When the average person thinks of grass, they think of the short, green stuff that covers our lawns. But there’s a vast variety of grasses out there that you can use as “ornamental” grasses, to give your lawn a unique look.
Grass comes in all sizes. There are ground-hugging grasses, there are shrub-sized clumps. There are upright tufts of grasses, there are “mop-top mounds” of grasses, there are “arching fountains” of grasses.
“True grasses” include lawn grasses, cereal grains, and a few “showy” pieces such as bamboo. Yes, bamboo is a grass. However, even though they’re not true grasses, cattails, rushes and sedges are also termed “ornamental” grasses.
True grasses all have narrow leaves, and their cylindrical stems are hollow. Cattails have those distinctive brown, cigar-shaped flowering structures, and solid stems. Rushes have solid stems. They also don’t have the nodes that grasses have. Sedges don’t have nodes. They have solid stems – and the stems are triangular but cylindrical.
When you’re planning your ornamental venda de grama garden, you must know how the grass grows. Some grasses are clump-forming – they stay where they’ve been planted. Creeping grasses, also called runners or spreaders, do exactly that…they grow over the ground.
For your beds and borders, you’ll want to use clumping grasses. Your creeping grasses will be splendid on any slopes.
Various grass species have different growth cycles, just like flowers. Annual grasses die after one growing season, while perennials will come back year after year.
Now when you get to your perennial grasses, there are two basic types of those: cool-season and warm-season. Cool-season grasses start growing in the late winter or early spring. Examples of these are fescue grasses and golden wool millet. Warm season grasses include evergreen miscanthus, pampas grass and fountain grass.
Ornamental Grass Colors
Ornamental grasses run the gamut from bright red and cold to copper, bronze, steel blue and silver. Some stay the same color all the time (when healthy), others change color according to the season – so it’s quite a delight to plant these and be able to track the seasons as their hues change.
If you’ve had a problem growing grasses in your landscape because there’s shade everywhere, don’t despair – simply choose those types of grasses that do well in shade! However, there’s another contingent you have to deal with – is the soil in that shade evenly moist, or is it dry. The grasses might like the shade but the wrong soil will not do them any good, so make sure you have the right kind of soil for the grasses you choose.
Grasses that flourish in the shade include oat grass and sea oats, crinkled hair grass, snowy woodrush, and golden wood millet.