Using ornamental grasses to create a garden for all seasons

Grasses are a brilliant way to incorporate softness and fullness into your garden. Especially since we live in a savanna area. They are drought resistant, low-maintenance, and will look right at home in modern minimalist or indigenous gardens. While a mass planting of a single species is both simple and stylish, if you’d prefer to pair different grasses together opt for those that have contrasting colours or forms for added interest.

Deciduous grasses, which turn brown in winter, contrast well with the green foliage of evergreen varieties. You can also combine the upright panicles of certain varieties with the curved, arching habit of others. This creates height and contrast. There are so many species which are indigenous to South Africa, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

With an almost endless choice of size, texture, form and flowering period, grasses are one of the keynote plants for the modern garden. Using evergreen varieties will allow you to enjoy a splash of green all year round.

Grasses have the ability to soften and break the hard edges of pathways, decks and waterways. The key is to choose a grass that creates a soft, tufted look, arching over the edge of the hard landscaping.  They are Mother Nature’s fillers. They create a canvas that allows other plants to stand out. This provides the perfect framework for other perennials to flower and fade.

Grasses are a good choice to set off a garden sculpture. The strong, linear, upright form of some grasses complement sculptures, birdbaths and feature pots. Planted in beds, or in pots, grasses are an often-overlooked element that can add so much to your garden.