By far, the easiest plants to care for in the garden have to be ornamental grasses. Except for combing them out or cutting them back in the spring and dividing them every few years to keep them healthy, they are totally undemanding. OK, dividing a mature ornamental grass is no picnic. And your mother should have warned you not to fall in love with a grass that runs. But aside from those 2 peccadillos, grasses are a cinch to grow. The hardest part of growing ornamental grasses is choosing just one or two. Too many grasses and your border starts to look like a lawn on steroids.
Which grass to choose is part taste and part good sense. Here are the criteria I use to choose what type of ornamental grass would make sense for a garden. The taste part is harder to qualify. Do you want a fountain or a haystack? A border or a specimen? A grass to soften a formal garden or a splash of color? Purple fountain grass, black Mondo grass or golden Hakonechloa? That's the hard part.
Photo: © Marie Iannott. Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Strictus')