There is no lawn to mow in our gravelly garden but there are grasses. Not the sweeping vistas of grasses that are sometimes used in garden design but individual clumps scattered throughout.
One of my favorites is the ruby crystal grass, Melinus nerviglumis, with its pink puffs of seed heads It mixes well with the Mexican feather grass, Stipa tenuissima. Melinus maintains its green color throughout the season, flowering several times, whereas feathergrass takes on buff tones after producing its seeds. Despite their propensity to reseed in great numbers they are a valuable asset in the landscape.
In the past I have had little success with the burgundy fountain grass in the ground. This year I decided to grow the plant in a pot where it receives regular water. Success at last.
I can never understand why lemon grass, Cymbopogon, is so expensive to buy in the store. Although not hardy through the winter here it quickly grows from a four inch pot into an enormous plant. It did survive the mild winter last year and I found a much better spot for it to grow. Alongside the potting shed where it is welcome to the sandy gravel below. I think it makes a carefree stand.
Among the more diminutive grasses Festuca glauca, is a favorite and easily grown from seed.
I am on the lookout for more grasses for my garden. I don't mind if they reseed but they must be pretty carefree of their surroundings. Having said that no Miscanthus please. I have one in the sunken garden which I cannot get rid of. We have pulled up the paving to get to the roots but still it comes back. Let me know if you have ideas.