Garden Photo of the Day

Grasses and Other Fall Beauties

Highlights from a Pennsylvania garden

close up of pink ornamental grasses

Today we’re in the garden of Thomas Mrazik in Worcester, Pennsylvania.

Here is a photo from my home garden meadow, Goodly Gardens (Zones 6/7). In the midst of fall the maturing features or ornamental grasses produce an abundance of soft, ever-changing color swatches and textures.

close up of pink ornamental grassesIn front is Muhlenbergia capillaris (pink hair grass, Zones 7–10) in peak bloom. Behind it and to the left is Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem, Zones 3–9), now with its maturing foliage color of mahogany red. To the right is Calamagrotis brachytricha (Korean feather grass, Zones 4–9). Having bloomed several weeks ago, the flowers are turning from pink to white, and the foliage is beginning to streak yellow.

ornamental grasses in the garden in summerThis view of the garden, with the grasses still in their summer colors, shows every shade of green.

close up of large, purple Russian sage plantA cloud has formed of lavender flowers from Russian sage (Salvia yangii, Zones 5–9), which is a durable, drought-tolerant perennial with flowers beloved by bees.

close up of Ratibida columniferaRatibida columnifera (Zones 4–9) is a perennial native to the plains of North America; its distinctive yellow daisies with a very long central cone bloom pretty much all summer and into fall. Individual plants can be a bit short-lived but will often self-seed when happy.

close up of bright blue ironwood flowersIronweed (Vernonia noveboracensis Zones 5–8) is a North American native perennial that towers 5 feet or more and is topped by clusters of purple flowers that are a food source for a wide range of pollinators.

various ornamental grasses in the gardenIt is amazing how much color and interest you can get from grasses, and they are, for the most part, easy to grow and drought tolerant.

close up of Korean feather grass in bloomWhen the blooms are fresh, Korean feather grass blushes gently pink.

close up of ornamental grass in fall colorsThe details of ornamental grasses reward close inspection. Here the green mixes with red, orange, and tan as autumn arrives.

If you want to see more from Thomas, check out some articles he’s written for Fine Gardening.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 11/07/2022

    Love your grasses but especially love the Ratibida.

    1. user-7982608 11/09/2022

      What a pleasant garden surprise. I've moved it about into a number of my other beds. So, unique and an active grower. Thom

  2. User avater
    cynthia2020 11/07/2022

    Tom - thanks for sharing!
    Do you you remove the dead grass in the spring?

    1. user-7982608 11/09/2022

      Thank you. Meadow stays up all winter - 4th garden season. Cut all down early March. Cool season grasses start back up in April. Thom

  3. fromvirginia 11/07/2022

    Lovely variety of plant material,

  4. User avater
    simplesue 11/07/2022

    Your whole garden is beautiful, but wow that first photo with the Pink Hair grass in a group with the other grasses is so eye catching!

    1. user-7982608 11/09/2022

      Yes. With little bluestem turning red-mahogony color and Korean feather reed. Stunning color blends. Thom

  5. user-7392754 11/07/2022

    You certainly have found unique and beautiful grasses to compliment the perennials! Really nice!!!

    1. user-7982608 11/09/2022

      Thank you. Its taken me 4 years to figure out how to get the meadow's right colors, structure and combinations. It's like painting ! Thom

    2. user-7982608 11/09/2022

      Thank you. Its taken some time to learn - but, I now grow about 2 dozen ornamental grasses. They are so pretty and long lasting. Thom

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