A Winter Wonderland, by Heather Wendt

'Tis the season for staying inside, drinking hot cocoa by the fire and dreaming of springtime gardens in bloom. It is also the season to remember and appreciate why we have included certain native plants in our landscapes. What plants am I talking about on this cold, snowy day? Well grasses of course. If you have ever heard one of my Heritage Garden presentations you know I always talk about adding plants that add structure to your landscape. Plants that will stand up and say “look at me” long after the last bloom has faded from your garden. Consider incorporating native grasses into your garden to provide an important seed source and habitat for wildlife and year-round beauty and interest.

Winter Transformations


 Indian Ricegrass

Indian Ricegrass

Now is the time to give proper appreciation to native grasses like Indian Ricegrass. In the summer, its light feathery seed heads wave delicately in the wind.

But when the harshness of winter sets in, frost and snow coat this delicate plant and turn it into a winter delight.


 Bluebunch Wheatgrass

Bluebunch Wheatgrass

Not to be outdone is Bluebunch Wheatgrass, this sturdy erect grass provides the perfect medium to showcase winter’s frost. 


 Sand Dropseed

Sand Dropseed

Sand Dropseed takes a bow in front of a delighted audience while it showcases its signature “swoop”  as I call it; head gentle bowed to the side as stems try to hold up the abundance of seed heads made heavier by a hearty coating of snow and ice.