What can I say? Its been a long winter. We had a blizzard on Sunday– a real one. All of this snow is giving me a new appreciation for grasses that stand up in winter. The photo above shows the ‘Northwind’ switchgrass standing strong with about 8″ of snow at the base.
The photos below show the same plants with about 15″ of snow at their base. I have other grasses in my garden, but none of them seem to hold up like these. What use is a floppy grass if you can’t appreciate it in the winter?
Grasses that stand up in winter are something to be appreciated, quite honestly, all year long. Their vertical punctuation in an otherwise flat landscape is exactly what is needed.
These plants are in just their second winter and I am already getting ready to order more. I purchased these from Bluestone Perennials and they’ve been strong from the start. The Bluestone site describes ‘Northwind’:
2014 Perennial Plant Association’s Plant of the Year. Tall, strongly erect ornamental grass. Pillars of olive blue-green blades provide strong vertical form – great as an accent or in a row for screening. Airy panicles of yellow seed heads crown the blades at bloom time. Turns a warm tan-yellow in the fall.
Panicum Northwind supplies an ideal wildlife habitat providing shelter and food for songbirds. Tolerates both wet and dry conditions. Switch Grass gets its name from the calming swishing sound produced with a gentle breeze. This tough ornamental grass is deer resistant, will grow near black walnut trees and even tolerates salt spray near the ocean and road salt.
What do you think, is it time to add some grasses that stand up in winter to your garden? Are there others that you love? I would be happy to try more!