Best grass??

Asked February 28, 2016, 1:16 PM EST

I am just wondering what you think the best type of ornamental grass is for the front of a house that gets part Sun to full Sun? I live in Denver Colorado.

Denver County Colorado

1 Response

If I were choosing an ornamental grass for the front of my house, I would measure the height of any windows, determine the direction the front of the house faces (north, south, east, or west), factor in how much water will be available, and, finally, consider the overall 'style' of the house (bungalow, tudor, mid-century modern, etc.).
A grass that is very adaptable - and for that reason, frequently planted - is Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'). It's an upright grass that grows about 4.0' tall and 2.0' wide. For a bolder statement, there are the Maiden Grasses (Miscanthus spp.) that come in many different forms. They all get bigger than the Feather Reed, make a dramatic statement, and need moderate water. If your site is on the west side of your house and receives partial sun in the afternoon, it might be hot and dry once the sun hits. The ornamental form of our native blue grama grass called Blonde Ambition Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition') might work in that case. It takes very low water once established and forms a 2-3' clump.
There are so many great ornamental grasses on the market these days, it's hard to pick just one. You might want to bring a photo of your site into an independent garden center and talk to them about the selections they sell.
Here's a link to a helpful fact sheet on Ornamental Grasses: http://http//extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/ornamental-grasses-7-232/