Grasses and Other Fall Beauties

Today we’re in the garden of Thomas Mrazik in Worcester, Pennsylvania.

Here is a photo from my home garden meadow, Goodly Gardens (Zones 6/7). In the midst of fall the maturing features or ornamental grasses produce an abundance of soft, ever-changing color swatches and textures.

In front is Muhlenbergia capillaris (pink hair grass, Zones 7–10) in peak bloom. Behind it and to the left is Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem, Zones 3–9), now with its maturing foliage color of mahogany red. To the right is Calamagrotis brachytricha (Korean feather grass, Zones 4–9). Having bloomed several weeks ago, the flowers are turning from pink to white, and the foliage is beginning to streak yellow.

ornamental grasses in the garden in summerThis view of the garden, with the grasses still in their summer colors, shows every shade of green.

close up of large, purple Russian sage plantA cloud has formed of lavender flowers from Russian sage (Salvia yangii, Zones 5–9), which is a durable, drought-tolerant perennial with flowers beloved by bees.

close up of Ratibida columniferaRatibida columnifera (Zones 4–9) is a perennial native to the plains of North America; its distinctive yellow daisies with a very long central cone bloom pretty much all summer and into fall. Individual plants can be a bit short-lived but will often self-seed when happy.

close up of bright blue ironwood flowersIronweed (Vernonia noveboracensis Zones 5–8) is a North American native perennial that towers 5 feet or more and is topped by clusters of purple flowers that are a food source for a wide range of pollinators.

various ornamental grasses in the gardenIt is amazing how much color and interest you can get from grasses, and they are, for the most part, easy to grow and drought tolerant.

close up of Korean feather grass in bloomWhen the blooms are fresh, Korean feather grass blushes gently pink.

close up of ornamental grass in fall colorsThe details of ornamental grasses reward close inspection. Here the green mixes with red, orange, and tan as autumn arrives.

If you want to see more from Thomas, check out some articles he’s written for Fine Gardening.


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