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Summer Foliage: Grasses

This late in summer, there are so many beautiful grasses you can grow to add to bouquets and arrangements. I love to include summer grasses as foliage in my bouquets. Grasses, seed pods, and grains add another texture to arrangements and bouquets that can highlight their dimension and whimsy.

You may wonder why I choose to grow specific grasses rather than go into my backyard and cut down what is already growing there. I choose to grow specific grains and grasses because I know that I will not be spreading invasive seed. I know what I am growing in designated spaces on the farm and know that it will not spread. If I were to cut down grass seed heads from my yard and use them in bouquets, I could spread invasive seed.

A bouquet wrapped in kraft paper with dahlias, rudbeckia, snapdragons, zinnias, and Frosted Explosion

One of my favorite grasses to grow is Frosted Explosion. I grow this fun and airy grass from seed and plant it out in the late spring after the danger of frost has passed.

A bucket of flowers such as sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, snapdragons, and garden phlox with Frosted Explosion

I harvest at the base of the plant where the grass stems connect. Harvest in the early morning or the cool of the evening. Harvest into a clean bucket with clean, cool water. At the end of the growing season, I try to collect seeds from grass that has gone to seed.

A bouquet with fall colors of dahlias, zinnias, Mahogany Splendor, and Frosted Explosion

I walked around the farm and documented other grasses growing to demonstrate that many grasses are invasive.

Invasive: Giant Foxtail Invasive: Knotweed Not Invasive: Purple Top

While there are many beautiful grasses growing along the sides of roads and in unmowed places, make sure you know what you are harvesting before you incorporate it into arrangements or dry it.

Some other grasses and grains that I am interested in growing this year are Bunny Tails, Feathertop, Greater Quaking Grass, and Green Drops.

This post is part of a year-long series on flowers and plants that we love and grow on the farm. Check out other flowers that we love.


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