This article has been written by Rachel McLeod for Planting Works.
As our Indian summer was drawing to a close and the cold mornings had arrived, we visited Knoll Gardens. Whilst the once glorious Echinacea were fading away graciously, there was an abundance of plants to feast your eyes on in the gardens.Renowned for their specialist range of ornamental grasses, including Pennisetum, Stipa, Arundo, Carex, Cortaderia and Miscanthus the planting areas show these off in abundance. Huge swathes of grasses planted with flowering herbaceous perennials add texture, depth and bursts of colour. The grasses, with their variations in colour, shape and texture, fuse the garden together in a way that draws the eye of the visitor. Oriental grasses are very understated until you look further at their detail and you will see tufts, feathers, brushes, spikes, pompoms and even tassels reaching high from beds and borders or framing and softening mid height plants. Drought tolerant and hardy against the worst of the weather they are a low maintenance requisite in any garden and are happy grown in containers for smaller gardens and patios.
Look amongst the grasses and you will see tantalizing bursts of colour from the flowering perennials. The graceful Gauras dance ballerina like among the grasses and the golden yellow Rudbeckia gleam above the grass stems
Stand out Oxeye daisies reveal their bright faces and the formations of delicate Persicaria spires burst with red and pink. The vibrancy and textures of the planting provide a sheer haven for wildlife with bees and butterflies in abundance. As you walk around the gardens you can’t help but notice the meadow like feel of the naturalistic planting which compliment the well established plants and trees. A fabulous Ginkgo Biloba stands elegantly beside the natural planting approach as do a variety of well established and familiar shrubs from Hydrangea to Rosemary and Viburnum to Wisteria.
The ornate Lima Apiculate or myrtle showcases its awesome colouration and profile as do the Eucalyptus and Catalpa Bignonioides, Indian bean tree. The overall effect produces season round interest which is both enchanting and inspiring.