The Q&A Archives: Ornamental grasses

Question: We have purple fountain grass and BlueFescue,we are wondering what kind of other plants can we put together with them ,that would add some brighter color and look good?

Answer: There are so many plants you could use with these. I like to see other foliage textures mixed with the grasses, such as sedums for example. These are hardy perennials that will also bloom in late summer. "Autumn Joy" is a nice one. I also like to plant spring blooming bulbs near the grasses. Another nice complement can be evergreen shrubs such as either lower growing or upright junipers, or mugo pine for example. You could look at shrubs with purple foliage such as Diabolo ninebark, although this plant would require a lot of room in the bed. You could look at the PeeGee hydrangea for late season bloom just as the purple grass is peaking -- this is the larger growing shrubby Hydrangea paniculata. You could use bright annuals such as marigolds to bring in season-long color. Your local professional nursery staff should be able to help you identify plants that would grow well in your planting spot and then you could select the ones you like best from those. Enjoy your planting!

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