Ornamental grasses currently at their peak in Ontario gardens

Most ornamental grasses are currently at their peak in Ontario landscapes.  The large variety of sizes, colors and shapes available continues to expand every season.  Here are some that I have admired recently…

The first ornamental grass pictured is an annual in my Ontario climate, meaning it is not winter hardy and will die as soon as frost hits it.  It must be replaced each spring so I like to use it in a container instead of in the garden.

The other ornamental grasses pictured are perennials, returning each year bigger and better than the previous year.  They can be cut back to a few inches from the ground in the late fall if you wish.  If you like the look of the fronds blowing in the wind and snow over the winter (the birds love them!) leave the cutting back until the early spring before new growth appears.  If the clumps gets too large they can be divided in the spring.

Most are drought tolerant and low maintenance making them increasingly popular in landscapes for busy people.  Now is a good time to plant new ones, allowing the roots to get established before the ground freezes.  This time of year brings good reductions in prices too as nurseries like to clear out their stock before the winter.

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