The Simple Things

Gorgeous grasses


l Ornamental grasses are really starting to come into their own. Lauren believes they have been undervalue­d, but they can work beautifull­y in borders. She recommends checking your growing conditions before choosing your grasses. l Many varieties are hardy, originatin­g from the prairies of North America. They provide winter interest after flowering and many invertebra­tes rely on their hollow stems to seek protection from harsh weather. l Extremely low maintenanc­e, grasses only need an annual chop in late winter/early spring to keep them looking beautiful year after year. l Grasses provide movement, tactility and simplicity to the garden. They look sensationa­l planted en masse in sweeping swathes; in small, repeating groups, or when combined with perennials. For smaller gardens, some grasses work in pots. A single Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinace­a ‘Transparen­t’, Anemanthel­e lessoniana or Stipa gigantea looks beautiful in a terracotta pot with a loam-based compost. l There are grasses to suit most aspects and soil types so it’s important to assess your garden before planting. Note how much sun your border gets throughout the day and whether your soil is sandy or a heavier clay. If you have a particular­ly open, windy garden, this will also determine which varieties will grow well there.

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