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Grasses screening: Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' for screening

Hi all.

I'm just wondering if anyone grows grasses for screening purposes? I have a long narrow strip and was thinking of growing a mix of grasses and other tall perennials for screening during the summer. Ideally i'd like them to reach about 6 to 7 foot.

I was considering Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' and maybe verbena boreansis for and some tall sunflowers too maybe. I know it wont provide too much screening but at least it will cover ugly concete wall that i currently have. Would you have any other suggestions? I guess some annuals could work too image

Thank you

Last edited: 12 November 2017 21:41:00


  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,381

    As long as border is sunny, both your suggestions would work.

    Could consider some Miscanthus sp. as well.

    Rudbeckia Herbstonne would be nice in combination with the above.

    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Thanks Punkdoc. Yes it's very sunny from 10am to 6pm. Which varieties of Miscanthus do you recommend that are fairly narrow? I considered bamboo but don't want to plant it in a narrow space against boundary wall so i thought grasses and some perennials could be nice

    Last edited: 12 November 2017 23:00:09

  • And Rudbeckia Herbstonne looks absolutely beautiful. I want image

  • From my research, i think MISCANTHUS sinensis 'Strictus' would work quite well also interplanted with Karl Foerster and tall flowering perennials. I'm not sure how far apart to plant these grasses? Would anybody have any idea on that?

    I was also considering Miscantus Giganteus but maybe it's too vigorous. I do like the bamboo like appearance of it though and it's very upright.


    Last edited: 19 November 2017 13:34:07

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,656

    Don't go for giganteus as it gets to between 2.5 and 4m tall..  It will be huge and stiff and nowhere as attractive as the shorter forms which are also prettier and, more importantly, easier to cut when you do the annual hack.   You can cut the softer ones down with hedge trimmers but would need loppers to cut every single stem of the giganteus.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,974

    I bought 4 Karl Foerster in 2L pots last spring to plant in front of a fence.
    I planted them about 2ft apart and they have spread well over the summer and there's only about 1ft between each one now.
    I'm very pleased with them. The grass heads are vertical and look very neat regardless of what the weather has thrown at them and still looking great now.
    I was planning on getting another 4 in the spring, but reckon I can split the ones I bought earlier this year as they've done so well.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Thank you. I guess Giganteus is ruled out image I guess Miscanthus Strictus, Karl Foerster would both work quite well as they take up the least space in a narrow area. I might plant them further apart for first year and see if i can split them in 2nd year to save some $$$. I can put some annuals/perennials in the gaps anywayimage

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,678

    I bought Miscanthus "Flamingo" which has slightly pink flower plumes and looks great.

    Whatever you decide, don't go for bamboo, you'll never get rid of it, it will likely spread all over your garden and it could split the wall apart, as one has near us!

    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Flamingo looks lovely Lizzie. Another option to consider. Is it an upright form? I have plenty of time to devise a plan between now and spring image Bamboo i already have in pots on patio and was tempted to plant these but read about the horror stories.

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,678

    Yes, it's an upright form. Looks good over winter but needs to be cut down to the ground when the new shoots poke through.

    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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