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Friday, October 6, 2017
Posted By: Sheri Piccione in Grasses

If you’re looking for low maintenance plants that provide lovely texture and movement in your garden, ornamental grasses are your answer! They look fantastic when massed in the border or as a single accent when planted in a container. Leaves often change colour as the seasons progress, and their delicate plumes and tassels (called inflorescences) add graceful structure, and even sound, as they rustle in the breeze.

Plant ornamental grasses with perennials such as rudbeckia, echinacea, and asters, to name a few. Smaller varieties are great for edging and as groundcovers. Taller grasses provide a soft backdrop when planted at the back of your border. They provide a textural contrast when planted with evergreens.

Types of Grasses

There are hundreds of varieties of ornamental grasses available - some are shade tolerant while others prefer full sun. Grasses and grass-like plants are divided into cool season and warm season varieties. Many grasses are perennials, but some are tender and they’re treated as annuals.

Cool season grasses actively grow during the cool parts of the year, and may remain semi-evergreen during the winter, making them ideal for fall planters and early spring gardens. For semi-evergreen grasses, simply cut any brown or winter injured foliage in the spring.

Warm season grasses thrive during the warm summer months, and go dormant and turn brown when the weather cools down. Their dried, tanned foliage and seed heads provide interest in the winter, and food for the birds! Simply cut them back in late winter to spring, and they will grow back when the weather warms up.

Add a touch of colour, movement, and texture to your fall garden with these ornamental grasses that we’ve hand picked for you. Give them a try this season!

A Few of Our Favourites

Ornamental Grasses 1
Dwarf Fountain Grass
Pennisetum alopercuroides ‘Hameln’

This compact warm season perennial grass is ideal for smaller areas. A fountaining clump of dark green foliage turns a lovely amber in fall. Its silvery to pinkish-white flowers are soft and delicate, bringing a fine texture to the garden. Plant in full sun

Maiden Grass
Miscanthus gracillimus

A beautiful clump forming grass with fine-textured, silver-green blades, turning golden-bronze in winter. This spectacular grass has purple-flushed plumes in late summer, changing to a delicate silver, providing beautiful winter interest in your garden. Plant in full sun; grows to approx.. 6-8 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide.

Ornamental Grasses 2

Blood Brothers Red Switch Grass
Panicum virgatum ‘Blood Brothers’

This outstanding warm season perennial grass forms an upright, vase-shaped clump of blue-green leaves that turn a deep blood-red by midsummer that gets getter through the autumn. Fine, airy reddish flowers mature to tan seed heads in the fall, and remains sturdy and attractive well into the winter. Plant in full sun; grows to approx. 47-59in tall and 31-35in wide.

Ice Dance Japanese Sedge
Carex morrowii ‘Ice Dance’

A lovely sedge with attractive mounds of evergreen foliage with arching leaves margined with creamy white. It is a moderately spreading grass, ideally suited to the woodland garden, and useful for brightening dark garden areas. Plant in part shade to shade; grows to approx. 1’ tall and slowly spreads by rhizomes to form a carpet.
Ornamental Grasses 3

Little Red Gem Switch Grass
Panicum virgatum ‘Little Red Gem’

This warm season perennial grass forms a compact clump upright blue-green foliage, turning a striking wine-red by late summer. Tiny wine-red flowers rise just above the foliage, providing a wonderful winter interest. Plant in full; grows to approx. 30” tall and 18” wide.

Prairie Fire Sedge
Carex testacea ‘Indian Summer’

This striking cool season evergreen perennial is a clump-forming grass that provides year-round interest. Its gracefully arching, fine-textured leaves have bright undertones of bronzy-orange and green with subtle flowers the same colour as the foliage, turning into dark brown seedheads. Plant in full sun to part shade; grows to approx. 18-24” tall and wide.

Ornamental Grasses 4

Mexican Feather Grass
Stipa (syn Nasella tenuissima)

This lovely fine-textured cool season grass has delicate, graceful silvery-green leaves and airy flower heads that sway gently even in light breezes. Adds a beautiful soft texture to your garden, and looks stunning in mass plantings. Plant in full sun; grows to approx.. 20-24” tall and wide.

Graziella Japanese Silver Grass
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Graziella’

This refined warm season perennial grass forms a graceful, upright mound of narrow, arching, green leaves that turn a spectacular copper-red in fall. Its soft, silvery-white plumes appear in late summer and dry to a fluffy white rise on reed-like stems above the foliage, offering great winter interest. Plant in full sun; grows to 70-82” tall and 31-35” wide.

These are just a few of the many great ornamental grasses available at Art's Nursery. Visit us today to check them out! Our selection is always changing so call ahead, 604.882.1201, if you are looking for a specific variety.


Friday, August 21, 2015
Posted By: in Gardening

As we enter the 'dog-days' of summer our gardens are smothered by heat, shorted on water and deprived of nutrients. What looked fantastic in May looks a wee-bit tired by late summer. One of the lessons of garden design is to visit your garden centres throughout the year. That way you can see what looks good in the different seasons. Use these seven plants to brighten up and re-invigorate the garden, containers and landscapes in August.

Sedum Sun Sparkler Firecracker

Sun Sparkler Firecracker Sedum

Sedum 'Firecracker'

Sun Sparkler Firecracker is a brilliant burgundy-red Sedum with clusters of soft pink flowers in late summer. Its perfect for shallow containers or tucked into rockery or a green wall, where it will gently cascade. An excellent groundcover or accent for borders and rock gardens. Great low water, low maintenance plant. Grows 6-8 inches tall and wide. Hardy in USDA zones 4-10. Prefers full sun

Anemone Fantasy Cinderella

Anemone Fantasy Cinderella

Anemone x hybrida 'Cinderella'

This heavy blooming, single, rose-pink anemone has a very compact growth habit. Good for beds, borders and patio pots. It is very versatile and easy to grow. Tolerates a range of soil types and prefers full sun to part shade. Blooms in late summer through fall. Grows 12-18 inches tall and up to 24 inches wide.

Fireworks Pennisetum

Fireworks Pennisetum

Pennisetum setaceum 'Fireworks'

This gorgeous annual pennisetum is a show stopper in the garden. It's a colour, upright growing grass with variegated stripes of white, green, burgundy and hot pink running the length of the blade. Purple tassles appear in summer. Unlike the species, this cultivar does not reseed. Plant as a specimen or in mass for a stunning display of color. A great addition to containers and beds near your patio or deck. Grow in full sun in rich, moist, fertile soil. Likes regular watering. Excellent in containers, borders and flower beds. Grows 36-48 inches tall and 24-36 inches wide.

Now Cheesier Coneflower

Now Cheesier Coneflower

Echinacea 'Now Cheesier'

This bright and showy selection is a vigorous, new and improved version of 'Mac and Cheese' Coneflower. Large flowers open a deep orange-gold and age to a lighter gold in summer through fall. Perfect for perennial borders, mixed borders and wildlife gardens. Grows 24-26 inches tall and 18-24 inches wide. Prefers full to part sun and moderate watering. Hardy in zones 4-9.

Sombrero Salsa Red Coneflower

Sombrero Salsa Red Coneflower

Echinacea x 'Balsomsed'

Sombrero Salsa Red is a striking echinacea with big, bright red blooms excellent for an easy, colourful summer border. A must-have for the butterfly or cutting garden. Its a drought tolerant perennial that was bred for cold hardiness and compact form with prolific flowering over an exceptionally long season. Flowers from late spring through summer and reaches a height of 24-26 inches tall and 16 to 22 inches wide. Prefers full sun. Hardy in zones 4-9

Red Heart Hibiscus

Red Heart Rose of Sharon

Hibiscus syriacus 'Red Heart'

Red Heart Hibiscus is a deciduous shrub with single white blooms with a red centre in late summer on a medium sized shrub. Grows 4-6ft tall and 6-8 ft high. Prefers full sun to part shade. In general, hibiscus are heavy feeders, if you notice yellowing leaves, feed it with a balanced fertilizer and ensure that it is not being over-watered. Hardy in zones 5-9

rhapsody in pink crape myrtle

Rhapsody in Pink Crape Myrtle

Lagerstroemia indica 'Whit VIII'

Rhapsody in Pink is a wonderful large deciduous shrub or small tree very common in warmer drier climates. It features brilliant pink flowers in summer through fall which is accented by attractive purplish, deer resistant foliage. Prefers full sun and moist, but well drained soils. Fertilize in spring. In our temperate climate, the shrub is usually hardy but often does not get enough summer warmth to deliver the beautiful flowers in abundance. Hardy in zones 7-9.

heuchera_berrysmoothie

Berry Smoothie Coral Bells

Heuchera 'Berry Smoothie'

Perennial Heucheras are fantastic source of colour when summer blooms have faded. Berry Smoothie features large, gently-lobed, metallic rose-pink leaves in spring that darken to bronze-red by summer. It is tolerate of summer heat too. It adds brilliant colour and contrast to mixed containers and woodland plants. It is well suited to containers. Tall flower spikes are apparent but not always showy. Best grown in part sun with moderate watering. Grows 18-25 inches tall and 12-18 inches wide. Hardy in zones 4-8.

As always, call Arts Nursery ahead of time to confirm availability as our selection is constantly changing. If you have any questions about these or other plants, drop by in person or call 604.882.1201.

 


Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Grasses

I must admit, ornamental grasses are one of my favourite summer-time plants. If you're time starved as much as I am, then the low maintenance, easy care nature of these ornamental grasses is for you. They look fantastic when planted solo in a pot or when massed in a garden. If you forget to water, their usually ok with it. When the end of the season comes, some will die out for you, while others can just be trimmed back until next season.

Grasses and grass-like plants are generally divided into cool season and warm season varieties. Cool season types look best in spring and fall when temperatures are lower. Warm season grasses are at their best when the temperatures are warm in summer but generally die back or aren't that attractive at other times of the year.

While there are hundreds of species and varieties, a few remain popular year after year. These are some of my favourite summertime grasses:

Purple Fountain Grass

Purple Fountain Grass

Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’

This extremely popular drought-tolerant, warm season grass is a favourite amongst many gardeners. Purple fountain grass forms upright, arching clumps of purplish-maroon blades topped by long, fluffy, rose-red flower spikes from summer through fall. Flowers turn buff as they mature. Beautiful as a landscape specimen or when massed in groups. Provides quick annual colour in our climate. Yes, this means it will not survive our winters even though it is perennial in warmer climates. Best when planted in full sun and once established needs only occasional water. Grows to 2-4ft tall and wide. Hardy in zones 8-11

Mexican Feather Grass

Mexican Feather Grass

Stipa tenuissima

Also known as Nassella tenuissima, Mexican Feather grass forms a graceful clump of finely textured green foliage. No other grass is able to dance in the wind as can this one. The entire plant turns golden in autumn. Feathery golden flowers appear from June through September. Grows 18-24 inches tall and 12-18 inches wide. Excellent in mass plantings, borders, rock gardens or containers. Easy care and low maintenance. Best when planted in full sun in any well drained soil. Hardy to zone 7.

Japanese Blood Grass

Japanese Blood Grass

Imperata cylindrical ‘Red Baron’

This warm season perennial grass forms loose tufts of strikingly coloured foliage. Blades begin emerald-green and with increasing become tipped with garnet red. Foliage eventually becomes solid, fiery ruby red. Rarely seen flowers are fluffy and white when they appear in May and June. This plant is stunning when back-lit. Deer resistant. A great plant in gardens and containers. Grows up to 16 inches in height and 12 inches in width. Best when grown in full sun in fertile, moist soils. Mass plant for great effect.

Black Mondo Grass

Black Mondo Grass

Ophiopogon nigrescens

Black Mondo grass is a landscapers favourite. Foliage starts green but quickly turns a dark black colour. Pinkish white blooms appear in late summer followed by shiny, black, inedible fruit. Excellent in gardens, containers and even as a specimen or accent in the garden. As they say, everything looks good with black. Best when grown in full sun or part shade. Will reach up to 12 inches in height and width. Hardy in zones 6-9.

Carex Evergold

Evergold Sedge

Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’

This popular grass-like evergreen plant is renowned for its ability to brighten up gardens and containers with its variegated yellow leaves. Can also be used to edge a space or in a rock garden. Generally prefers to be planted in part sun to part shade in moist, rich soil. ‘Evergold’ is a well behaved, clumping plant that is ideal for low maintenance and easy care gardens. Grows 6-8 inches in height and 8-12 inches in spread. Hardy in zones 6-9.

Fireworks Fountain Grass

Fireworks Fountain Grass

Pennisetum x advena ‘Fireworks’

This relatively new, spectacular warm season grass has narrow, upright, arching leaves that are a kaleidoscope of hot pink, green, white and dark burgundy. Fluffy bottlebrush flowers are a deep burgundy and sway in the wind. Deer resistant, drought tolerant once established and makes a nice cut flower. Although stunning, this plant is a tender perennial (hard in zones 7-9) and odds are it won’t survive our winters. Most gardeners treat it like an annual; expecting to replace it each year. It is truly striking in containers and in the garden. Best when planted in full sun in moist, but well drained soil. Grows to 24 inches in height and spread.

Belindas Find Hook Sedge

Belindas Find Hook Sedge

Uncinia rubra ‘Belinda’s Find’

This showy New Zealand native perennial grass forms a clump of elegantly arching, shiny dark red-bronze leaves that have a bright cherry red margins. Flower stalks appear in June and July. Well suited for borders, containers, edging, woodland and shade gardens. Loves moist areas. Tolerates full sun or shade. Grows up to 12 inches high and wide. Hardy in zones 8-9. Provide some winter protection in cool areas.

 

Other notable summer grasses include:

  • Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)
  • Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa)
  • Maiden Grass / Silver Grass (Miscanthus)
  • Blue Oat Grass (Helictotrichon)
  • Blue Fescue (Festuca)
  • Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)

Art's Nursery carries a large and diverse selection of ornamental grasses year round. As always, please call ahead to confirm availability as the stock on hand changes regularly. Please feel free to call us at 604.882.1201 or visit us in person and we'd be happy to show you some beautiful summertime grasses.


Monday, October 22, 2012
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm 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.


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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

We carry an incredible selection of plants, shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, vines, groundcovers, roses and much more. Soils, bulk materials, pottery and a variety of garden accents are also available.

Our plant selection is so large that you can actually drive a golf cart while you shop!

We pride ourselves on providing high quality plant, expert advice and an exceptional gardening experience.

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