Justin White, Landscaping Lesson | No-mow and ornamental grasses – Santa Cruz Sentinel

Adding a few boulders to your yard is another easy way to take up space without increasing the need for water. They are great for ornamental grasses. (Contributed)

With the increasing desire for less maintenance and more drought tolerant landscaping, ornamental grasses are becoming increasingly popular. With so many varieties, it’s easy to find the right color, size, and texture for any outdoor space’s needs. As the name indicates,

Adding a few boulders to your yard is another easy way to take up space without increasing the need for water. They are great for ornamental grasses. (Contributed)

These decorative plants are a great option to add value to a garden, patio, or outdoor space. Do you need more persuasion? Ornamental grasses are temperature-resistant, deer-resistant, rarely attract pests, and their deep roots can help stabilize slopes to prevent soil erosion.

Ornamental grasses add texture to your landscaping and are exciting additions to borders and gardens. Try planting different species like feather grass, fountain grass, and blue fescue together to create eye-catching designs. Or mix grasses with other plants like lavender, succulents, and hydrangeas to create a melody of colors and patterns. Use the same grass in different spots in your yard to create unity and keep everything together.

These fluffy foliage will also soften and break up the harshness of hardscapes. Mixing an ornamental grass with surrounding stone or concrete elements brings an aesthetic balance to your landscaping. On a smaller scale, put species like Elijah blue fescue or Juncus grass in pots or containers that can be moved around as desired. The wind, overflowing with design, whistles through the swaying leaves and adorns your outdoor space with a movement that brings it to life.

Ornamental grasses make wonderful ground cover, especially when compared to a traditional lawn. They require much less maintenance and also help keep weeds out and keep their visual appeal year round. In these areas I would recommend grass without mowing. It’s usually made from a special mix of native fescue grasses that grow up to 6 inches tall and then topple over, giving it a meadow-like appearance that doesn’t require mowing. Once established, these grasses use little to no water and can create the appearance of a lawn or green space in your garden. Certain species require routine “haircuts” to reduce overgrowth and use fresh leaves to liven up the plant.

One of the most popular ornamental grasses, Calamagrostis foliosa (Mendocino Reed Grass), comes from California and is great for almost any soil and sunlight. They are small, require very little pruning, and make plants with great accent in your garden. Adding a few boulders to your yard is another easy way to take up space without increasing the need for water. They are great for ornamental grasses.

In addition to any form of landscaping, ornamental grasses give your outdoor area a unique look, while reducing costs and leaving you more time to enjoy nature!

Justin White is the CEO of K&D Landscaping, headquartered in Watsonville, California, and was named Business of the Year 2020 by the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce. White is also the current president of the local chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) on the central coast. He is involved in several non-profit organizations across the community. For more information on landscaping, outdoor and gardening requirements, contact K&D Landscaping at kndlandscaping.com.

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