The Best Ornamental Grass in the Universe
Fall is the season of grasses. In my garden, my absolute favorite grass is ‘Northwind’ Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum).
Now is when ‘Northwind’ sends up it’s airy panicles of tiny flowers.
I have two big clumps of this Switchgrass in the Driveway Border. This grass is native to the eastern and central parts of the USA and Canada.
‘Northwind’ has many virtues. It is big enough to make a statement, but not so big as to overwhelm everything around it. In my garden it grows about six feet tall. It does not self-sow or run, but it does make a substantial and gradually expanding clump.
It is a very upright grass. I am never even tempted to stake it, and that is saying something.
Like many grasses, at the right moments it can catch the light beautifully.
Switchgrass is a warm season grass, emerging late in the spring. It likes full sun best, and I have had some trouble with shading out by other plants that grow tall early and fast.
The color is a deep green very lightly tinged with blue. In the fall it turns the color of straw, not flashy but appealing even so.
Like many other grasses, Switchgrass adds a wonderful element of movement to the garden. Judy spent 90 minutes trying to use the video function of her camera to record the grasses waving in the wind.
Here’s another one where the wind isn’t blowing quite so hard. Can you hear the Cicadas? I find watching the grasses sway to be much like watching bees, very calming. OK, just one more.
Sorry, I can’t help myself. This is more of a close up.
What’s your favorite ornamental grass?