Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

August, 2011
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Open House at Plant Delights
Plan to visit Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanical Garden, September 9-11 and 16-18, on the final weekends the garden will be open in 2011. Tour one of the most extensive perennial displays in the Southeast (featured in 19 magazines) and then purchase premium plants from the jam-packed nursery. The garden and nursery will be open 8 am to 5 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 to 5 pm on Sundays. Call (919) 772-4794 or visit

Favorite or New Plant

Japanese Forest Grass
I've always loved ornamental grasses for their color, fine texture, and graceful habit, but I was afraid I wouldn't be able to grow them in my new, mostly shady garden. On a recent visit to the gardens of Delaware Valley, however, I saw a stunning Japanese forest grass that provides vivid highlights in shaded areas and I'm now eager to give it a try.

Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' grows 12 to 18-inches tall and 18 to 24-inches wide in an arching form that resembles a cascading miniature bamboo. What really catches the eye, though, is the plant's brightly colored foliage, which is comprised of 1/2-inch wide chartreuse blades with very thin green stripes.

The grass is hardy in zones 5 to 9 and requires moist, humus rich, well-drained soil and partial shade, especially at midday. It doesn't like clay soil or tolerate drought, so gardeners should be diligent in their soil preparation and consistent with their irrigation.


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