Picture of Wild grasses with a hill of feather grasses on the right during a sunset

Eleanor Clarke


Be Inspired by Grasses

Grasses are a brilliant group of plants, and so useful in the garden. We can’t get enough of them – both in container arrangements as loose, tactile fillers, and in borders knitting together the showier, more flamboyant flowering plants.

What to love

If you’re new to ornamental grasses, and even gardening in general, they’re a great place to start. They’re super versatile, unfussy and simple to grow. They also seem to be immune to most pests and diseases. The colours, textures and forms of grasses are impressive too – from the soft, wispy Stipas to tall, upright, architectural species like Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ and the low-growing colourful evergreen carex varieties.  

Image of Pink Fountain Grass (Pennisetum Flamingo) in a pinkish evening light

Pink fountain grass (Pennisetum ‘Flamingo’)

Care guide

Most grasses prefer a sunny spot in the garden and well-drained soil. If yours is London clay, you’d be wise to dig in plenty of organic matter – garden compost, bagged peat-free compost or leaf mould – when planting to help with drainage. To keep them looking good, you should prune decidous grasses right back to just a few centimetres in early spring, getting rid of last year’s growth and making way for fresh new shoots. If your grasses are evergreen (pampas, Festuca glauca, pheasant tail grass, carex), just give them a tidy in spring, pulling out or cutting back anything that’s dead or spent-looking to leave a nice fresh green mound. Like most perennials, grasses are given a boost if you split them up every few years. It’s a win-win as the plant is rejuvenated and you get more, for free. Do it by digging up the clump, splitting it into three or four, then replanting, giving each one space to spread out its roots.

5 of the best

Close-up Image of feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’)

Feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’)

Very cool, chic and just a bit haughty. Tall buff architectural plumes really set off a modern home or contemporary garden scheme. Plant en masse for major impact.

Stipa tenuissima in fronmt of green hedges. Tall purple blooms present on the left side of the imaghe

Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima)

Knee-high fountains that are light, billowy and full of movement. They’re perfect in a gravel garden or for knitting together other sun-loving flowers in a south-facing border.

Carex testacea pictured in front of sky

Carex testacea

Wiry tussocks of evergreen foliage that turn a beautiful peachy bronze from spring to autumn. Use it to tie together schemes majoring in yellow, orange and red. Or give it pride of place in a pot, for a contemporary vibe.

Close-up image of Pheasant tail grass (Anemanthele lessoniana)

Pheasant tail grass (Anemanthele lessoniana)

Tough, beautiful and brilliant in shade. A medium-sized evergreen that turns green to deep orange-gold in autumn. It will self-seed everywhere, but not to worry as the seedlings are easy to pull out if you don’t want them.

Festuca Glauca in front of a brown fence

Festuca glauca

Cute little mounds of blue-green, excellent in pots, in a Mediterranean-style gravel garden, bordering a path or at the front of a border. Pretty versatile, in fact.


Remember, if we don’t have specific plants in stock, just come and ask one of the team. We’ll be happy to suggest an alternative or order it for you, if we can. 


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