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Bressingham Gardens – 2 – Using Grasses.



In this second report of our visit to the gardens at Bressingham I am going to look at the use of grasses throughout the gardens. As the batch of shots below illustrate, grasses here are beautifully integrated into the mixed borders and enhance their partners’ attributes. The grasses add movement, sound and an element of delicacy to the whole garden.

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The Bloms family created the gardens here at Bressingham not only to show the use of perennials and grasses but also coniferous evergreens. It is here they display all the many new cultivars of grasses and perennial herbaceous plants that they have bred over the decades. They also pioneered the use of island beds in garden design where for the first time herbaceous borders were designed to be seen from all around and the island beds of plantings were designed to be islands within seas of lawn.

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Grasses especially varieties and cultivars of Miscanthus are an integral part of the gardens here including the island beds. There is a large collection of Miscanthus which impressed and delighted me as it is a grass family that I love to see and love to use in our garden. It is a great multi-season group of plants.

Here are a few shots of the Miscanthus collection, but it was hard to do justice with the camera to illustrate the subtle variations in colour, height texture and growth habits of these grasses, the colours in all the different flowers and the leaf stripes and variegations.

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Using grasses in clumps, blocks, rivers and ribbons adds drama to the garden, but equally a single specimen partnered with a shrub, tree or herbaceous plant can increase the aesthetic value of both the grass and its partner.

Here are a couple of ideas seen at Bressingham using grasses in ribbons and rivers.

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We enjoyed finding effective planting partnerships involving grasses with other classes of plant.

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We came away full of new ideas and a list of Miscanthus we look forward to adding to our Avocet patch.