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Advise for my front yard

Posted by bunkers z5 CO (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 27, 07 at 11:43


I live in Castle Rock, CO at an elevation of 6500'. As part of a drainage project in my front yard, I have an opportunity to get a wet area improved with a plan from the town and a developer-provided landscaper.

The plan includes a concrete 'trickle pan' to improve the drainage, but also includes a lot of landscaping to help improve the asthetics, as this is my front yard.

Currently, this area is all grass and is sometimes wet in the center.

Commonly used ornamental grasses sold around here are the karl forester and the large silver grass. I've also seen zebra grass, but its a lot less common. I also read that porcupine and forester grass did will with wet feet.

My soils are high in clay and generally are alkaline, or around ~ 7 ph.

*** Please reccomend some ornamental grasses that would work well in these area and would have good curb appeal.

*** Also, if you have advise on perennial choices, that would also be appreciated. Preferably lower maintenance.

It would be nice if its something my landscaper could obtain locally without too much trouble.

There would be the possbility that these grasses would need to be able to handle "wet feet" from time to time.

I am probably z4-5, technically 5, but we are always colder than Denver and set winter a couple weeks earlier and later than Denver or suburbs do.

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Thanks in advance,

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RE: Advise for my front yard

A few ideas for your 'wet' spots;
Carex elata 'Aurea' (Bowles Golden sedge) A gorgeous yellow-leaved grass that appreciates moist soil & will even grow in shallow water.

Carex pendula - has interesting long arching flower stems

Acorus gramineus or Acorus calamus - not grasses but, grass-like in form Both are good on moist or boggy soils.
Several variegated cultivars available

Chasmanthium latifolium - wouldn't like constantly wet feet but, appreciates moist soil.

Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron' - likes moist soil but not heavy wet soil.

Luzula nivea - snowy woodrush

Molinia caerulea ssp. arundinacea
Many cultivars - a favorite grass of mine and very underused in the trade. Look for 'Windspeil' or 'Transparent' All are well behaved clumping grasses that appreciate moist soil. Not great for winter interest - after the first heavy snow they often collapse.

Spartina pectinata 'Aureomarginata' - Actually prefers low-lying moist area. If happy, this can be an aggressive speader however, it does have gorgeous arching foliage unlike any of the other ornamental grasses - very elegant looking.

Well, that list should give you a good start. I suggest that you take some time & look them all up to see what you might like. There is a good selection of size & form for you to choose from.

Of course, in areas where it isn't too wet any of the Miscanthus would be perfectly happy. They wouldn't like to have their feet wet for extended periods of time.


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