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ornamental grass/shrubs for partial shade


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  • ornamental grass/shrubs for partial shade

    I'm trying to make over a much neglected front of the house, north-west facing, but want it to be pretty low maintenance too. Looking for shade plants, I came across the ornamental grass and was nicely shocked by how lovely they are. I've always been focussed on fruit and veg, and rarely paid attention to ornamentals unless as pollinators, so I'm quite excited by having a new growing adventure interest.

    Mainly, I'm loving the Japanese forest grass, Hakonoechloa, all varieties but especially the brighter golden green ones, and the Carex evergreens. For height, the zebra grass and the ponytails. And just the other day, I got a pampas accidentally, so there's that too.

    Anybody have any experience growing these things? Any tips? It would be really helpful to know other shade grasses too, as well as a reliable place to get them that's not too expensive! I've been buying shade shrubs (and bulbs and flower seeds to colour up the greens) that are easily available compared to these grasses, and I am so past the bottom of my purse, it's not funny

    And I really want a blue spruce too, a blue diamond/super blue. And a hydrangea vanille fraise renhy or a limelight, better still both!

    I'd appreciate any help, thanks x

  • #2
    The only thing I can tell you is that pampas grass likes full sun. The clue's in the name - la pampa is grassland. I don't know if pampas grass will thrive in shade...
    Location - Leicestershire - Chisit-land
    Endless wonder.


    • #3
      Do you get some sun in the area for a couple of hours or is it completely shaded,I think fatsia japonica like shade,not a grass but ornamental evergreen,low maintenance,leafy & lovely


      • #4
        I’m creating a new border that is north facing too. Am actually really enjoying finding plants that are happy in dappled shade or almost full shade. I haven’t got any grasses yet although I do love them. My miscanthus in the front garden is fab right now so would like to look at some that are happy in shade. So far it’s things like climbing hydrangea, hellebores and hostas, spotted laurel, skimmia japonica. Have also now added some clematis, foxgloves, acers and some annuals like nicotiana and just planted out some Angelica archangelica.


        • #5
          Some afternoon sun, I think about 2-6hours depending on the season. I keep meaning to work it out properly and keep forgetting.

          I was hoping the shade would cut down on the height and spread of the pampas? It really was an accidental buy since the pot said papyrus and I was intrigued, then the nursery owner, just a local guy who turned part of his garden into a nursery, got talking and before you know it, pampas acquisition.

          I've got a sarcocca winter gem, a leucothoe instead of the sacred bamboo, nandina domestica (for reasons I can't remember now, because the sacred bamboo looks gorgeous), a red camellia whose name I've forgotten - all tiny cuz budget. And a lemon cypress, tiny again, as well as a pink heather because aldi had it for 1.49 and I couldn't help myself - actually, the two together look lovely and bright, so here's hoping they'd work well in the shade too.

          There's a hebe called heartbreaker that's silverblue with pink flowers, I want that too.

          The fatsia is castor oil! - that's interesting!

          And acers tend to die on us, we've tried a few times, so I'm reluctant - otherwise I'd love to have a few of different colours next to each other. That would be lovely.


          • #6
            Got a hebe too that seems to be doing well in a shadier spot. The acers I bought were all bargain buys so not expensive. A few survived and are doing well think i just need to get them to a certain point then they are fine. The other shrub that’s doing really well is a pheasant berry. Bought as a tiny plant at a school sale and it’s growing really well and starting to flower. I have tended to buy small plants but it’s amazing how quickly they grow. The hydrangea and clematis were a bit more of a considered buy as I wanted climbers for the fence and needed to make sure we got the right kind that could deal with a shady spot.
            Last edited by annie8; 11-10-2020, 09:07 AM.


            • #7
              If any plants don’t grow well they can always be moved around,camellia likes ericaceous compost,I’ve got one out the front,it’s lovely flowering in the winter. I dug out some of the clay & put about 30 litres of ericaceous compost in the hole. I occasionally use a bit of ericaceous fertiliser,I ran out so I just used seaweed this year


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