Add the wow factor to your garden this autumn!

In this week’s Successful Garden Design quick tips video we look at different ways to plant grasses effectively in the garden…

Grouping grasses coming up in drifts throughout the other plants is a great way to incorporate grasses into the garden.

Planting grasses this way helps highlight the striking colours of the autumn-flowering, purple Asters, and the burgundy coloured Sedum, providing contrast and softness with texture.

You can also plant in straight rows if your garden has lots of linear elements like hedges and paths. The grasses again act as highlighters to the elements that are already in the garden.

Learn to design your garden like a pro…

If you’d like to attend the free online garden design class mentioned in the video, go to:



Rachel Mathews
Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 30 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

    6 replies to "Successful Garden Design Tips – Planting with grasses"

    • David

      Won’t the grasses self seed and give a more flowing effect eventually? Otherwise with a bit more effort the clumps could be split up and planted randomly to give this effect.

      • Rachel Mathews

        Hi David,

        Yes, that’s true with a lot of grass varieties, good point!

    • Graham Paul

      Those grasses are beautiful! I’m envious. Sadly for me, stipa tenuissima is illegal in New Zealand — it’s considered a noxious weed. There are alternatives, although I don’t think they’re quite as nice.
      I suspect these blonde grasses look so good because they’re seen against dark backgrounds like dark green hedges, and in contrast with dark foreground plants. I’m planning relatively light-coloured fencing, and I wonder if grasses might not stand out as well in that setting. I’ll have to get a sample grass and hold it up against the fence colour.

      • Rachel Mathews

        Yes, Stipas can be quite invasive in some countries and yes, I agree, there’s nothing that really comes close to the look that tenuissima has…

        You are right that contrast certainly helps show them off. Good luck with your grass choosing!


      Nice video Rachel and like you, I prefer the grasses to be spread out and there are so many types, some of which actually dont appear to be grasses but shrubs BUT may I recommend the books of Piet Oudorf who is a dutch master with grasses.

    • Rachel Mathews

      Hi Janine,

      Good recommendation, I love Piet Oudorf’s work, a true master, as you say!

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