I actually started to take photos for this post in July, then life exploded and I never got around to finishing it up. Now seems like the perfect time, since many grasses are just starting to come into their best. Back when I gardened in Spokane (zone 5) I had more grasses in my garden. After relocating to Portland I moved on to other things, with the exception of Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa)which I embraced with an open wallet (every time I saw one I bought it) and Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) which I brought with me from Spokane. Over the year more grass has steadily crept into my garden like Zebra Grass, …and my beloved Black Mondo Grass. However for the longest time I hated (that’s almost not a strong enough word) Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella tenuissima? Stipa tenuissima?), couldn’t stand it! But something clicked earlier this summer and I now love it. Even to the point of including some in my front garden, where I hope it will settle in and spread itself around (these pictures are not of the feather grass in my garden...mine doesn't look this good!). For those of you concerned about this grass being invasive so far I don't believe it is considered a thug in our climate. I’ve always liked this fence, and of course the Yucca’s were a hit from the very beginning… But I’m finally enjoying their use of Mexican Feather Grass too, to soften up the hard lines and add movement. If you find yourself wanting to include more grasses in your garden you might enjoy Designing with Grasses by Neil Lucas, from Timber Press. I recently checked it out from the library and really enjoyed it. Need more grass inspiration? For some drool worthy grass photos visit Rhone Street Gardens, the blog of fellow Portlander (and grass lover) Scott Weber. Scott recently visited Wind Dancer, a nursery specializing in grasses, which also has a great display garden.
In the mean time be sure to stop and enjoy the beautiful grasses all around you!