Objective and Design
The Ornamental Grasses garden was planted out in October of 2013. It was the first garden to be officially planted because deer do not normally bother grasses and it was before the deer fence went up. In one year, the grasses were flourishing.
Grasses were desired as one of the planned themed gardens because they are gaining such popularity in home gardens. They tend to be virtually pest-free, are low maintenance plants and include cool season and warm season varieties. Many are drought-tolerant, which is a huge benefit for our area, plus they are beautiful year round. Grasses are so varied in size, texture and appearance that the only problem planting this garden was which grasses to choose. The choices came down to what thrives in El Dorado County and included such things as low-growing Festuca idahoensis 'Siskiyou Blue' (Fescue) to the much larger Stipa gigantea (Giant Feather Grass). Probably the grass planted that to date has done the best is Bouteloua gracilis 'Blond Ambition' PP #22,048 (Blue Grama, Mosquito Grass).
Goals for this garden are teaching the public that grasses can be as beautiful as other perennials, are appropriate plants for our area and how to care for and maintain grasses year round.
Ornamental Grasses Plant Lists
Here is a complete plant list for our Ornamental Grasses Garden
The poor grasses in this garden are having a difficult time "waking up" after all the cold weather recently in our area. Finally, however, some are coming to life and showing new, spring growth. The Miscanthus sinensis var. condensatus 'Cosmopolitan' is really popping out new growth and by the end of April, will be tall and regal again. Likewise, the Chasmanthium latifolium (Sea Oats) is sprouting lots of new growth as is the Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly); the latter seems to be everyone's favorite when it blooms in late summer to look like a pink cloud. The Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah' always is the latest to start its new, spring growth, but it will happen as soon as the weather starts warming.
The Japanese Blood Grass had to be thinned quite a bit over the winter months as it is quite a vigorous grower. It won't take long, however, for it to fill in nicely.
Overall, this garden continues to do very well with minimal maintenance and zero pest or disease problems.