Monday, October 22, 2012
Posted By: in Grasses

As you may or may not know, grasses and grass-like plants are divided into two main groups, warm season varieties that look good and perform well when the sun shines and warms the air in summer, and the tougher, hardier, no-nonsense cool season grasses that like our cool spring, autumn and winter.

Cool season grasses tend to be evergreen making them ideal for fall and winter interest, holiday containers and garden fillers when everything else has packed it in for the season. Grasses are also particularly attractive when frosted in the early mornings. Very photogenic!

For the botanical purists, there are grasses and grass-like plants. The genus Carex is not technically a grass, but rather a Sedge. However, for our purposes, we'll lump them together.

While there are dozens of varieties available, this hand picked selection are what we consider tried and true survivors. They look great in a variety of locations, including gardens and containers. They look particularly good when mass planted in a certain area. They are also a great compliment to fill layered bulb bots over the cool season. Give this bunch a try this season.

carex firefox

Firefox Leatherleaf Sedge

Carex buchananii 'Firefox'

A cool season evergreen perennial grass like plant that forms a clump of splendid, fine-textured, deep copper-bronze leaves that curl attractively at the ends. Flowers are subtle, drying to brown seedheads. It's striking in the winter and as a contrast plant.Can also be used in borders, containers and rock gardens. Best grown in full sun to part shade in moist, but well drained soil. Grows 1-2ft in height and spread. Hardy in zones 5-9.

carex ice dance

Ice Dance Sedge

Carex morrowii 'Ice Dance'

This is one you'll either love or hate. Tough large bladed foliage with creamy white edges are the hallmarks of this bold cool season evergreen grass. Ice Dance forms tick, dense clumps of gracefully arching leaves, subtle green flowers and lacy white filaments that dry to brown seedheads. It's slow spreading and easy to grow. Ice Dance Sedge is a brigh addition to borders, containers, woodlands, shade gardens or even on walls and slopes. Best when planted in full sun to part shade and fertile moist soils. Grows to 18 inches in height and spread. Hardy in zones 5-9.

carex evergold

Evergold Weeping Sedge

Carex oshimensis 'Evergold'

Evergold is a beautiful delicate grass ideal for containers, rock gardens and other locations. It forms a striking and versatile, cascading, cool season evergreen grass that forms mounds of crisp yellow leaves banded with dark green borders. FLowers appear in April to May and are earth-toned, with delicate, fuzzy white filaments. Evergold tolerated dry conditions and cascades nicely over edges. Prefers full sun to part shade in fertile, moist, but well drained soil. Grows to a 12 inches in height and twice as wide in spread. Hardy in zones 5-9.

black mondo grass

Black Mondo Grass

Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'

Black Mondo Grass is a one of a kind plant ideal for the halloween season! Midnight black grass blades topped with spikes of pale pink flowers followed by pearl-sheened non-edible berries in fall. Best when planted in full sun to part shade. Moist but well drained soils are preferred. Keeps its foliage in normal west coast winters. Slow growing - ideal for containers. Looks really sharp when planted en masse on accented by anything yellow or lime green. Hardy in zones 6-9.

blue oat grass

Blue Oat Grass

Helictotrichon sempervirens

Blue Out Grass is a striking accent in the garden or containers. It is a very hardy, cool season evergreen perennial grass that forms a mounded clump of tightly rolled blue-grey blades. Similarly coloured, tall-stemmed, wheat-like flowers mature to an attractive buff and last until fall. Blue Oat Grass is also deer resistant and drought tolerant once established. This is an excellent plant for borders, containers, mass plantings, rock gardens and water-wise environments. Best when planted in full sun to part shade in fertile well drained soils. Grows 16 inches in height and 1-2ft across. Hardy in zones 3-9.

carex frosty curls

Frosty Curls Sedge

Carex comans 'Frosty Curls'

This cool season evergreen perennial grass has a shimmering, fine-textured, silvery-green leavesthat curl attractively at the tip and cascade from the centre of the clump. Its a great cool season near-equivalent to the warm season mexican feather grass. Subtle green flowers dry to light brown. Frosty curls trails attractively over walls and planters. It is also perfect in borders, mass plantings, hanging baskets, containers abd woodland gardens. Can also be used in part shade. It's drought resistant once established. Deer resistant. Frosty Curls Sedge is best grown in full to part sun and sandy, well drained soils. Grows to 1ft in height and 1-2 ft across. Hardy in zones 7-9.

These grasses and many other plants like them are available at Art's Nursery year round. As our huge selection is always changing, and if you are making a special trip, please call 604.882.1201 in advance to confirm availability.

Rebecca van der Zalm

Rebecca van der Zalm

Rebecca is an owner and the ‘Plant Boss’ of Art’s Nursery Garden & Home, a large family owned garden centre in Surrey. Fueled by her passion for plants and the occasional grande vanilla latte, Rebecca strives to share her love of gardening at every opportunity. The goal: to offer more service, more selection and more fun.
Tel:604.882.1201
Email:rmrazek@artsnursery.com
Web:http://www.artsnursery.com
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8940 192nd Street,
Surrey, BC, Canada,
V4N 3W8

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