By Marianne Binetti
Ornamental grasses don’t come naturally to me. I have tried to talk myself into joining the hip, cool gardening crowd that believes the grasses are worth the effort of cutting them back every spring.
Fortunately for me there’s the blue heaven of blue fescue (Festuca glauca). Blue fescue is the best-looking, best-behaved, and best way to add some silvery blue to your garden. There’s no cutting back necessary. It stays low and blue all winter. Here is how I put it to work:
- Contrast the spiky texture and cool color with the rich reds and rust of sedum ‘Autumn Joy’. (See photo above.) Neither bedmate drinks too much, and both thrive in poor but well-drained soil.
- Pot up a pair of fescue for a pincushion of texture in formal urns. These two are a variety called ‘Beyond Blue’, and they make perfect globes without any pruning.
- Dry shade? I pulled apart an older clump of blue fescue last fall and added little wisps in the dry shade of my blue-and-yellow theme garden. I love the way the silver-blue strands poke above the ‘Golden Anniversary’ lamium.
- Create an ocean of blue with a river of fescue. Here the low-growing ‘Sienna Sunrise’ nandina adds a punch of red foliage to a low-maintenance street-side planting.
What’s not to love about this blue grass beauty?
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