Ornamental grasses are perfect for lazy day summer memories.
If you’re not familiar with ornamental grasses, now’s the time to learn more. Where can you find them? The local garden center or plant section of the humongous box store are not the best locations now. Really! Trust me on this. You want to explore what the grasses look like when they’re grown. The tiny spike of green in the nursery pot just doesn’t get the point across.
Great options include:
- public parks – check out the botanic garden section of the park
- museums – you’re looking at the plantings outside, not the artwork inside this time
- aquariums and butterfly pavilions – often they have plantings outside for children
- public buildings, colleges and universities – look at campus or building entry plantings
- high-end subdivision entrances
What you want to know is
the size of a grass clump, the leaf colors, whether there are flowers, and what sound the leaves make in a breeze. Once you have found grasses that grow in your area and that really appeal to you, you can buy, or have your landscaper buy, those nursery pots of the grasses you want.
Memories plus low maintenance - what more could a girl want?
For me, one wonderful summer memory is driving to the Texas Gulf coast in late afternoon, with the sun glimmering among the beach grasses. Another is early morning hikes along the sandy dunes in an Atlantic barrier island. Both memories involve the shifting, sparkling play of light on the grasses.
So when I had a chance to put ornamental grasses in my yard, one immediate choice was inland sea oats, Latin name Chasmanthium latifolium. I can walk by, feel the wind on my face as the blades wave, and become transported to that summer beach again.
Another idea was to deliberately locate a grass with unusual seed heads just where the dying sun will slide through at the end of the day. Maybe your spot would be like this, splendidly visible from the porch, where you sit with a gin and tonic, listening to Wynton Marsalis, sliding into the lovely ballad, “When It’s Sleepytime Down South.”
A friend’s memories are of Western deserts, so look how the grasses are planted here. Each one is spaced, desert-like, to maximize survival from minimal rainfall.
What part of your fabulous aging-in-place yard is planned to bring back memories of summer for you? Post your comment, and please like this post!