An Elegant border Design

An Elegant border Design

An excerpt from Grasses, by Nancy J. Ondra
An Elegant Border


1. Hakonechloa rnacra 'Aureola', golden Hakone grass

2. Myosotis scorpioides 'Bill Baker', 'Bill Baker' forget-me-nots

3. Geranium 'Nimbus', 'Nimbus' geranium

4. Stachys byzantina, lamb's ears

This exquisite border at Heronswood Nursery in Kingston, Washington, is a study in early summer color, but thanks to a well-chosen grass, it remains beautiful even while the flowers are taking a break. Golden Hakone grass (Hakonechloa rnacra 'Aureola') offers slowly expanding mounds of bright yellow leaves lightly striped with green -- a charming complement to bright blue 'Bill Baker' forget-me-nots (Myosotis scorpioides 'Bill Baker'), purple 'Nimbus' geranium (Geranium 'Nimbus'), and silvery lamb's ears (Stachys byzantina). A single clump makes an eye-catching accent, but the repetition of this grass's distinctive color and flowing form provides a predictable unity and appealing rhythm to the border all season long.

Hardy in Zones 5 to 9, golden Hakone grass can take full sun in cool, moist climates; elsewhere, it appreciates light shade. In any climate, evenly moist, humus-rich soil is best. A wide range of popular border perennials thrive in the same conditions, so it's a simple matter to tailor this theme to suit your favorite flower colors.

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