10 REA­SONS TO USE GRASSES IN YOUR GAR­DEN

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Growing -

• DENSE, arch­ing forms can be used as hedges and borders, to de­fine and en­close ar­eas.

• SHORTER grasses are use­ful as edg­ings to de­fine the shape of a bed and bring a sense of or­der, with­out be­ing too for­mal.

• FOUN­TAIN-SHAPED forms and ‘wispy’ grasses like blue oat grass (pic­tured above) can cre­ate a soft edge.

• COM­PACT, tighter grasses like NZ na­tive Carex sp. will give a tighter, more for­mal look.

• WIN­TER-DOR­MANT grasses don’t of­fer much colour in cool months, but they can add in­ter­est thanks to dry­ing seed­heads, or move­ment.

• A BEAU­TI­FUL gar­den is al­ways a mix of tex­tures. You need fine tex­tures among the bold or a gar­den can look ‘heavy’ and un­ap­peal­ing. For ex­am­ple, the large, brightly-coloured leaves and flow­ers of daisies and Eu­pa­to­rium are soft­ened and high­lighted by the fine tex­ture of grasses.

• GRASSES help to sep­a­rate colours which might clash, or help bright colours to stand out more.

• A CON­TRAST in form draws the eye and pro­vides in­ter­est. Ver­ti­cal, foun­tain, cas­cad­ing, or mounded grass forms can pro­vide strik­ing ac­cents.

• GRASSES help dur­ing tran­si­tion pe­ri­ods between sea­sons when peren­nial flow­er­ing plants wane. They can fill in bare spa­ces, and con­trib­ute late sea­son colour through their flow­ers, fo­liage or both.

• GRASSES bring move­ment to a land­scape, espe­cially when planted in large groups in windy sites.

Blue Oat Grass, Helic­totri­chon sem­per­virens

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