The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - GARDENING -

I have grad­u­ally ac­quired a rather mixed bag of or­na­men­tal grasses but am un­sure as to how I should deal with them in win­ter. I have Helic­totri­chon sem­per­virens, pheas­ant’s tail grass, Mis­cant­hus sine­sis ‘Var­ie­ga­tus’, Deschamp­sia ce­spi­tosa ‘Bronze Veil’, Stipa tenuis­sima, and Fes­tuca glauca ‘Eli­jah Blue’. DEB­O­RAH WAR­REN


Your “mixed bag”, can be sorted out into two ba­sic groups, those that orig­i­nate from warm cli­mates and those from cold cli­mates. Once you un­der­stand which groups they be­long to, their main­te­nance is sim­ple.

Helic­totri­chon, the two sti­pas (S. tenuis­sima and the pheas­ant’s tail grass), fes­tuca and deschamp­sia are cool-cli­mate grasses. These dense, hardy, clumpy grasses, es­pe­cially the smaller ones (which tend to run out of steam after three or four years), can sim­ply be “groomed” in early spring, i.e.

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