Picture This Photo Contest: “Ornamental Grasses”:


Judge: Nancy J. Ondra

Competition entry

Mexican Feather Grass,

Nassella tenuissima,

catching a tiny breeze and burning brightly courtesy of the final rays of the Central Texas sun in the Patch.  I have lined a couple of my pathways with this grass, it adds so much animation to a garden, requiring only the slightest of breezes to get the show going. It is a great companion planting to anything spiky, yuccas, agaves, sotols, you name it.

The most elegant of grasses.  At least until it’s panicles stick together late in the year and it starts to resemble matted island hair!

Here are a few more shots of my favorite grass (not my entries)…

Mexican Feather Grass

Mexican Feather Grass

Mexican Feather Grass

  • Pam/Digging September 12, 2009, 7:54 pm

    Beautiful images, ESP. As you know, I went with Mexican feathergrass in my entry too. It’s a real winner in Austin gardens, and you use it to stunning effect.

  • ESP September 12, 2009, 8:33 pm

    Thanks Pam. The feather grass is the only grass in my library that had any atmosphere to it, I guess that is one thing this grass has in abundance. They are like the back-up singers of a garden, complimenting just about any adjacent planting, moving and swaying in perfect synchronicity!
    Your picture was amazing as I would expect, it was great to see this grass in such a naturalistic and very “Texas” setting.
    Good luck in the competition Pam.

  • Jean September 21, 2009, 2:09 pm

    You have some lovely photos of one of my favorite grasses. After looking at a few of the photos that have been submitted, I’m awfully glad I’m not having to judge this contest!

  • Linda Steider September 21, 2009, 3:05 pm

    Your photo is quite magical!

  • marmee September 21, 2009, 8:40 pm

    i haven’t seen mexican feather grass before but i love it. it looks so pretty with the sun hitting the feathery ends of the grasses.
    happy september.

  • Melody September 22, 2009, 4:05 pm

    Lovely grass – I wonder if it will grow in North Florida?

  • ESP October 4, 2009, 8:56 pm

    Hi Jean, It is my favorite grass too, though right now, after the rains we have been experiencing, most of these grasses are looking quite nasty, matted and brown, oh well, good grassy things never last forever in their prime unfortunately. I am so happy the shot got a silver! I just found out, I have been in Scotland without any internet access!

    Hi Linda, and thank you, glad you like the shot.

    Marmee, The feather grass is a real winner, especially illuminated with a westerly setting sun, it is one of my favorite ornamental grasses for form and animation. In Central Texas we need such grasses that will move with only the slightest of breezes, it at least offers the illusion of the movement of air!

    Hi Melody, this is one hardy little grass. It does need to be replaced in my experience every so often but it is well worth losing a few for the light-show it puts on every year. I would be shocked if it would not grow in N.Florida, just ensure good drainage. I have mine planted in really poor, mostly decomposed granite soil, and it does well.



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