Tall Autumn Grasses

tall grass

It was a fall evening some years ago, just before the golden hour (my favourite time of the day). My friend Laura was headed out to Humber Nurseries to take some photos in their private garden and offered to take me along. Not one to forgo a chance to get out of the city or into private gardens, I went along and took with me my digital and one film camera.

greenhouse tall grass

And then the film sat around for 4 years. These are a few of the images I took that day.

tall grass

Grasses have a magical way of capturing the light and holding it inside them. Especially at the end of the day when the sky is warm and golden, and especially in the fall when they are reaching their feathery plumage into the sky.

tall grass

I am not terribly knowledgable when it comes to grasses. I know well the handful or so that I have grown, and there is too my one true grass love Panic Grass (Panicum virgatum) aka Switch Grass (I have one in my current garden). Many of the grasses captured in these photos are varieties of the very tall and sometimes imposing Miscanthus sinensis.

tall grass tall grass

I have this one marked as Spodiopogon sibiricus.


If you’re looking for solid, introductory information on incorporating grasses into your garden and inspiring ways to incorporate them into its design, I recommend a book I’ve had on my shelf for some time, “Grasses: Versatile Partners for Uncommon Garden Design” by Nancy J. Ondra.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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3 thoughts on “Tall Autumn Grasses

  1. Beautiful photos. I can’t count the number of times my mom took me on impromptu 5 minute bike rides growing up to go take pictures of grass and shadows before the golden hour passed. It’s something I miss now, living in a city where all the grass is two inches tall; my partner isn’t nearly as enamoured with tall grasses and golden light as my mom was(and still is), certainly not so crazy about that light that he would embark on a possibly-life-threatening, half-hour bike ride out of the city on the main roads, just to look at grass. And it’s just not the same experience when you have to take a car.

  2. Stunning photos! I can’t count the number of photos I’ve taken of grasses in the late afternoon sun….

  3. I love ornamental grasses! I started incorporating them into my yard last year. They have a certain elegance in the way the wind feathers through the plumage so very softly.

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