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Perennials with grasses

Wrigs21Wrigs21 Posts: 171
Hi all 

Looking for a little advice on perennials to interplant with grasses after some mixed success from this year. Have planted a raised bed however hadn’t fully accounted for the great British weather and the bed being fairly exposed so has taken a hit after the recent storm. 

The middle looks great with low lying salvia, sesleria and dianthus so purple and bright pink. 

Either side has been a mixed bag. One side has Calamagrostis Brachytricha, Guara and Verbena. The other has Molina Overdam, Guara and Verbena. 

The Verbena has flown up but it’s on it’s own as the Calamagrostis is yet to flower and with nothing surrounding it propping it up it has been hit by the wind. The Guara has flopped over with the wind so not exactly the bush form I was hoping it would form. 

Contemplating for next year removing both the Guara and the Verbena and replanting elsewhere but need something perhaps a little more hardy to interplant that would stand up better to the elements. 

Any ideas/thoughts? 

Before storm 

After Storm 



  • dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 982
    edited June 2020
    How about some salvia Amistad? Mine has been flowering since early June and looks great with a backdrop of stipa tenuissima. Very tough and easy to take cuttings too. Not floppy either, but quite rigid and could prop up your verbena b. well.
    Some rozanne geraniums sprawling about down below would look good too.
    It looks lovely by the way 😊
  • dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 982
    Here’s a bit of my dry, south facing border, at the moment, with Amistad in the background.

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,307
    I have some Stipa Gigantea inter-planted with Verbena bonariensis and heliopsis I grew from seed. Looks great in high summer.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Wrigs21Wrigs21 Posts: 171
    Thanks both. Love the Purples in the photo, looks great. As you say I might rearrange the set up slightly and go for some lower lying plants at the front. I’ve got a few different Salvias elsewhere so might as you suggest add to that with some of the Amistad you recommend. I’ve planted a few Dierama that haven’t come good yet and may stick in some Allium bulbs in the Autumn. All a learning curve! 

    I’m not sure when the Calamagrostis is likely to start to push but would certainly help support the Verbena if they make it! 
  • dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 982
    I haven’t got any alliums, as my garden is only a year old, but I’ve pre ordered a good batch of purple sensation and white ones. Can’t wait to get them in the ground for next year.
    To be honest, I don’t think your verbena b. look like they need an awful lot of support, they’re just naturally so huge and tend to splay out a bit once they mature and it rains a lot. They look lovely.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 982
    Amistad get quite big, so you may not need that many in your border, should you decide to go with that. I have two close together in my bed, for reference.
  • Wrigs21Wrigs21 Posts: 171
    Looks great after one year in, Alliums will fit right in. Yeah second year in here and the garden is a mission, getting there slowly. Hoping the Verbena perk up a little with some more sunshine! 

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,237
    I quite like what you've done - it is meadow-like and natural looking. If the grasses were in larger single species blocks, it might look a bit more structured, and that might be better in a small bed. If the Verbena has flopped, you could cut the whole thing down and they will come up again, but more densely branched. In a large bed you can tolerate Verbena flopping, but it's not a good look in a small bed by a path. Veronicastrum might be more rigid (although some varieties also flop so pick carefully!)
  • DevonianDevonian Posts: 176
    How about Heleniums? In big enough groups they should be alright, maybe with some supports? Would look nice with the purple colours too. One of my favourites:  
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,186
    Have a look at Sanguisorba's. They come in different heights and associate well with grasses. 
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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