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Feature Grasses for a Shaded Slope

Hello all,
Does anyone have a recommendation for a feature or specimen grass that can be planted at the top of my garden? The main problem, it is quite shady. Ideally, it should also be resistant to being eaten by deer! A tough ask I know. I have tried pampas grass with little success. It is to be placed close to the top boundary and needs to be seen above the pony tail grasses.
Many thanks for any suggestions,
PJ
(https://catsandapenninegarden.blogspot.com/)

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  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,556
    I think, if Pampas grass has failed to thrive there, it's unlikely you will find a 'feature' grass to fit in that slot. Most grasses need sun. Shade of a tree and tall grasses normally don't mix. Consider more lower growing ground cover grass like Luzula Nivea and Hakonechloa. A shrub might be better suited there.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 9,874
    Stipa arundicea copes with shade well in my garden [ now called something else ]
    Southern trees bear a strange fruit
    Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 7,936
    You could try a stipa gigantica (similar in shape to a pampas grass) with tall plumes but like Borderline says, most grasses need some sunshine.
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,015
    Fargesia murieliae, the "umbrella bamboo", is clump-forming rather than a rampant spreader, and will cope in shade.  You might still need to hack bits off if it outgrows its space, though - or plant it within a root barrier.
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,286
    edited November 2018
    PenninePJ said:
    Hello all,
    Does anyone have a recommendation for a feature or specimen grass that can be planted at the top of my garden?  It is to be placed close to the top boundary and needs to be seen above the pony tail grasses.
    Many thanks for any suggestions,
    PJ

    Do you mean to say a feature? As in anything. Or specifically a specimen grass?
    I don't know the exact spot you mean.
    Is it where the bamboo sticks and wire is, or further right?

    I was going to suggest a Cornus for winter colour, but think you might have some already there, I can see a hint of orangey sticks/stems behind the wire and to the right a bit more in the shade, there is another?
    A light coloured rose on a support or obelisk would show well, some grow okay in shade. but would not be a winter feature like your grasses.

    Or would Borderlines suggested ones be okay in something like a tall chimney pot or three. Hakonechloa ones flop over in mounds, don't they? It might work, a shorter container in front to hide progressively taller ones.
    (I use ferns in "stacked" pots for a small height gain, they are cheap rubbish black one but good as they blend in the dark shade and don't notice much).

    But the right choice of pot or container, could make a feature, if that is what you meant.
  • MuddyForkMuddyFork North HampshirePosts: 435
    I have Micanthus sinensis ' Malepartus' that grows well with 3 hours of sun during the summer.  It does spread.
  • Thank you all. Rubytoo, tomorrow I will try to get a better photograph. But you have kindly got the brain cells ticking. Liriodendron from Tod probably has a very similar climate so will certainly look up that suggestion. I do have two cornus at the back and stipa gigantica but sadly the former is a prime target for the deer! Stipa arundicea also looks promising (cheers punkdoc)
  • Before the rains came I did manage some clearer pictures earlier today
    ~ from the lawn looking up towards the grasses (you can appreciate why a taller feature specimen is needed so that it can be seen from this level)
    ~ view from the top of the steps (the slate/ gravel is the intended location for my statement grass)
    ~ close up of the slate gravel location.


    http://catsandapenninegarden.blogspot.com/
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 7,936
    My Neil Lucas "Grasses" book recommends Chasmanthium latifolium (wild oats)  and some Miscanthus, especially variegated varieties for woodland and shade. These appear to be the tallest recommendations, he does give more, shorter ones.
    You have a lovely garden, hope you find a plant you like. 
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,015
    PenninePJ - I'm on a NE slope.  I can't get tall grasses to look anything other than unhappy... Carex 'Frosted Curls' and Carex comans 'Bronze' do well, but most "proper" grasses need more sun and less rain than my garden can supply.  Good luck!
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
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