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Hakonechloa

Colorful Flowerbed in Half Shade

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Just because you have a shady garden does not mean you have to sacrifice color. Here’s an idea for a colorful flower bed for half shade that will look stunning from early spring to late fall. Some of the color comes from blooms but don’t underestimate what plant foliage and texture can bring to a bed!

This combination will do fine up to Swedish hardiness zone 4 which is the equivalent to US zone 5ish.

Trees and Shrubs

Perennial Combo

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3D rendering of the flower bed

Perennial Combo with Winter Interest – Hellebore ‘Viv. Victoria’ & Heucherella ‘Sweet Tea’

Helleborus ‘Viv. Victoria’ & Heucherella ‘Sweet Tea’

This sure is a pretty combo! When the rest of the garden is starting to get dull these two perennials still look stunning.

Here are some details and stats on size, hardiness zone and exposure for the Helleborus ‘Viv. Victoria’ and Heucherella ‘Sweet Tea’

Helleborus ‘Viv. Victoria’ blooms from September to April!
Hellebore ‘Viv. Victoria’ & Heucherella ‘Sweet Tea’ in the front
Blue-Eyed Mary
, Heauchera ”Obsidian’ and Hakonechloe in the next bed
Boxwood hedge, Bamboo (Fargesia murieliae Jumbo) and Tetarian Dogwood in the back

The red colors are repeated making the garden look cohesive. Repeating colors is especially important for a small garden to avoid them looking cluttered.

Heucherella ‘Sweet Tea’

The view against our neighbour’s fence. I’m not that happy with the mix of black, grey and wood. The colors reminds me of a shipping container. I have big plans for the fence next spring! 🎨🖤🌿

First frost of the year

We had our first frost of the year. Night temperature went down to 25 °F (-4°C).

The garden looked different this morning. The feeling of greenery and lushness has begun to disappear. While most of the perennials are still hanging in there, they have changed shape and color during just one night.

The ferns have begun to turn color
Mums can take some frost
Heuchera ’Obsidian’ will keep most of its foliage throughout the winter
Frozen bird bath
The Hostas have begun to look tired. They will soon disappear altogether. Hakonechloa to the right and Heaucheras in the front will keep their shape during winter.

I’m happy to have a lot of winter interest in the garden. Heucheras, Hallabores, Yews, Boxwoods – all of them keep their shape and most of their color all year round.

The hostas though will disappear altogether. They will leave empty whole in the flower bed. I haven’t figured out what to put there. Any ideas?

Hakonechloa Macra – Japanese Forest Grass

Hakonechloa, Heuchera ’Sweet tea’ in the front and Heuchera ’Obsidian’ in the back. Iris and Hostas peaking up form the right.

It’s hard to describe how beautiful the Japanese forrest grass is with just a photo. The picture is still while the beauty of this grass lies in its movement. When the wind blows it looks almost like these settle green waves flowing around in the garden.

Hakonechloa, Heuchera ’Sweet tea’

I’ve planted it together with Heucheras for contrast. The combination makes both the plants stand out.

Hakonechloa gets 12-18 in. (30-45cm) tall and 18-24 in. (45-60cm) wide. It prefers part shade, although in my garden it gets only 3-4 h of sun. It’s a slow starter and grows very slowly for the first two years. Year three it takes off and proves it was well worth the wait!

Hakonechloa, Heuchera ’Sweat Tea’, Sweet Woodruff and Clethra alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’ (Summersweet) in the background

My plants are three years old so they have just begun to do their thing.