Perfect Partners for Ornamental Grasses | Midwest Living

Perfect Partners for Ornamental Grasses

Get the most from your ornamental grasses by pairing them with these plants.
  • Perfect partners

    Choose plants that make your ornamental grasses shine in your garden. You might require some shorter grasses or other perennials to stair-step up to a tall grass. Perhaps a grass needs a bold backdrop so the plumes stand out. Here, a series of colorful perennials draw the eye to the grasses in the distance.

    Click ahead to see some ideas from Midwest Living on getting the most out of your ornamental grasses.

  • Crown

    'Hameln' , a dwarf fountaingrass, crowns a bed of white petunias and 'Purple Dome' aster. The bright white draws your eye to the base of the garden bed in contrast to the grass' crown of tan spikelets. The rust of sedum peeks through from behind the grass.

  • Exotic

    This pairing of 9-foot-tall castor beans and grasses takes on almost a prehistoric look.

  • Color

    Light, bright cannas draw eyes up from the dark purple of 'Redbor' kale. Canna color shines against the tall neutral grasses.

  • Contrast

    The faint line of yellow from goldenrod underscores the differences in the two rows of grasses.

  • Form

    Yucca stands solid in pottery amidst airy grasses. Such dramatic contrast means both plant forms get equal play in a garden scheme.

  • Balance

    Tall, tropical-looking cannas balance the 10-foot-tall hardy pampas grass (Saccharum ravennae).

  • Backdrop

    Sometimes grasses need a spotlight on their beauty. A dark evergreen backdrop provides the perfect foil for the lighter, airy grasses.

  • Frame

    Draw the eye to the horizon by flanking a mass of grasses with a colorful patchwork of perennials. Black-eyed Susans, purple Russian sage and rust-color mums march the eye to the dramatic grouping of grasses.

  • Canvas

    The whimsy of wildflowers--in this case white and purple cosmos--stand out against rows of successive heights of grasses. It's a prefect pairing because of the plants' equally airy nature.

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