Over the last few years we have introduced to our range of plants a number of Ornamental Grasses. These have become increasingly popular m gardens, and because of their diversity of form and colour can add distinction and interest when carefully sited.

They are extremely adaptable, growing in a wide range of soil conditions, even flourishing m soils which are on the dry side. Varieties such as Cortaderia make excellent specimen plants. while Carex and Festuca are useful for ground cover, and Carex ‘Evergold’, Avena sempervirens and Hakonechloa are invaluable for adding a splash of dramatic colour to borders and shrubberies.

AVENA Candida (Heiictotrichon sempervirens). Dense clumps of bright steel-blue foliage,

followed in summer by long arching sprays of flowers. Makes a very effective specimen

or dot plant at the edge of borders. 3 ft.

CAREX comans. Forming a dense clump of grey-green foliage, suitable for front of border

planting. 1 1/2-2 ft.

flagellifera. An interesting grass with unusual colouring. The somewhat dense, lax foliage is

brown-purple, giving an overall brown look to the plant. The flower spikes are even more

lax, almost prostrate. Excellent ground coverer. 2 x 3-4 ft spread. morrowii ‘Evergold’. Brilliant green and yellow foliage, particularly attractive when planted

in groups and in association with purple leaved subjects. Easy and one of the best foliage

grasses. 9-1 2 ins.

CORTADERIA selloana ‘Gold Band’. A striking plant, introduced from New Zealand. The

graceful foliage is attractively variegated green and gold. Tall silvery plumes up to 6 ft

are produced in late summer. Makes an excellent specimen plant or can be planted in

association with other perennials and shrubs. Suitable for the smaller garden. 6 ft.

‘Pink’ (rosea). Vigorous variety with fairly lax foliage, tall spikes of a somewhat

questionable pink colour. 8 ft.

‘Sunningdale Silver’. Unquestionably the best Pampas Grass. Eventually makes a large

statuesque plant of considerable spread. Covered with towering spikes of very fine silver

‘feathers’. Requires plenty of room, but can be kept tidy by cutting back hard in early

spring. 8-10 ft.

FESTUCA glauca. The bristle-like blue-grey leaves form small thick tufts. Useful when

planted in groups at the front of borders or even in the larger rockery. 6-9 ins.

HAKONECHLOA macra ‘Albo-Aurea’. Short, somewhat spreading grass. The broad leaves

banded green and bright yellow are overlaid bronze. An introduction from Japan which

will become very popular when more widely known. 9-1 2 ins.

MISCANTHUS sinensis ‘Zebrinus’. Fairly broad leaved grass with lateral bands of gold

variegation. 4-5 ft.

MOLINIA caerulea ‘Variegata’. Forming neat clumps of attractively variegated foliage.

1-1 1/2 ft.

PHALARIS arundinacea ‘Picta’. The well-known Gardener’s Ganers. A spreading grass

with leaves variegated grey-green and cream. Somewhat invasive, but would brighten

up the odd dry corner. 2-3 ft.

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