Ornamental Grasses: Picture This Photo Contest entry

We gardeners who love ornamental grasses may find autumn, their primary blooming season, to be our favorite time of year. I do love autumn. However, I’m choosing a spring-bloomer, Mexican feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima), for my entry in this month’s Picture This Photo Contest over at Gardening Gone Wild. I just can’t resist its sunny-haired, breezy, softening presence amid colorful salvias in this springtime Hill Country-style garden. (For more pics of this beautiful native-plant garden, visit my post about Austin’s Gardens on Tour 2009.)

Although I’ve chosen the first photo as my official entry, I couldn’t resist showing some fall-blooming grasses as well. We can never have too many pictures of beautiful grasses, can we? I spotted these toasty pennisetums in the Circle Garden at Chicago Botanic Garden in October 2007. I absolutely adore their bottlebrush inflorescences.

Also at Chicago Botanic Garden, on Evening Island, these flame grasses (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Purpurascens’) set my heart on fire. Just look at them! They stood 6 feet tall, and you walked through the billowing, waving mass as if through the parted Red Sea, full of awe and amazement.

Last but not least, here is a mix of native and exotic grasses hissing in a cool, north wind at the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, Texas. From front to back, there’s Gulf Coast muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris), purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum), and, I think, Lindheimer muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri).

Grasses are so photogenic, especially in the morning or evening light. I look forward to seeing everyone’s favorites in the contest.

All material © 2006-2009 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

posted in Grasses, Photography

22 Responses

  1. Phillip says:

    I think you have a winner on your hands. That is lovely!

  2. Diana says:

    Nice shot. I had to go back to your archived post to figure out which garden this photo was from, I couldn’t quite place it. Reading your post, it came right back to me, but I felt like the plants were spaced further apart on that side. It was a beautiful garden, and your picture will make a great entry.

  3. Gail says:

    That first shot is a winner! I love that you’ve captured the movement that makes grasses so delightful in a garden. gail

  4. Mary Delle says:

    Your photos are wonderful. In some you got some great color contrasts in the grass heads. Do submit them!

  5. Chris G says:

    Great pic Pam – I’m sure it’s going to be a winner. I just love the grasses and bloomers. Very stunning.

  6. These pictures are beautiful. Grasses are one of those plantings that many overlook when designing a landscape. You make such great use of them Pam. What a lovely texture they add.

  7. Jean says:

    Love all the photos Pam but I remember the garden in that first photo and how much I loved the look of those grasses.

  8. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Good luck Pam. I love those big “flame” plumes.

  9. Frances says:

    I think you’ve nailed the movement that Nan was talking about, Pam! A fabulous shot of an amazing garden. Grasses are such good subjects for photos, and such good all purpose plants for the garden too. Nasella is used extensively here, it seems to be able to grow anywhere well. And thanks for the reminder of Chicago, pleasant memories indeed. :-)

  10. Your opening shot is a stunner. Somehow I never think of grasses as putting on a show in that season. Guess there is a lesson to be learned here.

  11. Les says:

    In your second photo I think I spotted Black Fountain Grass (maybe ‘Moudry’) – avoid planting this one, every seed is fertile. I got some for my garden when we grubbed out a grass bed at work. After it started coming up everywhere, through everything, I pulled it out. It took about 6 years for me to get rid of it all.

    I really like your offical photo, but am fond of the colors in the last shot as well.

  12. Jenny says:

    I like your choice. You certainly captured the essence of the garden which was my favorite. Those wonderful grasses wafting in the breeze.

  13. Chookie says:

    Great pictures! Also reminds me that I need to Do Something about some of my ornamental grasses.

  14. Jake says:

    Beautiful pictures! Mexican Feather Grass is one of my favorite grasses. I planted some at my Grandma’s in KY and she loves it.


  15. Teresa says:

    Beautiful photo! Good luck in the contest!

  16. Ditto says:

    Wow! I just want to go frolic in it.

  17. Teresa says:

    Such a great photo! Good luck in the contest!

  18. What a great series of photos. I like your choice for your entry, though — all those sweeping heads of shimmering grass. So beautiful.

  19. It looks like a beautiful painting!

  20. marmee says:

    these are some beautiful shots of grasses…you can tell you really love them. i love the white grass shot…very different.

  21. […] also have a way of adding the appearance of movement to a planting, as in the mixed planting with Mexican feather grass (left) captured by Pam of Digging and the cascade of purple fountain grass by Susie at Poppy and […]