Books on Ornamental Grasses
Reviewed by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

I own several books on ornamental grasses. Many of these books are reviewed below (in alphabetical order).

For Your Garden: Ornamental Grasses, by Rick Darke. Friedman/Fairfax Publishers. 1994. 72 pages. Trade Paperback.
This is one of the best books for illustrating how to work ornamental grasses into your landscape. It is short on text but long on really great photographs of grasses in the garden. Many books have excellent close-ups of individual grasses. This is the book to buy for ideas on how grasses will look with your other plants.

Gardening with Grasses, by Michael King and Piet Oudolf. Timber Press. 1996. 152 pages. Hardback.
This book is highly recommended. It is a great introduction to growing ornamental grasses. It has a great selection of photographs and very useful text. Recommendations are made for grasses suitable for situations such as small spaces, large spaces, mass plantings, ground covers, etc. It concludes with a twenty-five page encyclopedia of grasses, with a description of the grass, including mature size and suitable zones.

Ornamental Grasses: Design, Ideas, Uses & Varities, by Thomas A. Reinhardt, Martina Reinhardt, and Mark Moskowitz. Photography by Derek Fell. Friedman/Fairfax Publishers. 1995.
I like this book. The text covers the basics, and there is a nice balance in the pictures between close-ups of individual grasses and pictures of the grasses as part of the overall garden scheme. It is not as comprehensive as some of the other books, but it is as satisfying as a good loaf of homemade bread.

Ornamental Grasses, by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. 1988. 104 pages. Paperback.
This book is Handbook #117 of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It is a collection of articles by various authors. Some color photos, but many line drawing. Suffers from a lack of an index.

Step-by-Step Ornamental Grasses, by Peter Loewer. Better Homes and Gardens Books. 1995. 132 pages. Trade Paperback.
This is a very useful book for anyone beginning to grow ornamental grasses. The text is very satisfying and the pictures are well done. I turn to this book often. Lots of pictures and a very nice encyclopedia of ornamental grasses, with small photos of each entry, a nice description and height and zone info. Highly recommended.

Last revised October 17, 1998

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