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New plants and grasses for the sunny bed

I’ve been dragging my feet with planting up the new bed in the back. I spent so much time “designing” and “planning” that I wasn’t actually getting anything done. I had this idea to add a rose on either side and a huge pot in the middle back spot. I hunted for the pot I have in my mind and I couldn’t find it. I don’t want to buy the first pot I see, or a substitute pot … I want the pot I’ve envisaged (seen it in magazines) so I will wait until I find it. In the mean time, a collection of sun-loving plants was starting to gather in my holding area – a few Salvia and some grasses I found.

Two weekends ago Barbie and I went to the Rare Plant Fair and we found a few ornamental grasses we’d not seen for sale before. I bought enough to actually start planting up my bed.

It’s the only sunny area in the back area and it gets really hot in one corner of the bed and the other half is partly shaded. I already have a few things in here. Carex at the front, a small Japanese Cherry blossom and the Silver Birch tree. My initial idea of planting roses here will have to wait for a while. For now I want to play around with grasses and a few sun-loving flowers.

New grasses bed

[one_half]It doesn’t look like much yet …New grass bed[/one_half]

[one_half_last]But I love the colours and foliageI love the colours and foliage[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Carex and Helichrysum are establishedCarex and Helichrysum already established[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Salvia and grasses are all newSalvia and grasses are all new[/one_half_last]

[one_third]Lots of different coloursPanicum virgatum "Warrior"[/one_third]

[one_third]and varying texturesVarying textures[/one_third]

[one_third_last]make it look interestingmake it look interesting[/one_third_last]

[one_third]Mostly … I love the colousPanicum virgatum[/one_third]

[one_third]a few little flowersLittle flowers[/one_third]

[one_third_last]and tall willowy foliageTall willowy leaves[/one_third_last]

[one_half]Festuca Glauca fills a few gapsMy favourite - Festuca Glauca[/one_half]

[one_half_last]It will look great … next yearNew grass bed[/one_half_last]

I plan to plant a few bulbs here too – Ipheon towards the front and taller Ixias in the middle of the bed. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this bed develops over the next few months.

Here’s a look at the Before and after …

Plant list …

  • Panicum virgatum “Shenandoah”
  • Panicum virgatum “Warrior”
  • Pennisetum setaceum “Rubrum”
  • Argyranthemum Angelic white chic
  • Carex evergold
  • Salvia ‘Blue Emotions’
  • Salvia greggii ‘Navajo White’
  • Salvia greggii Pink
  • Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’
  • Miscanthus sinesis “Yaku Jima”
  • Helichrysum petiolare
  • Calamagrostis (I forget which one)

By Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

16 replies on “New plants and grasses for the sunny bed”

I can’t wait to see the bed in a few months. Your plants seem to mature so quickly in South Africa. I planted my first grasses last fall. It took me a while to join the bandwagon.

It will look fabulous. I love your walls behind the bed too, perfect for showing off the grasses. I have many of the grasses you have, I have to say Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’ is my out and out favourite. I grows differently here in Italy than it does in the UK so I’ll be interested to se how it grows for you. Christina

You are really coming along despite dragging your feet. The bed has so much texture and your plant choices are really on the money. Bulbs will be a great addition too.

This part can be harder in autumn for some reason… I have the same trouble making myself get junk in the ground, yet I keep collecting stuff. Yet every year, when spring weather rolls around I’m always so patting myself on the back for getting stuff done the prior fall!

Don’t you find that pots are just so expensive! And I also have a difficult time finding ones that suit my design aesthetic. I did find that buying direct from Ital-Cement (they used to have their shop/workshop on the N1 at the turn-off to Paarden Island, now moved nearer Builder’s Warehouse I believe) was far cheaper than buying their pots from a garden centre.

Do you know where you can get troughs for a reasonable price? I was looking for the simple fibre-cement ones, but even those cost around R200 which I think is outrageous for such cheap pots. And then the drip trays cost as much as the pot!

Ahhh, Christine, you are a kindred spirit – a lover of grasses, including one of my favorites, Japanese bloodgrass (if my ID is right). But, what am I saying. There are no real favorites; I just love . . . grasses. Yours are stunning.

You’re right, the textures and colors of the grasses are beautiful with the foliage of your existing plants. It’s going to be beautiful!

Oh wow! Already seeing the picture coming together. Love LOVE the grasses mixed with the soft siver-grey foliage and under the shade of the Silver Birch Tree.

My only advice is not to overcroud this space with too many plants. Watch – the grasses will fill out in no time. 🙂 looking awesome!!

Nice! The great things about pots though is they’re not permanent. If you find a “substitute” that you like enough to buy even though it’s not perfect, stick it in that spot and see how it works. Then when you find the perfect container, move this other one somewhere else in your yard. 🙂

I know exactly what you mean by not putting up with substitutes Christine. I don’t know how often we have decided on a plant for a certain area, couldn’t find it then just put up with something else. I think your grasses are fantastic, starting to make more use of them myself now.

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