Best of the bunch: Stipa giganta

Stipa gigantica
Stipa gigantica
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Flowers may be fading, but many ornamental grasses are still going strong, providing structure, movement and colour to borders and pots.

Among the best in autumn is Stipa gigantea, or golden oats, originally from Spain and Portugal, which forms neat hummocks of narrow mid-green leaves to 70cm (28in) long, carrying clouds of green flowers on erect stems to 1.5m (5ft) in early summer.

In autumn the flowers turn a deep golden brown as they age and persist well into winter. Wait until early spring to cut them down, along with any dead leaves. Grow S. gigantea as a specimen or as a gauzy screen at the back of a border.