Native Grasses

native grasses in vasesI've spent the last few weeks cutting sheafs of warm-season native grasses. Several years ago we converted much of the open pastureland from fescue to native grasses and wildflowers. The intent was to attract wildlife to the property. The grasses grow tall, forming clumps near the ground which birds like quail enjoy for nesting purposes. It was my husband's idea to market the grasses. I cut and bundle them and hang them upside down to dry, just like our lavender. After a few weeks, the grasses can be displayed in a vase for a striking floral arrangement.

Among the selections at the farm are native little bluestem, big bluestem, and switchgrass. At maturity, little bluestem (andropogon scoparius) has cool-looking seed heads that resemble wheat. Native grasses add interest to the landscape because they are ever-changing. Tender green shoots emerge in the spring. These quickly give way to shooting stalks that dance and sway in the wind. The colors can change from green to red to golden brown, depending on the variety of grass.

I will be selling these sheafs at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market this Saturday. Just in time for decorating for fall...