This time of year, the garden is getting tired of the heat and lack of water. However, there is one standout feature in many Cape Cod landscapes that is just about to come into its glory. Ornamental grasses are resilient and tough and will begin to take center stage come August and September. Their airy plumes and various shades of golden and burgundy fall foliage bring texture and feeling into any garden.
Panicum virgatum, aka Switchgrass, is a fantastic ornamental grass that once inhabited the prairies of North America. Since many of us are becoming more conscientious of our garden choices, we realize planting natives can be a huge benefit not only for pollinators and wildlife but also for the low-maintenance and low-environmental impact in our unique ecosystem.
This native grass has many features that can’t be beat. It can tolerate a wide range of soil types from sandy to clay, dry and can even take occasional flooding. If the soil is too rich, it may even flop! It preforms best in full sun, but can tolerate part shade as long as you can tolerate the more open growth habit.