Westcountry Nurseries offers a range of garden grasses such as Acorus, Briza, Calamagrostis, Carex, Deschampsia, Eragrostis, Festuca, Glyceria, Hakonechloa, Helictotrichon, Holcus, Hordeum, Imperata, Juncus, Melica, Milium, Miscanthus, Molinia, Ophiopogon, Panicum, Pennisetum, Poa, Sesleria, Spartina, Stipa and Uncinia for ornamental effect in borders and pots.
Grasses continue to be hugely fashionable and popular with almost all gardeners, probably due to the ease of cultivation and the instant impact provided. Most grasses need no special treatment and will be happy on the majority of soils, acid or alkaline with a sunny open position. Some will grow in the shade; others in wet conditions and even dry shade.
Divisions and cutting back is best done in the Spring for deciduous varieties, whilst the evergreens may need some thinning at this time. A peat or soil based compost with added fertiliser will keep grasses grown in pots healthy.There are of course, hundreds to choose from, so we have made a selection of some of the best garden plants for you to try.
(Gramineae/Poaceae) Reed grass, Smallweed. Genus of about 250 species of sturdy, tufted, rhizomatous, perennial grasses widely distributed in temperate zones of the N. hemisphere, where they occur in marshland and damp woodland. In early spring before new growth, cut down to ground all overwintering stems.
(Cyperaceae) Sedge. Vast genus of 1,500 or more species of deciduous, evergreen or herbaceous tuft-forming, perennial sedge. Found in temperate and arctic zones as well as high altitudes in tropical regions. Most species occur in bog, moorland, or damp woodland or by water. Sedges are mainly cultivated for their variegated or colourful foliage. Narrow leaves often colouring in autumn, triangular, solid and without nodes. Cut back dead foliage on herbaceous ones when dormant. Small flowers arranged in panicles, racemes or spikes. Will withstand drought once established. Most originate from New Zealand and tropical areas.
(Gramineae/Poaceae). Hair Grass. Genus of about 50 species of evergreen, tufted or tussock forming, herbaceous perennial grasses. They are widely distributed in arctic and temperate zones found in damp meadows, moorland and woodland clearings and on high mountains in tropical regions. Leaves are thread-like, linear or oblong. Grown for their masses of silvery tubular flowers, ageing bronze yellow lasting well into winter. Graceful and airy and can be useful fresh or in dried flower arrangements. Borders, wildflower, rock garden
(Gramineae/Poaceae). Blue Fescue, Blue grass. Genus of 300-400 species of deciduous or evergreen, rhizomatous, clump and tufted-forming perennial grass. Found widely distributed in grassland, woodland edges and stream margins throughout temperate zones. Grown chiefly for their intense fine blue-green to silvery-white narrow foliage which is flat, folded or rolled. Many are grown as turf or pasture grasses. Panicles of dense or loose branched spikelets borne from spring to summer. Good for border edging as foliage plants. Divide every 2-3 years in spring. Dislike winter sogginess and rich soils preferring a range of light situations. Shear over each spring to rejuvenate growth.
(Gramineae/Poaceae). Feather Grass. Genus of 17-20 species of vigorous, deciduous herbaceous perennial grasses, tufted or rhizomatous. Occur in moist meadows and marshland from Africa to E. Asia. The reed like stem bear linear, folded, arching, light or mid green leaves. Fountain, vase shaped grass, the leaves keep for a long time. Some have bandings on leaves or silver variegation. Dense, terminal arching panicles of silky-hairy spikelets ranging from copper red to silver white are borne in late summer and autumn. Flowerheads are more numerous following long hot summers and are good for cutting. The dying growth provides russet autumn colours. Good as a free standing specimen, for mixed borders or watersides. Some dwarf varieties but most are large. Architectural plant. Tolerant of most conditions but prefer moist, well drained, moderately fertile soils in full sun
Genus of 2 species of loosely or densely tufted, perennial moor grass. Found in damp moorland in Europe and N. and S. W. Asia. Grown for their attractive habit, autumn foliage and graceful dense to open panicles of compressed spikelets each with 4 florets held well above the foliage. Stiff, upright clumping thin deciduous foliage turns butter-yellow in winter. Open airy panicles of purple flowers mid summer. Native of acid bogs, flourish on most soils as long as not dry. Huge stretches of upland hillside and bog in Scotland covered with moor/deer grass. Move only in spring or early summer.
(Gramineae/Poaceae). Fountain grass. Genus of approximately 120 species of rhizomatous or stoloniferous clump forming herbaceous perennial grass. Found in woodland and savannah in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate zones worldwide. They have linear leaves, the leaf sheaths have hairy tips. Grown for their feathery, spike-like panicles, arching, cylindrical with decorative purple bristles or spikelets lasting well into winter. These have the appearance of bulrush-like long racemes. Good for fresh and dried arrangements. Cut back in spring before new growth begins. Light soil, moderately fertile best in full sun
(Gramineae/Poaceae).Pheasant grass, feather/needle/spear grass. Genus of about 300 species of bristly deciduous or evergreen, tuft-forming perennial grass from open woodland and stony slopes in temperate and warm temperate regions worldwide. They have linear, pleated, inrolled occasionally flat leaves and bear narrow panicles of flattened spikelets often with long, feathery or bristly awns from early summer to autumn. Oat-like panicles, rose tinted at first, maturing to pale fawn, the texture diaphanous. Feathery and slender and may be dried. Leaves are streaked orange and brown. Clump forming, best as solo feature. Cut back deciduous species in early winter, remove dead leaves on evergreens in early spring. Moderately fertile, medium to light soil in full sun best.