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
Since all the grasses are so well established now, we have been fine tuning our irrigation. The Netafim in-line irrigation tubing was re-done a few months ago to decrease the amount of water the grasses were getting. This was especially important in the area of the slope to the creek bed – since water flows downhill, those grasses on the downside were getting too much water previously. Currently, the irrigation schedule is twice weekly, 30 minutes each time. All grasses are thriving and the monster 'Cosmopolitan' Miscanthus will soon be putting on its inflorescenses for the fall. The Japanese Blood Grass is strutting its stuff – it spreads fairly rapidly, but is worth the effort for the beautiful color it brings to the garden. Again, fine tuning the irrigation by decreasing the amount of water it gets will help slow its growth.