Ornamental grasses are some of the showiest things you can have in your garden this time of year. They're also super low-maintenance plants and have almost year-round interest. I've been meaning to do a post about some of the perennial grasses I'm growing, but I just haven't got around to it yet. If you're a member of the Calgary Horticultural Society, there was a good article in the last newsletter. (and if you're not a member, you should be!)
But grasses work great in pots, too! I've had these two pots of stipa tenuissima (mexican feather grass) growing on my front steps all summer, mixed with other containers of flowers. While most of the other blooms are done, these pots continue to look great and will do so all winter. Since stipa isn't hardy here, my only problem is deciding whether I want to leave them outside to look cool all winter, or to put the pots in my cold room to try to overwinter the plants until next year. Decisions, decisions...
I've also started planting non-hardy grasses such as pennisetums and sedges (not actually grasses but they qualify visually) in combinations with other plants in containers around the garden. Again, the grasses can be left outside all winter to add some interest. I wrote about this last spring when the sedge I'd left out all winter in a pot still looked good in March.
If you're going to cut down the non-hardy grasses to overwinter them in pots (inside in a cool, dark place or a heated garage), you can also make indoor arrangements with the seedheads. I made this arrangement of purple pennisetum seedheads last fall and it still looks good one year later!
[picture coming soon...]