Native ornamental grass

girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)April 24, 2009

I've been hemming and hawing over a garden area. It is a rectangle which can get full AM sun and then get shadier or part-shady. It is near windows so I did want some spikey stuff, but also interested in edibles and natives.

The back (which is window side) currently has mahonia. Not native....but spikey.

The middle is a large hearts a bustin'...the edge has the native little blueberry...I am going to add a few opuntia for spines and for fruit...but am considering a grass to work in between sizing of low blueberry and opuntia.

Muhly is an option...are there any others (native, non-invasive, can handle clay, moist or dry...) - I am worried muhly might be same height as opuntia...



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I really have not gotten into native grasses, but here is a good article on it from Pennsylvania.

Also, here an overview of warm season native grasses on the GNPS website with some resources listed at the bottom.

Here is a link that might be useful: GNPS

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 6:36AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

OK, then any lower growing shrubs? Not the other evergreen blueberry, please. I will use that elsewhere. I'm looking for something without dusty grey or blue foliage because these plants will be layered together....
I also need an evergreen groundcover that can take chunks of clay mixed with compost. It's not a very pretty mix of soil in that area, but I've done my best. It's red clay mixed with Kaolin clay and county compost.....


    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 10:08AM
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In regards to groundcovers, both Green N Gold (Chrysogonum virginianum) and Mouse eared Coreopsis (Coreopsis auriculata 'Nana') are tough and at least semi-evergreen if not fully. Last year, both were available in Home Depot as quart/pint perennials.

For low growing shrub, look into Rhus aromatica 'Gro-Low' , but it is not evergreen.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 11:43AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Rhus aromatica 'Gro-Low' would be fantastical but way too large. I think I'll use it on slopes though! I love it!!

I already have the two others you mentioned.... (not trying to be hard on 'ya's just I want something new and different than I have in this spot!!).

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 12:32PM
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Hey, I am not offended - I'm glad to hear you already have those.

Given that you have morning sun but afternoon shade, here are some other groundcover suggestions.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 1:06PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Esh, I just don't wanna be too hard on your brain!! I have ordered a few more native plant books. I have the Foote book but I find it difficult because it lists just about everything, garden "worthy" (for a city garden, that is) or not.
I like the idea of the lyrata sage. I have it in quite a few places, and I don't have purple in this area anywhere and could sure use it. Plus, this is care free as it multiplies on it's own!
That is a good article.

I would like to grow pussytoes. I've tried a few of the other things listed in this good article, and they did not sruvive for me....galax, pussytoes, partridgeberry - what do they really like? I thought I had found great places for them, but I guess not.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 3:26PM
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I think the article describes what they like. I have pussytoes naturally - an especially happy patch along a path behind the house, nothing special. Galax is often found on a slope, but I have transplanted it to other places and it is happy there too. Patridgeberry seems like it a little moist. The thing about native plants, you can't be too nice to them or you'll kill them with kindness!

A great book on native grasses (and ferns and mosses) is the relatively new one by Cullina.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to book

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 6:56AM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

I have sea oats and enjoy them. But..... Perennial

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 10:54PM
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