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Grasses are the "hair of Mother Earth" - this quote is from no poet, at least not a full-time, but by the great German perennial horse breeder Karl Foerster.
It was he who introduced ornamental grasses to the garden stage for the first time at the beginning of the 20th century. As eye-catcher large ornamental grasses with tightly upright growth like riding grass (Calamagrostis) or pampas grass (Cortaderia) come into question.
Especially in modern architectural gardens, they form distinctive structural elements, for example, free-standing at regular intervals on both sides of paths, seats or pools planted. Quite different is the charisma of grasses with loose, overhanging growth such as feather grass (Stipa) or lamprey grass (Pennisetum): Imbued with natural flower beds, they give the garden a natural flair.
Special effects arise when you combine ornamental grasses and flowering plants of similar stature height. The up to man-sized varieties of China reed (Miscanthus) play around with their loose-light fruit stands flower giants such as sun broth, water and sunflower.
In the wind direction, the tender feather grass (Stipa tenuissima) lies between the branched inflorescences of the noble thistle
The much more compact species of feather grass offer the same effect in a duo with medium-sized perennials such as daylily or noble thistle. If you want to create a strong contrast to the roundish flowers of zinnias or dahlias, offer as planting partners species with long dense ears of wheat such as perl grass (Melica), crested grass (Sesleria) and lamp cleaner grass. But no matter what form the fruit stalks have: With their green and brown tones, the ornamental grasses in summer form a quiet counterpart to the color fireworks of flowering plants.
The culmination of the grasses season is undisputed in late summer and autumn. Many perennials have already faded when tall ornamental grasses such as miscanthus, whistling grass (Molinia) and whiting (panicum) present in intense yellow or orange for a few weeks. But even when the luminosity wears off, you should leave the stalks still a while, because they give the winter garden with their quirky forms in hoarfrost or under snow, a special magic.
What is less known: not all ornamental grasses until late summer and fall to peak form. Some smaller species of sedge (Festus) (Festuca) and hellebore (Luzula) are already in full bloom in spring and early summer and are therefore good partners for early-flowering perennials such as milkweed or bearded iris. In addition, their evergreen leafy creatures cover the bottom of the bed even in winter.
The Japangras 'Aureola' (Hakonechloa) is well suited for use in light shade with its light compact leaf decoration
Some early starters among the ornamental grasses are designed to lighten shadow parts: straight varieties with white-green or yellow-green striped leaves such as Japangras 'Aureola' (Hakonechloa), Hainsimse 'Marginata' or Japan sedge 'Variegata' (Carex morrowii). All three thrive well in the light shade and remain very compact with a height of 30 to 40 centimeters. They thus form a good enclosure for beds under trees and decorate, in order to stay with the image of Karl Foersters, Mother Earth with an easy-care short haircut.