©2007 Publications International, Ltd. The foliage and seed heads of showy extend the perennial's garden season through winter. See more pictures of perennials.
Ornamental grasses and foliage are an excellent choice for an unusual ground cover. They have appeal throughout the year, and there are many varieties to choose from. Ornamental grasses also serve as effective screens from early summer through winter. Choose varieties that will grow to at least eye level. Space the plants so they will form an impenetrable mass at maturity. Mix in evergreens to form a deep screen for all seasons. Any single, large ornamental grass can be used as a specimen plant. Use grass as a focal point in an open garden, or use a giant variety to break up expansive spaces. A single, fine-textured upright specimen breaks the monotony of a flat, coarse-textured planting. Grasses are also well suited to container growing, as long as they receive the moisture and nutrients necessary for continual growth.
Ornamental grasses are categorized as cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses. Many ornamental grasses are perennials, but some are so tender they're treated as annuals. Cool-season grasses actively grow during the cool parts of the year; some even stay green throughout the winter. Before the warm-season grasses begin to show much life after dormancy, cool-season grasses burst into quick, lush growth. They bloom early in the season. When frost comes, the foliage and seed heads turn a bright golden tan and continue to offer a fine display through winter.
The following links will give you more information about perennial grasses and foliage. Before planting, check with your garden center to make sure that the plants you've selected will flourish in your locale.