It has been a gorgeous spring here in North Carolina and we have been working hard to source materials for our quickly-filling schedule of landscape installations! This means spending a lot of time at a lot of nurseries checking out the plant material and making sure we are choosing the highest quality plants available for our clients. (Want to learn how to hire us? Go here.) It’s so important that we start with high-quality materials to give our installations the best start to success. While we’ve been scoping all the best plants, we wanted to share one that has jumped out at us this spring.
We have found a realllyyy good looking ornamental grass in the nurseries this spring that stays a bit smaller and provides an amazing border or edging plant. It’s the ‘Cool As Ice’ blue fescue or Festuca x ‘Cool As Ice’. This grass reaches 12-18 inches tall, making it the perfect height for including in your beds that are close to the house where shorter plants are usually more desirable. The grass blades are soft shade of blue-green that provide contrast to the greener plants in your landscape. Thin, fine leaves give this grass a super soft, fluffy look that makes us just want to run our fingers through them!
Ornamental grasses are an often underused choice of plant material for landscaping but we’re obsessed with them! They provide so much texture and movement in the landscape during the growing season and also leave architectural interest through the winter as they dry. There’s just nothing like them.
Here’s a quick rundown of the growing conditions and maintenance needs for this plant:
- Sunlight: Full sun or partial shade
- Soil: Well-drained but moist soil; does not tolerate extreme droughts
- Watering: Water through establishment; water during drought periods once established
- Pruning: Remove old, faded leaves in the late winter before new leaves emerge
- Fertilization: Fertilize in the spring
If you’re looking for a replacement for all that liriope in your landscape or have a place where you need that softer texture added to your landscape, we would definitely recommend choosing this cultivar of blue fescue! We just installed these over the weekend at our installation so if you follow along on Instagram, you may have seen them make an appearance!