As the desire for less maintenance and more drought-tolerant landscaping increases, ornamental grasses are growing in popularity. With so many varieties, its easy to find the right color, size and texture for the needs of any outdoor space. As their name suggests, these decorative plants are a terrific option for sprucing up a yard, patio or outside area. Need more convincing? Ornamental grasses are resilient to a range of temperatures, are deer-resistant, rarely attract pests and their deep roots can help stabilize slopes to prevent soil erosion.

Ornamental grasses (OG) add texture to your landscaping and make exciting additions to borders and gardens. Try planting several types together like feathergrass, fountain grass and blue fescue to create eye catching designs. Or mix grasses in with other plants like lavender, succulents and hydrangea to forge a melody of colors and patterns. Use the same grass in different locations throughout your yard to add unity and tie it all together.

This fluffy foliage will also soften and breakup the harshness of hardscapes. Blending an OG with surrounding stone or concrete features will bring an aesthetic balance to your landscaping. On a smaller scale, put types like Elijah Blue fescue or Juncus grasses into pots or containers that can be moved around as desired. Overflowing by design, the wind will whistle through their swaying blades and garnish your outdoor space with movement that brings it to life.

OG make wonderful ground cover, especially in comparison to a traditional lawn. Requiring much less maintenance, they also help keep out weeds and maintain their visual attraction year-round. In these areas I would recommend “no-mow” grass. It usually consists of a special blend of native fescue grasses that grow up to about 6” tall and then fall over giving it a meadow-type look that does not require mowing. Once established, these grasses use little to no water and can give the appearance of a lawn or green area in your garden. Certain types will need routine “haircuts” to help trim down overgrowth and allow for fresh blades to liven up the plant.

One of the most popular OG, Calamagrostis foliosa (Mendocino Reed Grass) is a California native and does great in almost any soil or sunlight. They are small, require very little trimming and make great accent plants in your garden. Adding some boulders to your garden is another easy way to take up space without adding water requirements, and they go great with OGs!

Complimentary to any form of landscaping, ornamental grasses will provide a unique appearance for your exterior space, while cutting down on cost and leaving you with more time to enjoy your outdoors!