Bamboos and grasses are unmissable in the garden and add a soft element, rustling and swaying in the wind. In general they are extremely hardy. Not all bamboos are spreaders; the non-clumping types will grow slowly like any other plant and are extremely suitable as solitaries or as hedge-plants. The spreading types can be absolutely stunning but need containing. However, nothing is as evocative of the tropics as, say a mature Phyllostachys. Besides bamboo, giant grasses such as Miscanthus and Cortaderia (pampus grass) and Phormium can also be used as focal points, whereas the frosty blues of the Festucca or the fiery red of the Imperata, for example, will lend colour and depth in your garden.

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