Ornamental Grasses To Add To Your Garden

Posted on 26 September, 2018

Ornamental grasses work well in the garden throughout the year, adding both visual and acoustic interest, however it’s during the Autumn months that they really come into their own. At this time of year, many ornamental grasses will produce beautiful flowerheads which make a bold statement by themselves, or provide an extra layer of interest in garden borders. Brilliant for continuing colour and interest into the autumn and winter months, the sound and movement of ornamental grasses as they dance and rustle in the breeze adds an additional element of peace and relaxation to the garden. 

Easy to look after and generally problem-free, ornamental grasses are a brilliant addition to a range of gardens and can be planted in borders or containers depending on the variety. They work well as fillers, ground cover or even focal points, making for beautiful backdrops or standalone features. The varying heights and shades of foliage available allow for a range of looks and feels to be achieved – so whether you’re looking for something to... 

Evergreen grasses provide lovely colour year-round and are often good in shady areas; deciduous grasses dance in the breeze and produce stunning flowerheads in autumn, followed by beautiful bronze colours in winter.

Adding sound, movement and colour to gardens of all shapes and sizes, the wide variety of ornamental grasses out there – from the impressively tall to the cute and compact – means there’s likely one for every garden. We have a wide variety of ornamental grasses available in the Growing Nursery in a range of sizes, 

​Cortaderia selloana ‘Evita’ (Pampas Grass ‘Evita’)

A popular choice in garden borders, the visually impressive Cortaderia selloana ‘Evita’ – or Pampas Grass – is a hardy, evergreen, ornamental grass which grows to a height of up to 3m and produces full, fluffy plumes of silver-yellow flower panicles. Thanks to its striking appearance, Cortaderia selloana is often displayed as a feature in itself, however works equally well in garden borders. 

Deschampsia cespitosa

Also known as tufted hairgrass, Deschampsia cespitosa grows well in full sun or partial shade, and is a lovely addition to garden beds and borders. Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Schottland’ and ‘Goldtau’ are two lovely, tall varieties growing to a maximum height of 1.2m and 80cm respectively. Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Schottland’ produces tassels of silky flowers in the late summer months, while the panicles of Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Goldtau’ turn a beautiful golden yellow as summer progresses into autumn.

Miscanthus Sinensis (Chinese silver grass)

Native to eastern Asia, Miscanthus sinensis belongs to the Poaceae grass family and produces lovely flower panicles during the Autumn months. The range of cultivars offers a variety of shapes and sizes, suited to both larger and small gardens and containers. 

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ is a compact and elegant variety with narrow green leaves and lovely creamy white/silver flower plumes which are in flower between September and February. Yakushima Dwarf is another compact variety which makes an impact, with its fluffy pink flowers.

For a more compact ornamental grass, Miscanthus sinensis ‘Cute One’ is a brilliant choice. Growing to a height of just 40cm, it’s brilliant for containers and features arching stems of bronzy flowerheads in late summer.

On the other end of the spectrum, Miscanthus sinensis ‘Malepartus’ is both large and bold, with a maximum height of 1.8m. The narrow bronze/green leaves and rich purple-red flower plumes come into flower in August and last through to February.

Miscanthus nepalensis (Himalayan Fairy Grass)

An elegant ornamental grass which displays beautiful plumes of flowers during late summer, Miscanthus nepalensis works well as a focal feature in the garden as well as in beds and borders. The silky flowers look incredibly pretty in the sunlight and dance in the wind, making for a lovely effect.

Molinea caerulea

A deciduous ornamental grass which offers both height and shape, Molinea caerulea is a clump forming grass and prefers being placed in damp, shadier areas – although it can tolerate drier spots too, once established. We have a number of tall, elegant varieties of Molinea caerulea in the Growing Nursery including the lovely Moorhexe with its dense, purple green flower spikes; and ‘Transparent’, which features swaying green flower spikes and yellow autumn foliage.

While the top of Molinea caerulea can be incredibly beautiful, its lower reaches are less attractive. As a result, this ornamental grass works well in borders when surrounded by autumn flowering plants.

Pennisetum alopecuroides (Chinese fountain grass)

A compact perennial grass, Pennisetum alopecuroides is great in garden beds and borders, as well as working well in containers thanks to its compact form. Pennisetum 'Hameln' is a lovely, clump forming grass with narrow dark green leaves, and golden tints come autumn. It boasts creamy white, fat flowers bristling with hairs, and grows to a maximum height of 60cm – 1.5m. Pennisetum ‘Red Head’ features similarly bottlebrush like flower heads, which open a pretty reddish pink before ageing to a creamy beige. ‘Karley Rose’ is another lovely cultivar, which features arching leaves and pink flowers.

We have a wide variety of ornamental grasses available in the Growing Nursery and our friendly staff are always on hand to help you pick out the right one for your garden.