WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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exist in your garden — whether a shady area, a moist or dry spot, or a bare patch that needs coverage — there is a suitable ornamental grass. They can also be used for screening. If you simply want to enhance your autumnal colors, a good selec- tion would be Japanese silver grass, Miscanthus sinensis, of which there are many cultivars to choose. It brings lumi- nosity to the garden with large and small sizes to suit. Fall foliage is golden brown to intense fiery colors topped with feathery plumes of flowers. Fountain grass, Pennisetum, has some of the most eye-catching flowers that persist well into autumn with colors ranging from creamy whites, reds, and pinks, to blacks and browns atop fall foliage that is streaky yellow gradually fading to a pale straw color in winter. The switch grasses, Panicum, although native to our prairie lands, are quite versatile. With an upright form its flowers are showy, and the fall foliage is a strong, bright yellow or, depending on the cultivar, it can be a bright red-orange. Another prairie native is blue grama grass, Bouteloua gracilis. 'Blonde Ambition' is the one to look for with finely textured bluish-gray foliage topped by chartreuse flowers that turn into blonde seed heads as they mature. Another native to consider is little bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium, with stunning bronzy orange foli- age topped by feathery plumes. Most grasses prefer a sunny site and are drought tolerant. Maintenance is easy: simply cut them back any time from late autumn to early spring before new growth emerges, although you might enjoy them for winter interest. As with any perennial, rejuvenation is essential so divide the clump every five to seven years. Spring is the best time to plant, but now is the time to decide which ones you want for your garden. So visit your favorite garden center soon and make a list. You won't be disappointed when these versatile plants grace your garden. Happy fall and good gardening! RUTH FURMAN is a Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist (MCH). She trained in horticulture in England and spent many happy years working and gardening there. To reach Ms. Furman, email her at: Ruth@wellesleywestonmagazine.com. R U T H F U R M A N Grasses complement seasonal flowers and provide a strong structural element to the landscape 22 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 8 the green scene "grasses prefer a sunny site"

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