Gardening with Grasses

Gardening with Grasses

by King
     
 

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Ornamental grasses are among the most versatile and sophisticated of garden plants. Planted as single specimens in beds or on the terrace in a container, grasses are striking focal points. Smaller forms bring rhythm and diversity to mixed borders, and clumping forms richly carpet the ground. This beautifully illustrated book by two imaginative garden designers will

Overview

Ornamental grasses are among the most versatile and sophisticated of garden plants. Planted as single specimens in beds or on the terrace in a container, grasses are striking focal points. Smaller forms bring rhythm and diversity to mixed borders, and clumping forms richly carpet the ground. This beautifully illustrated book by two imaginative garden designers will provide equal measures of information and inspiration.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
This practical manual discusses ornamental grasses; plant association; techniques for growing grasses in gardens; and the use of grasses in lawns and meadows, for general ground cover, for borders, and to alter the arrangement of garden spaces. Provides a series of brief, descriptive entries on some 150 selected annual and perennial grasses, rushes, sedges, and bamboos. Includes numerous color photos. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780711212022
Publisher:
Lincoln, Frances Limited
Publication date:
02/05/1998
Pages:
152
Product dimensions:
10.83(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)

Read an Excerpt

Smothering the ground with plants minimizes the possibility of weed seedlings becoming established. Any number of plants can be used in this way, as long as they are planted close enough together. The term ground cover is normally applied to low-growing plants used to fill in the spaces between other plants, but the lawn, the meadow and naturalistic plantings, already discussed, are all also examples of ground-cover plantings. Once established, ground covers are low on maintenance but initially, whilst the plants are developing, they can require a lot of attention, particularly the need to remove weed seedlings which appear between the plants.
In less formal areas of our gardens the lawn may be replaced with ground-covering ornamental grasses as these usually require less maintenance. Also, lawn grasses often present problems when grown near to trees. Too much shade, or soil that is sucked dry by tree roots, are frequent causes of lawn failure. A well-chosen ground cover should in the long term generate less work and either look as good or better than the lawn it replaces,. The woodrushes are an ideal evergreen candidate for a wide range of difficult garden situations. Luzula sylvatica will rapidly cover the dry, shady ground under established trees, producing a lush and healthy sward about 45cm/18in high. Other less vigorous species might just as well be chosen. Where attractive white spring flowers are desirable, L. nivea, reaching a height of 30cm/12in, produces a neat and glossy cover; for a similar, but very low covering, L. luzulina cannot be bettered; for large areas L. pilosa, a weed in some gardens, quickly forms impenetrable mats of vegetation.

Meet the Author

Michael King is a garden designer, photographer, and author who runs a garden advice bureau from Amsterdam. He is constantly evaluating new garden perennials and new ideas in landscape and garden design, and his ongoing areas of research include the latest trends in planting design and the introduction of garden worthy perennials. A British native, he became immersed in his lifelong passion for gardens and plantsmanship while working at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as secretary to the board of trustees. In addition to designing gardens, he has written many articles on plants and planting design and is the author of five books.

Piet Oudolf is a native of Holland and originally studied to be an architect. Instead of designing buildings he became the founder of New Wave planting, a movement which takes inspiration from nature but employs artistic skill in creating planting schemes. As a plantsman, his aim is to emphasize the form, texture, and natural harmony of plants, and as a skilled plant breeder, he creates new varieties for these and other specific design purposes. His style is the result of the influence of various horticultural traditions such as the combination of Dutch formality and naturalistic planting styles.

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