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Pampas grass suffered bad press for a few years, following the trend of having them as lone plants in the middle of the lawn. They are now back in fashion, although this time they are firmly back in the border, planted alongside the swaying flower-heads of other ornamental grasses. 'Pumila' is a charming dwarf form that only reaches 1.5m (5ft) high. This may not sound very dwarf but, compared to the towering heights that other pampas grasses reach, it certainly qualifies for this description. Grow in any well-drained soil in a sunny position. Plants are best tidied annually to keep them free from debris which otherwise builds up and chokes out new growth. The plumes can be cut and dried for flower arranging, but are superb left in the garden where they look lovely rimed with frost in the winter. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Plant type: Hardy perennial
Flower colour: White
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Feature: Attractive seed-heads
Sun exposure: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline
Skill level: Beginner
Time to divide plants: February to April
Flowering period: August to August
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