Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sheep's Fescue - A Natural Beauty

Ah! Consider the pastoral life of sheep, wandering wherever they may and ruminating on the beauties of nature – mostly the grass.

Unfortunately, many people don’t think often about the beauty of grass except in lawns and golf courses. Gardeners are discovering, however, that hundreds of grass species stand out as ornamental beauties.

Sheep’s Fescue (Festuca ovina var. glauca) is one of them. It is native to many parts of Europe and Asia. I’ve but one inkling of why it was called Sheep’s Fescue; sheep seemed to like it.

The most common form is green. Leaf blades are stiff, wiry, and grow in dense, evergreen clumps six inches to twelve inches tall. The flowers are white, light and graceful. Sheep’s Fescue became most popular, however, when blue-bladed forms were discovered.

Sheep’s Fescue is popular with gardeners because:

  • It’s beautiful;
  • It thrives in USDA climate zones 4 through 10;
  • It grows in full sun or partial shade;
  • It’s drought-tolerant;
  • It grows in poor soil;
  • It requires very little maintenance.
Consequently, it is perfect for xeriscaping, massed planting as ground cover, low borders, accent planting, edging and container gardens. You can’t say all that about your typical lawn grass.

With lovely plantings of low-maintenance Sheep’s Fescue, you might find yourself ruminating more on the beauties of nature.

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