|Grasses flowering in a natural area at our local park.|
This book covers many topics including: grasses in natural communities; using grasses to decrease garden maintenance; designing pleasing gardens with grasses by using repetition and form; choosing the correct grass for damp, dry, sun or shade; and discussion of sustainable environmental practices that utilize grasses. It also includes a sizable directory of "Grasses and Grass-like Plants," which is so helpful a reference even while reading this book to help you remember which grass Mr. Lucas is describing at the moment. Beautiful and practical photos are throughout the book to help illustrate using grasses in different types of designs.
I always take notes in my garden journal while reading a good gardening book to help record ideas that strike me, any new plant names, and my own ideas that come as a result of reading. Here are a few of my favorite ideas and plants taken from Designing with Grasses by Neil Lucas:
- Use the same material for mulching planting areas as you are using for the paths to reduce maintenance (bark and pine needles work well), pg 33.
- Use Pennisetum 'Fairy Tails' by solid structures to lighten the hardscape (ex. beside a pool patio, building, or staircase), pg 91.
- Plant combination from Dave and Rainie Fross' garden in Arroyo Grande California: Blue oat grass (Helictotrichon), Orange sedge (Carex testacea), Blue fescue (Festuca) and Salvia 'Purple Rain', pg 88.
- Container plantings of Orange sedge (Carex testacea) to help it hang down a bit; Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light' seen at Wisley, UK; or Feather grass Jarava ichu as seen at Mr. Lucas' home display at Knoll Gardens, UK, pg 122-123.
- Use native Pennsylvania sedge, Carex pensylvanica, as a no mow option under trees, pg 125.
|Click here to see this book on Amazon|
Those are really just a few of the gems to glean from this book. I considered myself a real beginner in grasses when I began reading and it has helped me to put the pieces together about using grasses in my garden. Perhaps you might enjoy it too!
I am linking to Holley at Roses and other Gardening Joys today for her August book review. She has a great review this month on a book about one of my favorite gardens, Hidcote Manor.
For more, read my post on ornamental grasses Latin and common names.