Kiss My Grass!

As winter approaches we are always thinking of ways of ensuring our garden to continues to look fabulous, even if the show stopping herbaceous flowers may have lost their bloom. One of our favourite plants to include in our garden designs are grasses which look wonderful all year round but look almost magical in winter when gloved in frost. If you want to include some new grasses in your garden read on to find out some of our favourites…

1. Carex buchananii

One of our favourite grasses, we have lots of it in our garden as it looks great all year round and provides graceful clumps of warm, bronzed leaves. It likes to self seed to keep on top of the seedlings if you don’t want it to spread (although they are easy to pot on and pass to friends.)

2. Stipa tenuissima

We just love the wispy, fluffiness of stipa tenuissima. We have it planted in our troughs mixed with lavenders, hostas and heucheras adding a wonderful softness to the planting. They look amazing mass planted too.

3. Pennisetum alopecuroides

You can’t beat Pennisetum for their fluffly flower heads which you can’t resist touching as you wander past. A real tactile addition to the garden. Be careful what variety you choose, especially if you are up in Scotland like us as some are not fully hardy. ‘Hameln’ is a good one which will suit most gardens.

Pennisetum add amazing form and structure

4. Molinia ‘Edith Dudszus’

Another great grass, we have mounds of this in our own front garden. It provides a wonder graceful, green mounds for large parts of the year but we love the bronzed colour as it goes into winter. A quick haircut after winter and she is ready for another year ahead.

5. Hakenochloa macra ‘Aurea’

This grass creates wonderful dense mounds of golden leaves which turn buff in autumn and is great mass planted as an edge to a border for full effect. Although this is a deciduous grass it looks fabulous 10 months of the year so it is a worthy addition.


The graceful arching leaves of the hakenochloa

6. Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’

A wonderful grass that doesn’t get too big and works well in containers too. It’s wispy flowers are a wonderful addition to the border.  The textured leaf blades are edged in white and creates a feel of inner light.

7. Deschampsia despitosa ‘Goldtau’

Another great compact grass for the border which has blonde flower heads which erupt over a compact base of evergreen foliage. The seed heads turn bronze and are a great addition to the winter border, especially covered in frost.

8. Briza media

We love the tiny hanging flowers which look a bit like tiny bugs or lockets hanging from the leaves. Very delicate. The evergreen leaves are dark green and tinged with purple. Be warned though, this grass does self seed like crazy so you need to be sure you like it before you add it to your garden!

For advice on introducing more grasses to your garden that suit your climate and garden style please get in touch.

Best wishes

All at Vialii


Vialii’s Top 10 Plants For A Winter Border

Winter is definitely here but as we explained in our recent blog “Winter Wonderland” it doesn’t mean that your garden should look any less attractive. Different plants look great in winter for different reasons, whether it be their foliage, berries, stems or flowers. In this blog we have listed our top ten plants for a winter border…

Gardens can still be interesting in winter

Gardens can still be interesting in winter

Mahonia × media ‘Charity’

The spiny leaves of this shrub are attractive but it’s the yellow, beautifully scented flowers that make this shrub a must for winter.

Helleborus niger (Christmas Rose)

We love hellebores and the white flowers of the niger are particularly attractive, nodding above the attractive foliage.

Hamamelis × intermedia (Witch Hazel)

The witch hazel provides wonderful colours through Autumn but it’s winter when you will get the beautiful yellowy orange, fragrant flowers.

Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’ (Red Barked Dogwood)

The red stems of the dogwood make a wonderfully eye-catching feature in a winter border. Mass plant for full effect.

Skimmia x confusa ‘Kew Green’

The shiny green leaves and gently scented flowers are a great addition to a winter garden. Plant alongside a female plant and she will reward you with berries too.

Frost on evergreens

Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’

“Bod Dawn” as she is known to us is a lovely addition to the garden. A vigorous shrub with lovely pink flowers over winter.

Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’

Another fragrant joy for the garden over winter, the daphne also has pretty flowers and foliage.

Sarcococca confusa (Sweet Box)

The sarcococca is a beautiful evergreen shrub but make sure you plant it somewhere you can take full advantage of its lovely scent. Lovely black fruit follows on from the flowers.

Carex buchananii

Grasses are wonderful additions to the winter garden, especially when they are covered in frost. We love the bronzed colour of the buchananii and its graceful clumped shape. Mass plant for effect. We love them planted around the base of Betula jacquemontii (silver birch) trees.

Corylus contorta (Contorted Hazel)

The contorted hazel looks wonderful all year round with its catkins in Spring and lovely crinkly foliage over Summer. But for us it looks best in winter when you can truly appreciate its magical contorted structure.

Corylus contorta comes to life in winter

Corylus contorta comes to life in winter

So with all these pretty flowers, interesting stems and beautiful scents you will be tempted back out into the garden over winter. Just make sure you have winter woollies on your Christmas list!

We are signing off now for the festive period but thank you for reading our posts in 2013 and we will be back in 2014 with lots of interesting articles on gardens. In the meantime we would like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Warmest wishes,

All at Vialii