Plant of the Week: Ornamental grasses

Plant of the Week: Ornamental grasses

Graceful, elegant and imposing in the garden, grasses are a must-have in the garden. They're the perfect setting for other perennials, then from late summer send up spectacular plumes which add a magical touch to the winter garden when rimed with frost.

They're very low-maintenance, too. Evergreen grasses just need a comb through with your fingers in spring to remove dead thatch: these include Stipa gigantea with graceful oat-like flowerheads and Anemanthele lessoniana which turns orange, yellow and red in autumn. At the same time, prune deciduous types like tall, airy Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' and Deschampsia cespitosa to the ground to give new shoots room to grow. 

Make weed soup

Instead of bagging up perennial weeds like bindweed, couch grass and ground elder for the tip, soak them in a bucket of water for a couple of weeks. They'll rot into rich compost tea: dilute and use as a nutritious liquid feed.

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Keeping down weeds

Weeds, so the saying goes, are just plants in the wrong place. The trouble is, there are so many of them. However much you might think dandelions are pretty, or ground elder has elegant leaves, if you stop to admire them too long you (and your plants) will quickly be overrun.

You'll pro…

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