable in the garden. This is the drama queen of grasses with true black foliage.

Ornamental grasses add texture and dimension to containers and plantings. These are a few of our favorite selections, come-in and find the grass that’s ornamentally yours. We’re fully stocked with this eclectic bunch and many more – check with a Dennis 7 Dees garden center location near you.

When most people think of grass their mind inevitably goes to lawns: tightly shorn and of little ornamental value. There is a whole world of fantastic ornamental grasses that are in their prime in late summer and fall.

What makes a grass ornamental? Ornamental grasses have glowing or intricate foliage color and often have airy, fluffy or unusual seed heads. Ornamental grasses add texture and movement to the garden. Most need to be tided (evergreen varieties) or cut-back (herbaceous varieties) in February but their burnished foliage and delicate seed heads can be left through the winter.

Grasses are numerous in form and function – each with its own character, much like people, and they’re in the spotlight during late summer when they turn on the charm for a raucous show before winter sets in. Let me introduce you to some favorite picks from the staff here at Dennis 7 Dees Garden Centers:

The Switch grasses (Panicum) are an excellent group. A favorite is the variety ‘Shenandoah.’ Its foliage has glowing merlot-colored tips with almost bead-like seeds in open clusters to match.

Miscanthus has many names and whether it’s the broad-bladed type or the narrower-bladed type with delicately silver-lined foliage their open airy seeds heads often blushed with pink or red are the cherry on the proverbial sundae of visual treats. Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’ is the ultimate in elegance this beauty has narrow foliage with variegated silver and green blades and a lovely upright form. Miscanthus ‘Gold Bar’ is a chameleon that brings to mind patterns found in the animal kingdom with bold blades striped horizontally in gold and green.

If you have shade, Naomi Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa ‘Naomi’) has vibrant yellow and green variegated foliage through the season. Then in fall it is set aflame with spectacular burgundy-red color as it recedes to its perennials resting place for winter. Hakonechloa ‘Aureola’ is the eternal optimist and will brighten up any dark spot with gracefully arching leaves striped in vivid green and gold. Hakonechloa ‘All Gold’ is super cheery sibling to ‘Aureola’ with straight gold blades.

Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’  is a true romantic with beautiful feathery plumes colored in shades of rose and burgundy that dance atop a sturdy mound of foliage. Pennisetum ‘Baby Bunny’  is irresistible with wistful little plumes that adorn neat green foliage.

Juncus ‘Blue Arrows’ is a true Oregonian, at home in our wet winters and dry summers. Consistently cheery through it all with plucky thin blades of blue green.

If you want an ornamental impact that lasts throughout the year there are some excellent evergreen grasses too.

Evergold Sedge (Carex ‘Evergold’) holds a dear place in our heart for its superb foliage color that makes a year-round display. Its individual blades have an arching habit giving it a pleasant rounded shape and subtle grace. Prairie Fire Sedge (Carex ‘Prairie Fire’) has olive green foliage that smolders like orange embers at the tips. It is perfect for adding glowing height to containers or in the garden. Its wispy habit catches the wind making it look like gracefully darting flames. Carex testacea is the workhorse of grasses with glowing orange blades that are at home anywhere, anytime; mass plantings, boarders, and containers . . . even through the winter months. Carex ‘Red Rooster’ lives up to the name with its intriguing shade of tawny bronze, it’s perfect for rustic combinations and is very much at home on the farm.

Black Mondo grass (Ophiopogon ‘Nigrescens’) is unmatched for its color and versatility. Its black foliage is excellent in containers. Black mondo is an effortless way to create a sophisticated modern look. In addition, its ability to tolerate anything from sun to shade makes it indispensable in the garden. This is the drama queen of grasses with true black foliage.

Ornamental grasses add texture and dimension to containers and plantings. These are a few of our favorite selections, come-in and find the grass that’s ornamentally yours. We’re fully stocked with this eclectic bunch and many more – check with a Dennis 7 Dees garden center location near you.