Six On Saturday: Green, green grass

I’m a little late to the grasses party. I’ve some melica and a couple of Karl Foersters but this year I’m planting up the difficult area against the back fence with a grass combination. Having taken the plunge and chosen the mix I added a few more essentials to the shopping basket and the pricey ‘little’ package arrived this week. Here they are.


This is a selection of the back fence mix. I will be planting three miscanthus giganteus, three persicaria polymorpha, five luzula nivea and six stachys hummelo. I’m very much hoping the miscanthus will grow to their advertised three meter height asap and cover up the fence panels. The panels give a rain shadow to the border and the trees that surround our garden give plenty of summer shade. The miscanthus should be able to cope with this. Likewise the luzula should also enjoy the shade. For everything else, I have my fingers crossed. There is some late afternoon sun to help things along.


Having made the main selection, I added in hakonechloa macra. This can also take a some shade and I am using it to underplant the ‘Darcy Bussell’ roses. The roses suffered with black spot last year so I really should be using salvias as per Sarah Raven’s advice. I think that does work. But no, I’m going with grasses. I do have a couple of salvia ‘Amistad’ cuttings that I plan to sneak in at the back so perhaps they will deal with the black spot.


Finally I added a euphorbia palustris. My e. ‘Wulfenii’ have suffered over the last two years. The magnificent four have dwindled to one and a half. The soil has been too wet and heavy for them. A shout out on twitter gave the suggestion of this euphorbia which enjoys damp conditions. Sadly not evergreen but it has lime green flowers and good autumn foliage so I’m giving it a go.


Speaking of euphorbias. the e.mellifera seedling that blew in from a neighbour’s garden has flowered this year. It is just over a metre high and is doing a great job of filling the border.


Oh my, the tulips took bashing in the gusty winds on Thursday but miraculously there were no losses. These are ‘Purissima’ among the hellebores. I had forgotten that these open creamy yellow and then fade to white. I was expecting pure white but the creamy yellow works well.


The diminutive ‘Doll’s Minuet’ which I plant in pots have just opened. These are last years bulbs that I lifted and stored. Good to see them in flower again.

While I will be out in the veg patch this weekend The Propagator will be on his 50k run and then taking a well earned rest. Miraculously he will also be hosting the Six On Saturday meme. Good on yer! It looks like the overnight temperatures will be a little warmer so I will be planting out the potatoes and onion sets. Wishing you well with your weekend gardening.

22 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Green, green grass

  1. Hi! What a lovely choice of plants! With the miscanthus giganteum I hope they won’t grow up too much because I have read that it can go up to more than 4m !
    I didn’t know the stachys hummelo since it would make very pretty flowers for the bees. Last thing, like Jim and I, your euphorbia mellifera is in bloom. I can see by zooming that a few of your leaves also have small yellow spots. Here, mine have black and yellow spots and the top leaves are curled in addition. I await Jim’s opinion about that.

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  2. Those new plants look very healthy, I was trying to read the labels to see where you got them from, but I can’t quite make it out. I have a Hac Mac in a container in my courtyard (north) that I really should move back into the garden. It didn’t do very well in a sunny spot, but I think I know where to plant it now. Grasses are so lovely. I shall look forward to seeing how this border pans out.

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  3. Euphorbia palustris can certainly take wet soil, I have had one in my bog garden for at least 20 yrs! My E. melliferra is flowering too at the moment, have you noticed the wonderful honey perfume yet, it will come to you on the breeze and is amazing.

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  4. Grasses and euphorbias, I love both. Would love an E. melliferra to be blown in from somewhere, what a nice gift you got there. Am very happy with Hac. Macs, they really light up an east-facing border (I’ve gone for a golden-leafed form) though one needs to be patient, they take a few years to bulk up.

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  5. A good selection of grasses. I’ve never heard that interplanting roses with salvia helps with black spot. Very good news. I love euphorbias – only have 2 varieties at the moment and would love it if more blew in from somewhere else.

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    • Sarah Raven is a well known UK gardener and supplier of plants. She swears by it. It may be coincidence but last year I didn’t use salvias and poor ‘Darcy’ really suffered. You can probably find her website and see what she says.


  6. The grasses have never been attractive to me – we certainly don’t ever have those crisp frosty winters where standing seedheads can look so attractive, at least in photographs. Here, they simply become a brown mush so we don’t bother with them with the exception fo the hakonechloa. I look forward to seeing the planted in your garden and enjoying seeing them in your photographs – the best way for me to enjoy grasses.

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  7. It was interesting to hear about your new area of grasses and I hope they do well. I don’t grow many myself as I’ve always thought they would hate my heavy clay so I will enjoy seeing yours develop. Lovely tulips and they look well with the hellebores.

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    • It is an experiment. I nearly did it last year but talked myself out of it. The soil at the back of the garden is not such heavy clay as the main borders so I think there is a chance. It’s just the shade that is a bit of niggle!


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