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Grass question (not lawns!)

Pembrokeshire, United Kingdom Gb

Grass question.
I'm developing a small fuchsia bed. I would like a double white hardy one for contrast to all that red and purple but there aren't any, so I thought perhaps some small clumps of a silver or white grass would look attractive instead. I know practically nothing abut grass varieties - can you advise? I thought something like a spider plant but a bit bigger, but would prefer something perennial, hardy and well behaved. Is there such an animal? Or any other suggestions?

If this fails I might just have to put a white hydrangea at the back!



Okay, couple of points. True grasses require full sun and very well drained soil - given you want to mix them with fuchsias, I'm assuming the bed you're using is part shady and probably, hopefully for the fuchsias' sake, not particularly dry. Therefore, your choice of plants is really restricted to sedges and rushes, both of which prefer moister soil and are okay if they don't have full sun, although they do like some sun.

White, well, that's a bit more difficult, but here's some to consider: Carex riparia 'variegata' has arching white leaves which become green by midsummer, BUT it is very invasive, so a better choice might be Carex siderosticha 'variegata', which has light green leaves striped white and tinged with pink in spring. If you don't mind yellow and green, Carex hachijoensis 'Evergold' is an evergreen, well behaved creamy yellow and green striped sedge. From the rush family, Luzula nivea is evergreen, has light green leaves and white flower clusters in summer. Luzula 'marginata' has green leaves with narrow white margins. Although Luzula is a rush, and technically prefers wetter soil, it usually copes with ordinary, dampish ground quite well.

24 Sep, 2013


Thank you Bamboo. The fuchsias are happy. The area is shaded in the morning and sunny in the afternoon, south facing. Apparently dry but must be moist deeper down as both fuchsias and hydrangeas flourish without watering. Am improving with humus every year. I think the Luzulas might be a bit too tall for what I have in mind - will look at all the suggestions and have a think. Thanks again!

24 Sep, 2013


Does it have to be a double fuchsia? Hawkshead is a single white hardy.

Just found Margarite Dawson ( looks to be a very pale pink outer with double white petticoat.

24 Sep, 2013


Hawkshead is much too big, but Margarite Dawson is beautiful - thank you very much! It looks rather like Annabel, but she isn't hardy.

24 Sep, 2013


You could also check out ophiopogon silver tabby, like a smaller spider plant, evergreen, hardy, doesn't get scruffy like grasses do, and won't mind the fuschias growing over the top of them in the summer. I have some mixed with white cyclamen to give winter interest under a low-growing deciduous shrub.

25 Sep, 2013


Wow, just checked that out, Teadrinker, thanks for mentioning it. I've grown ophiopogon nigrescens for years, love it, but had no idea there were variegated versions out. I have to say though, that 'silver tabby' search threw up nothing - I found 'Little Tabby', 'Silver Edge' and 'Silver Mist'. I'm off to track one down, what a little beauty...

25 Sep, 2013


Sorry, Little Tabby was what I meant!

25 Sep, 2013


Fantastic suggestion Teadrinker. Will probably go for the Margarite Dawson (ordered already!) AND the Ophiopogon. I never cared for the nigrescens much but the Tabby looks delightful, especially as it won't mind being overshadowed in the late summer. Will also check out Bamboo's Carexes. Thank you very much everybody!

25 Sep, 2013

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