DUE TO HEAVY SNOWS IN WESTERN KENTUCKY...WIDESPREAD 6 TO 12 INCH SNOWFALL AMOUNTS HAVE HAULTED AREA TRAVEL. ISOLATED 15 INCH AMOUNTS HAVE BEEN REPORTED. DRIFTS UP TO A FOOT AND A HALF HAVE ALSO BEEN REPORTED. THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM SITUATION AND TRAVEL SHOULD BE AVOIDED IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. (National Weather Service)

ornamental-grassOWENSBORO, Ky. (8/13/14) — When we hear the word “grass,” we think of our lawns and the fact that we have to mow it every week.

But there are grasses to plant not for a lawn, but in the flower garden or as a landscape feature.

These are ornamental grasses and come in many heights and forms. The Western Kentucky Botanical Garden has an area with eight different types of grasses. Miscanthus sinensis ‘Cosmopolitan’ is one of the best variegated miscanthus. It has a wider leaf than most ornamental grasses and a very wide vertical white striping throughout the leaf. It grows 4-6 feet in height in full sun or part shade and in almost any soil from sandy to clay and doesn’t require good drainage. The puffy flower heads are plumbs that form in late summer and last up till frost. They work well in dried cut flower arrangements.

Another giant of the grass world is Erianthus ravennae, also known as Ravenna Grass. It is considered to be the best substitute for Pampas Grass for northern regions. It has an upright arching form with gray-green leaves that reach a height of about 5 feet. In late summer the flower spikes extend this height to 8-12 feet. Silvery flower panicles have hints of purple and brighten to white in fall. These can also be used in dried flower arrangements.

Schizachyrium scoparium is the native American grass Little Blue-Stem. This is a prairie grass that forms clumps of pale green, slightly hairy foliage. It grows 3 feet tall and spreads 2 feet in a wide range of soil types. The flowers are pale blue-green, rapidly turning to seed as the plant ages to bronze and orange with the first frost.

Ornamental grasses should be cut down to 4 inches in the spring before new growth appears. These grasses come in many different sizes, forms, and color. They can be used as specimen plants, in the border, around ponds, and as ground covers.

The botanical garden showcases a number of these useful grasses.

Barbara Cecil Russ,
Horiculturist for Western Ky. Botanical Garden

Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

springhour

In Other News...

Muhlenberg County Educator Inducted into Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (3/4/15) — Mary K. Armstrong, a longtime Muhlenberg County educator, was inducted Tuesday into the… Read More

First Kentucky Bank Closed Thursday, March 5

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (3/5/15) — First Kentucky Bank’s Muhlenberg and Ohio County offices will be Thursday, March 5… Read More

Most Read This Week

March 02, 2015 9288

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 25, 2015 8564

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 25, 2015 6381

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
March 03, 2015 5488

Three Arrested during Traffic Stop

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 25, 2015 4345

Local Man Makes Unique Display from Area’s…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 02, 2015 3639

HCSO, MPD Join to Bust Alleged Drug Trafficking…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 16, 2015

UPDATE: State of Emergency Declared for Kentucky

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Stories Trending Today

March 03, 2015 2451

Superintendent: Spring Break Won't be Touched…

in Hopkins News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 05, 2015 2420

State of Emergency Declared for Hopkins County

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Leslie Curneal
March 04, 2015 1369

Highway Crews Dealing with Landsides in…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Keith Todd
March 04, 2015 1243

KSP Warns of Old Scam Resurfacing in the Post 2…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper S. C. Recke
March 04, 2015 956

Adamson Chosen as Madisonville MSU Campus’…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 04, 2015 935

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - March 4, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
March 04, 2015 867

Muhlenberg County Educator Inducted into Kentucky…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by WKU News
March 04, 2015 791

Mental Health Services Expanded at Western…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Steve Beshear
March 04, 2015 760

KYEM Monitoring Another Storm System Headed for…

in General News For All Sites by Monica French
March 04, 2015 742

New Downtown Plaza to Provide Platform for…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News