Ornamental grass adds
a touch of class
THE striped, sometimes coloured, foliage, a minimum need for maintenance and their perennial quality — these are some of the virtues of ornamental grasses and bamboo. Besides, with their different look, they lend an element of contrast to the landscape.
These ‘wonders of nature’ are suitable for almost all kinds of landscaping. For an edge, a border, a hedge, a perfect screen, a ground cover, a miniature hillock plant, an eye-carching cluster at the house entrance or for an indoor dry arrangement or as a bonsai, ornamental grasses and bamboo are the ideal choice. They are admired for elegance, majestic display and distinct look.
Grasses not only have a
varied kind of green, grayish, yellow striped or plain foliage but
some even give beautiful flowering heads. Though not in attractive
colours , collectively these flowering heads look good. Take the
example of lagurus, also known as hare's tail grass, which produces
egg-shaped, extremely soft heads. These could be dried for use in a
dry arrangement. Each head can be coloured and decorated in a vase or
be used in bouquets. They are good for pots or rockeries too.
Bamboo is available in many varieties. It is an essential feature of a Japanese garden There is the yellow bamboo (phyllostachys aurea) with green stripes and vice-versa, black bamboo (phyllostachys nigra), dwarfs, pot-grown bamboo species, staggered forms and curiosity bamboo like Buddha's belly bamboo (bambusa ventricosa), also called pitcher bamboo. The nodes are constricted and round and are close to each other. It seems as if small pitchers have been kept one above another. Not only this, there is a bamboo species, pseudosasa japonica (sorry, no common name), that grows hardly to three to five metres tall and can be grown in shady places. Bamboo is being used by interior decorators as an indoor plant with great success.
Bamboo multiplies through the underground rhizomes that run parallel to the ground, sprouting here and there. Stem cuttings can also be used to multiply it. Almost all bamboo species make excellent pot plants. bamboo needs good amount of watering.
Cut, dried and
longitudinally halved bamboo can be used as a water carrier in the
garden, on bamboo supports. Try it out for yourself.