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Need help have 1 acre front yard sandy zone 5

Posted by fluffygrrrl 5 (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 17, 13 at 22:59

I live in Mid Michigan zone 5, and wish I could find a place that has grasses planted together, so I could get ideas. Can anyone recommend any websites that have pictures of large gardens with them planted enmasse? Most online nurseries just show closeups of the grass so you really can't picture what it would look like.

I just bought a place in the country that has a huge front yard. The soil is very sandy, and it hardly has any grass growing in it. I was thinking about buying 50 plug trays of different grasses, but don't know which ones to choose that would be complementary. Thought about an upright like "northwind'or karl foerster" a vase shape like morning light",a mounding variety like "karley rose", since that grows so quickly.
I was thinking about growing waves of different varieties of lavender since it grows so well in poor soil.

I have a greenhouse, so I thought I'd get them started now, and then plant later on.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Need help have 1 acre front yard sandy zone 5

Bluestem, linked below, has a wonderful website with many pictures of mass plantings of grasses. In addition they have tons of good information on growing grasses in cool climates.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bluestem Grass-Scapes

RE: Need help have 1 acre front yard sandy zone 5

Thanks Donn, I really appreciate your help.

RE: Need help have 1 acre front yard sandy zone 5

Hey fluffygrrrl, I live in auburn hills and have mass plantings of carl forrester several groupings of misscanthis some bamboo groves all togather 50 different varietys of grasses all on about 2.5 acres of land. you ar so much welcome to come and check it out late spring or early summer. Randy (tootall)

RE: Need help have 1 acre front yard sandy zone 5

If you want a truly maintenance free garden I would suggest that you choose grasses that are REALLY drought tolerent or ..... plant all together groups of those that might require additional water. Miscanthus & Calamagrostis are not the happiest grasses when grown on really sandy soil in really dry years. Once established, pennisetums should do fairly well. Panicums, Little Blue Stem & a few others will actually excel in a location like you describe! Lavender would definitely be a good companion plant. You might also consider Perovskia and any of the Amsonias.
I LOVE the kind of landscaping that you are contemplating - for ideas & pictures you should try & find a book called Bold & Romantic Gardens by American landscapers, Ohme & VanSweden. They do some fantastic things with grasses & mass planting. Another garden to look at is the John W. Nason Garden at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania (the picture is from thier web site.)
In the attached link check out the Darien garden & the Kendale Farm garden.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ohme & vanSweden Garden Design

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