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Which Hakonechloa would be best for this area?

PlantmindedPlantminded Wirral (free draining sandy soil)Posts: 1,728
I have an area in the lower part of my garden under a large Acer which is in light shade for most of the day from May to September.  After trying various combinations of shade tolerant plant like ferns over the years, it's now looking a bit messy!  The soil is free draining, sandy with added soil conditioner and on the dry side. 

I'm thinking of block planting Hakonechloa in this bed to give some unity to the area during the summer and still allow the spring bulbs to appear before the grass returns. (Those bluebells are going to be dug out very soon!)  I'm undecided between H. Aureola and H. All Gold.  Does anyone have any experience of these plants and a view on which would be better please?  Thank you in advance.




Posts

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 13,014
    They all require the same conditions, shady and moist, although i find they grow quite well under small trees.
    I would grow this one, but that's because it is my favourite.


    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,734
    My understanding is that they prefer moist, as well as shady. As your bed is dry, and the tree will exacerbate that, it may not be the best choice. Ours is grown in a pot, and we always have to water it frequently during dry/hot periods. Others may have different experiences, that suggest you could do it. If you decide to go ahead, I don't think it matters which variety, other than that they have a different colour.

    You have quite a lot of different plants in that area. Perhaps if you just planted one type of plant, which likes dry shade, that might be more suitable for that spot.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,850
    I have 5 H. macra (the plain green ones) in a west facing bed where the soil does dry out and gets a lot of sun - they are fine.
    I have another 5 opposite - so east facing, the soil there is also quite dry,  they get less sun, they are also fine.
    They look good over winter too.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,907
    I grow the same one as @punkdoc, and now have it in various spots, from raised beds to under and around shrubs etc. We get enough rainfall to keep them happy in any site though, but they do need a fair bit of moisture to be at their best. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 13,014
    Once you've got one, they should soon grow big enough to divide, so you can spread them around.
    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Wirral (free draining sandy soil)Posts: 1,728
    Thank you all very much for your replies, very helpful!  Does the main green colour of your H. Aureola vary according to site, in sun or shade @punkdoc and @Fairygirl?  I'm looking to achieve a green which is more of a lime green than yellow in shade.  I do like the green of H. macra @Pete.8 - I had one there and it didn't do as well as one in the sun.  I've just had a look at Knoll Gardens' website and they describe H. All Gold as " Excellent in dry soils and dislikes too wet" so this may be the deciding factor!
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,961
    The plain green Haks are looking good at The Hepworth!



    You might try interplanting a few Luzula sylvatica into the block as well, they'll give a bit more winter presence and spring flowers, and blend into the Haks when cut back after flowering. Looks like you'll need to keep watered for the first year..

    If it really is too dry, Melica uniflora f. albida have a similar elegance - but overall smaller/finer, and with dancing grain-like flower/seed heads.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,907
    It's mainly yellowy - in all my sites, which is why it's so good in shade. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • PlantmindedPlantminded Wirral (free draining sandy soil)Posts: 1,728
    Thank you for your suggestions @loxley, that bed looks very impressive!  I have another area in the garden where I might try that combination.  I'll always find space for more grasses!  Your photo has helped me @Fairygirl, thank you, that colour will bring more light to that area so I have placed an order!  Your thoughts are much appreciated folks, thank you.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Wirral (free draining sandy soil)Posts: 1,728
    I just wanted to let you know that the grasses arrived on Friday and are now planted - I'm really pleased with the colour which brightens up the border.  Your recommendations and photos were very helpful @punkdoc and @fairygirl, thank you!  I still need to get some bluebells out further up that border - next week, not today!


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