Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ornamental Grasses at Chanticleer Gardens in Wayne, PA

The captivating combination of tulips and rough grass at Chanticleer Gardens in April this year.
The captivating combination of tulips and rough grass at Chanticleer Gardens in April of this year.
While I am on the topic of ornamental grasses, I thought I would take the opprotunity to post a few photos of grasses being used at a romantic-style garden in the US, Chanticleer Gardens in Wayne, PA. Chanticleer happens to be pictured and mentioned by Neil Lucas in his book, Designing with Grasses, and recommended as a great place to see grasses in the US in his garden index.

Ornamental grasses are often considered useful to the garden designer because of their strength of form, their movement and the perseverance that they show in the late summer and autumn gardens. While this is certainly true, these photos that I took on my April visit to Chanticleer with fellow bloggers Pam and Carolyn show how grasses contributed to the lush, romantic look of the gardens even in mid-spring.

I had quite a bit of fun to capturing the afternoon light shinning through the tree, tulips petals and grass.
I had quite a bit of fun to capturing the afternoon light shinning through the tree, tulips petals and grass.


I was so intrigued by the idea of filling this formal style garden bed with rough grass and bulbs for spring.... Did someone have to weed it all out later in the season? I hope not, but I sure loved seeing it in the springtime!
Tufts of Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella tenuissima) are already adding to the romantic mood with the drifts of tulips in Chanticleer's Gravel Garden.
Bright golden grasses (Carex oshimensis or Luzula sylvatica 'Aurea') under the purple flowers of a red bud tree (Cercis canadensis) in Chanticleer's entrance garden.
Bright golden grasses (similar to Carex oshimensis or Luzula sylvatica 'Aurea') under the purple flowers of a red bud tree (Cercis canadensis) in Chanticleer's entrance garden.
Tufts of Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolis heterolepis) were rising around the Ruin Garden in April.
Tufts of Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolis heterolepis) were rising around the Ruin Garden in April. This grass is burned every March - with the help of a whole company of firemen! There are some great photos of the burn here.
Rough grass and grape hyacinths (Muscari armenicum) under spring flowering trees near the house.
Rough grass and grape hyacinths (Muscari armenicum) under spring flowering trees near Chanticleer house.
Large creamy tulips, golden-edged hostas and white viburnums all blooming in the rough grass near Asian Woods. The planting area is marked off from the manicured turf simply by adding bent bamboo or willow sticks to the edge.
Large creamy tulips, golden-edged hostas and white viburnums all blooming in the rough grass near Asian Woods. The planting area is marked off from the manicured turf simply by adding bent bamboo or willow sticks to the edge.
Pretty little daffodil, Narcissus 'Hawera', and Spanish bluebells, Hyacinthoides hispanica, in more rough grass also near Asian Woods.
A beautifully romantic spring setting: bulbs in grass.
Most of us are familiar with grouping large specimens of ornamental grasses near evergreens. This can be effect for year-round interest - just look at any shopping center or downtown planting. These photos, however, show a few of the other excellent ways that you can use grasses in your garden designs to bring it some new life in spring and beyond.  I hope you are as inspired as I was!

Last week on WMG:
Designing with Grasses by Neil Lucas by Neil Lucas
Guide to Common names of Ornamental Grasses

6 comments:

  1. Gosh, they've done a wonderful job interplanting grasses with the other plants. Now I'm even more interested in a trip to Chanticleer. Thanks for the great photos and explanations.

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  2. Chanticleer is definitely on my short list of gardens I must visit. Love the muscari in the long grass.

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  3. Julie, herbs highlight the beauty of flowers.

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  4. Great post...and it's so true...we often overlook the contributions of grasses at that time of year...but they are really great...even if they are often just seen as foils for their more-colorful bedmates!

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  5. I really love the bulbs mixed with grasses and how natural it all looks...I especially love the tulips and grape hyacinths...I am always looking for new ways to use grasses and creative ideas...they out did themselves...thx for sharing Julie!

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  6. Wonderful post showing all the different ways of using grasses, they are so useful in the garden for showing texture and movement, contrasting so well with the flowers that come at different times of the year.

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