Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fall is in the air!

Ahhhh Fall!
Apples, Football and Grasses. 
Grasses? Many of the ornamental grasses are coloring up and blooming now and here are the ones we have in stock.

Pennisetum 'Burgundy Bunny'
A red-tinted sport of the popular 'Little Bunny,' this dwarf Fountain Grass only reaches 12-16" tall and wide and its narrow leaves are mixed carmine and green all summer. Then it blazes scarlet from autumn until frost. It has cream-colored "bunny tail" blooms, would be perfect for containers, along a walkway or in the middle of a perennial bed. This irresistible miniature is hardy to zone 5 (-20).

Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’
The Japanese Bloodgrass is a spreading grass that grows to 18" by 12". The wide blades are green at the base with red tips that become more intense over summer and autumn. This grass rarely blooms and takes a little more shade than other grasses. Nice in a rock garden, near water or as a mass planting it is cold hardy to 20 degrees below zero.

Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah'

The reddest of the Switchgrasses 'Shenondoah' will reach 2' by 2' at maturity with red seedheads above. Like Japanese Bloodgrass the green blades become more red in summer and fall. It is cold hardy to zone 4.

 Elymus arenarius
Blue Lyme Grass is a very fast growing, sometimes invasive, steel blue grass that reaches 2' tall. The beige flower stalks grow above the foliage and it will adapt to sun or shade and wet or dry areas. Plant it to hold a bank, along a dry creek or in a pot. Another cold hardy grass to -30 and it is evergreen!

Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'
Maiden Grass is a fast growing, tall grass that will reach at least 4' tall with the seed heads reaching 6'. The fine green foliage will cure to bronze in winter and the blooms are copper colored turning cream. It is tall enough to make a screen or be planted in the back of a border. Drought tolerant and cold hardy to zone 5.

Cortaderia selloana
Pampas Grass is another fast growing grass with sharp-edged, thick, light green leaves and large white plumes. Give it plenty of room as it grows quickly to 6-10' tall and 3-6' wide. It can be used as a hedge, screen or specimen and is hardy to zero degrees.

All ornamental grasses are deer resistant. They can and sometimes should be divided every few years. For winter interest leave the foliage until the new growth starts in spring and then cut back.

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