How to Plant Grass & Flowers


Creating ornamental garden beds and borders in your landscaping requires choosing plants with similar light, soil and water needs. Combining ornamental grasses with flowers adds an additional layer of interest to the garden. When flowers aren't in bloom, the grasses provide visual interest and once the flowers are blooming the grass provides a nice backdrop. Choosing the layout is just as important as choosing the plants so that the garden looks tied together and not overcrowded or bare.

Step 1

Prepare a well-draining bed in full sun for most grasses and flowers. Lay a 3-inch layer of mature compost on top of the bed and till it into a 10-inch depth using a power tiller or hoe.

Step 2

Choose the colors of the flowers and bulbs to complement each other. Add additional interest by choosing grasses with variegated leaf markings in beds with fewer blooms or single-color flowers to add a more textured appearance to the bed.

Step 3

Plant spring blooming bulbs in the back of the bed. Sow bulbs to a depth twice their width in the fall so they are ready to bloom in spring.

Step 4

Plant clumps of tall, mid-season grasses between the bulb plantings. Choose slow-spreading grasses so they don't overtake the entire bed. These will emerge after the bulb flowers fade and help hide the withering bulb foliage in summer.

Step 5

Plant medium-height grasses, such as some hakone grass varieties, in the middle of the bed. Intersperse tall-stemmed annuals such as coneflowers amongst the grass plantings to add color to the arrangement throughout summer.

Step 6

Plant low herbaceous perennials or annuals in front of the beds. Stagger the flowers and grasses so they fill in-between each other and aren't in rigid rows.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Power tiller
  • Hoe
  • Ornamental grasses
  • Bulbs
  • Perennial and annual seedlings


  • Colorado State Extension: Ornamental Grasses
  • University of Tennessee: Ornamental Grasses in the Landscape
Keywords: grass and flower design, ornamental grasses, landscaping with flowers

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.