Some of the most frequently asked questions in the garden centre include “What can I plant that will grow quickly?” and the favourite question of all is “I am looking for something with big impact and low maintenance, what can you recommend?” Well, at this time of year, my answer to both of these questions is ornamental grasses!

Ornamental grasses have really grown (no pun intended) in popularity over the last 5 or 6 years, and there is an ornamental grass for every garden, be they evergreen or deciduous, hardy or tender, perennial or annual, mound forming or erect, sun loving or shade loving - these showy plants come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, colours and textures and are low maintenance. Added to all of this most of them are resistant to pests and diseases – what’s not to love?

So, now I have convinced you of the attraction of an ornamental grass, which one will be best for your garden? Everyone has heard of pampas grass even though it didn’t always have the best reputation in the 70’s, but it does now and is stunning in any garden. There is also festuca glauca (the blue grass you see around quite a lot) and a new variety called festuca intense blue (absolutely gorgeous and well worth looking out for), carex (better known as sedge), micanthis which is great for a container, and my personal favourite – pennisetum! (that’s the one that feels fluffy when run through your fingers!)

We all have our favourite ornamental grasses so why not let me know which ones you like. Happy gardening!


This is a fantastic taall perennial with erect, branching stems – making it a firm favourite for the back of herbaceous borders.

It has beautiful branched clusters of small purple flowers which are on show throughout summer and autumn. It loves exposed or sheltered locations and bees and butterflies love it – helping to make your garden bee and butterfly friendly.