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Nothing can explain autumn in the garden better than watching a scene of overgrown grass. It happened with all the other things that marked the change of seasons—the children went back to school, the pumpkin seasoned everything, and the heating was turned on for the first time. Gardeners seem to have a love/hate relationship with ornamental grasses. They have excellent texture and give life to the late season landscape, many of which are native to North America. But some spread like harmful weeds, become invasive, or are maintenance nightmares that require frequent divisions. In this episode, we discussed some of our favorite plants in this category-amazing grasses in three seasons (if not four seasons), and do not need too much care to look the best good. We will even talk about some newbie grass that you may not have heard of before!

Expert testimony: Paul Zammit lives in a garden on the west side of Toronto. He is a professor of horticulture at Niagara College in Southern Ontario.

Danielle’s Plant

Close-up of
‘Moudry’ fountain grass (Pennisetum ‘Moudry’, area 4-9)

'Moudry' fountain grass habits
‘Moudry’ fountain grass habits

'Blue Ginger' Cyperus
‘Blue Zinger’ Cyperus (Carex ‘Blue Zinger’, zone 5-9)

'Honeycomb' Blue Grammar Grass (Source: Intrinsic Perennial Gardens)
‘Honeycomb’ Blue Grammar (Slender Butlua “Honeycomb”, area 4-9). Photo: Inner Perennial Garden

Variegated purple marsh grass (Source: Intrinsic Perennial Gardens)
Variegated purple marsh grass (Cyanobacteria subspecies Blue ‘Variegata’, zones 4-9). Photo: Inner Perennial Garden

Carol’s Plant

'Shenandoah' switch grass, late season color
‘Shenandoah’ switchgrass (Dogwood ‘Shenandoah’, zone 5-9), late season color

'Blonde Ambition' Blue Grammar
‘Blonde Ambition’ Blue Grammar (Slender Butlua “Blonde Ambition”, Zone 3-10)

“Blonde Ambition” Blue Gema Grass, close-up of seed head

'Oehme' palm sedge
‘Oehme’ palm sedge (Carex ‘Oehme’, area 4-9)

'Standing Ovation' small blue stem (Schizachyrium scoparium'Standing Ovation', zones 4-9)
‘Standing applause’ Little Blue Stem (Schisandra “Standing Applause”, Areas 4-9)

Expert plant

Paul Zammit lives and gardens in the West End of Toronto. He is a professor of horticulture at Niagara College in Southern Ontario.

North Sea Oats (Photo credit: Paul Zammit)
North Sea Oats (Charmantella macrophylla, Area 3–8). Photo: Paul Zamit

‘Red Rooster’ Leaf Cyperus (Carex And cvs., area 6-9). Photo: Paul Zamit

Cyperus papyrus in container planting (Photo credit: Paul Zammit)
Cyperus papyrus grown in containers. Photo: Paul Zamit

'Blackhawks' big blue stem (Photo credit: Paul Zammit)
‘Blackhawks’ large blue stem (Andropogon gerardii Blackhawks, zones 3-9).Photo: Paul Zamit

'Aureola' Japanese forest grass (Photo credit: Paul Zammit)
‘Aureola’ Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra spp. and cvs., Zones 5-9).Photo: Paul Zamit





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