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ornamental grasses feature in your garden

’Tufted’ ornamental grasses are full of colour and movement, many have striking textures, make bold ‘architectural’ statements, and are tough enough to cope with often harsh Australian conditions.  Grasses work well in any style of garden from country to modern or formal.

In the past, many Australian gardens have centred around lawns.  With the advent of the busy lifestyle leaving little time for garden maintenance, smaller outdoor living areas needing to fulfill more functions, and drought conditions that make watering of lawns or ‘thirsty’ exotics impractical, the tables have turned and ornamental grasses have become the perfect solution.

so what are ‘ornamental grasses’?

First and foremost they are low water, low maintenance and visually appealing plants.  An ornamental grass may be a grass, sedge or rush - Most grasses have hollow stems, sedges have solid angular stems and rushes have solid round stems.   So, any member of the above group that looks good year round and is able to withstand tough environmental conditions including pollution, frost, minimal water and drought, is an ornamental grass.  You’ll find a great selection on show at Provincial.

And if you need some design advice, Provincial can help you select which plant works best in which pot or totally redesign your existing garden. Our friendly team can answer your questions.  Contact us with your design dilemma or to find out more about products and services available.

choosing the right plant for the right location

Your choice of plant should always be dictated by location – consider sunlight and shade, soil drainage and the like.  Be sure to check the preferred growing conditions before purchase. 

Generally speaking, many Australian grasses grow to around the same height as width.  You should also consider the desired effect of your potted plant, edge or border, or feature planting. 

Generally speaking, small or low grasses are great next to paths and between pavers to soften or delineate edges.  Mid height grasses work well near the edges of borders or can be used in combination with other shrubs and perennials in a mixed border.  They’re ideal for mass plantings.  Tall grasses should have space around to show their structure and have the opportunity to feature.  A tall individual grass in an eye catching pot is a minimalist and striking statement.

View our plant selector for more information or contact us to discuss your needs

create drama and movement with ornamental grasses

There are innumerable species of decorative plants suitable for both pots and gardens.  A selection of striking natives that are water wise, frost or fire tolerant are recommended in our Top 10 lists.

Plants such as Lomandra longifolia, Dianella and Poa species have been effectively used for many years in street plantings and rightly so – look fantastic and have successfully replaced previously grassed streetscapes. 

design ideas for grasses in your garden

Grasses can create garden drama by using their soft form (Poa poiformis) against hard landscaping features or their architectural upright form (Lomandra, Cyperus, Carex), to create focus or emphasis in informal flower beds. 

You can add interest to a space by placing a row of matching pots against a bare wall, place pebbles underfoot or define the edges with low grasses, and further enhance that effect using strong architectural plantings.

Rather than use hard finishes such as timber or cement based products, why not consider small grasses that are ideal for delineating paths or garden beds?  They also look great mass planted in pots or as features in smaller pots.

Many mid height grasses often have elegant flower and seed heads, have long, soft or strappy leaves and are ideal for creating a sense of movement in the garden.

Plants with a simple, strong architectural form create a minimalist look and provide eye catching appeal against plain coloured walls.  Hardy plants like Yucca, Agarve and Grass Trees are great for this look. 


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