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Ornamental Grasses

There are a variety of ornamental grasses – those for sun or shade, native options, and the benefits of ornamental grasses include drought tolerance, deer resistance, and the fact that many start to shine after the plants of early summer have started to wane. Read on for some of my favorite combinations that make use of these versatile plants.

One ornamental grass that many people are familiar with is Muhly Grass, which has filmy pink plumes in early fall. When not in flower, this grass can be underwhelming, so consider pairing it behind a low evergreen shrub like a dwarf Yaupon Holly. The Holly will screen the grass when it is not in bloom and provide great contrast when it is. Both are North Carolina native plants.Blooming in late summer, these two plants provide great textual contrast when paired. The Fountain Grass has a fine texture and fluffy conical seed heads while the Sedum has waxy leaves and broad flat flowers. Both plants thrive in full sun and provide great transition into the fall.

Grasses can work in shade too – Carex is a species of ornamental grass available in a variety of colors and sizes from yellow, to green and white variegated, to bronze. One of my favorite combinations is Sparkler Carex with the common Big Leaf Hydrangea. The broad flowers and leaves of the hydrangea contrast with the firecracker form of the Carex, and both thrive in part to full shade.

Interested in these or other plant combinations? Contact Bright Leaf Landscaping at 919-475-1015 or fill out our online contact form. Design and installation are our expertise, and we are always happy to meet with new clients to discuss potential projects!