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evergreen ornamental grass to replace lawn in shaded area

Posted by carolineridge WA (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 7, 10 at 20:53

I currently have a lawn with a lot of moss growing through it. I would like to replace it this year with an EVERGREEN ornamental grass that doesn't require mowing and has a very natural mounding look. The yard (high bank waterfront)is a natural garden in the Piet Oudolf style. The borders are eupatorium purpureum 'atropurpureum', filipendula, persicaria and deschampsia. Karl Forester anchors certain areas. There are very large grand fir trees around the perimeter that give the yard dappled shade in the summer. I am looking for a grass that will stay green throughout the year.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: evergreen ornamental grass to replace lawn in shaded area

  • Posted by donn_ 7b, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 8, 10 at 5:50

Look at the various Carex varieties. The come in many sizes and colors, and do well in shade. Many are evergreen or semi-evergreen, depending upon your hardiness zone.

RE: evergreen ornamental grass to replace lawn in shaded area

Yes, Carex would be a good choice. Not all will be happy in much shade so select from the Asian species rather than the NZ or native species. Carex morrowii 'Ice Dance' is a slow spreader, forming clumps about 12-14" tall. It has a clean white stripe along the sides, otherwise a clear, true green. 'Variegata' has more of an overall creamy appearance (heavier variegation and with a golden yellow color). Both need some moisture (don't like excessively dry locations) and will sometimes need grooming after winter to remove dead foliage - even evergreen grasses will need periodic attention.

Although not very mounding in habit and not true grasses, Liriope and Ophiopogon are also evergreen and very shade tolerant and tend to be nice but slow spreaders.

RE: evergreen ornamental grass to replace lawn in shaded area

Hi there,
in areas with mild winters Haconechloa macra could work. It looks like a tiny bamboo, is sometimes difficult to start. But once established it forms carpets of longish blades bending over in the wind (ca. 8-16 inches, 20-40cm) and sometimes looks like a fur of some ancient beast.
Well, have a good spring,
cheers, Lin

RE: evergreen ornamental grass to replace lawn in shaded area

Although quite hardy (zone 5), Hakonechloa is not the slightest bit evergreen, even in mild climates.

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