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Planted daffodils in and along the edge of the lawn in Autumn, I now want to remove the lawn to make a narrow (1ft) border of grasses. This is to allow the daffodils to be disguised as they die back amongst the grasses. I want 'knee high' grass to make it fun for the children to jump over.

This is how it looks now, approx 4.5 metres (right hand side)

 This is a grass I want to use (i don't have the name) and will split it.

I have also ordered Hordeum jubatum seeds, unfortunately an annual but will look fabulous!

Q - I'm thinking of alternating these two grasses in rows of 3 or 4 each then the other. Or would it be better to have a full row of each, with the hordeum next to the path and the 'other' behind it? I'm in no great hurry and can wait until next year for the great picture to unravel.

Q - will the seeds from the hordeum be a nuisance getting into the path etc or will it be manageable? The seeds should arrive any day now and the instructions say it's ok to sow in May but it's on the late side, should I leave these till next year?

Q - Any one know the name of the grass I already have? It turns (slightly) red at times. Any other suggestions without having to spend lots, maybe another grass which I could buy one of and split?

Thanks , and sorry for all the questions.



I'm thinking that random groups of different numbers of grasses would look good, rather than something too organised, trying to keep a flow of shapes and textures along the path. 

I'm wondering if that grass is actually a carex?

Hi mrsgarden

Now, I'm not great at identifying pics on the forum but it looks like stipa arundinacea to me.  A grass that doesn't flower over much but does have those red and orange tints and, for me anyway down here, is evergreen. It gets largish so best divided every two or three years, will not need planting in groups for this reason and is very tolerant of differing situations.

I like the idea of mixtures....viz., grassss with other things.  Perhaps a couple of small shrubs like euonymous emerald n gold, or spirea goldflame or pittosporum Tom Thumb.  Perennials like Heucheras or geraniums like rozanne would be nice too. A row of grasses may look a bit rigid almost boring. 

So, those grasses.  Hordeum does seed a little but worth it.  They will be ready for next year now if seed sowing.  Stipa Tennuissima is lovely...plant this in 3's.  Check out Carex Testacea too....lovely coppery orange, olive leaves and evergreen.  Elymus magellanicus is blue...the blue is as blue as any foliage plant.  

If you have a dampish or heavier shadier spot there, maybe towards and including the corner of your entrance then check out hackonochloa macra aureola.  This is class.  Will spread ...not invasive at form a nice mound of yellow leaves with red, orange and yellow tints.  Prob my favourite  grass.  Not evergreen but emerges as yellow shoots in early spring to make a mound 30cm or more. 

For a brilliant splash of colour check out Bowles Golden Grass.  This is currently starting to flower for me.  It has yellow stems amd yellow flowers about 60 cm high.  Needs moisture though and some shade

If you could avoid a straightness there it would be better.  Perhaps encroach once or twiI'm further Imto the lawn ...not by much but enough to,create an illusion of depth and "swerve". .?

Enjoy the plantIng MrsG 


Thanks Dove,

Plant labels I have kept but not sure if it's one of these are:

Carex evergold (too much white/varigation on the pic),

Unicinia rubra (only grows to 15cm according to label),

Acorus ogon (too much white/varigation on the pic)


No, not any of those MrsG. Still think its stipa arundinacea.  



Oh sorry, did you say that before? I'll have a look.


Ah now I see Verdun, you sneaked in before me there!

Could be the stipa arundinacea, lots look the same to me  Discounted Hacka, prefer more upright than rounded.

Looked at a few pics and will think about what else to plant with, i'll see if I've got anything first (verbena bon?) probably more willowy than shrubby would suit I think. Will certainly try a wavy shape (not the best at planning lawn shapes though) Can't it just follow the curve in the path or do I need to think about it more, how will I incorporate the round bed under the apple tree, thinking aloud again.

Lots to decide, need to do it in stages and not get overwhelmed!


Yep, verbena bonariensis goes well with grasses and a couple there will look sensational. 

Yes, follow the curve of the path but I thought on the  inside you could make a wider one off incursion.  So, the border could completely include the area around your tree.  Perhaps a circle around the tree of slate, gravel etc for hard standing to pick from.? 

Take your time you say you don't want it to overwhelm you.  A taller grass with more delicate leaves is miscanthus Morning Light.  I would sketch a plan first and tinker with it a lIttle.  


Just a word of warning.  I have a group of bronze carexes which looks really good all year but I took it into my head last autumn to liven it up with some daffs interplanted and some alliums.  It looks awful with the solid green foliage of the bulbs detracting from the finer stems of the carex and impeding their flow in the breeze.

Once the bulbs have finished I shall be digging them up and moving them.  

Elsewhere in the garden my daffs are surrounded by all sorts of flowering perennials whose new spring growth soon hides the dying foliage of my daffs whilst letting it do its work to replenish the bulb for next year's display to the maximum.

obelixx! Spoiling my fun indeed!
Thanks for the heads up though.
hurumph, will give it some thought.
Verdun, thought you were saying you'd sketch it for me !
Hard standing for picking won't be necessary, ooooops, should I admit this? Forget about the apples on the tree and still bring them home from supermarket.!

Gonna carry on with grass edge to grass (!) and move dafs after I've seen how it works. Will be sketching later on tonight. Other plants im considering at the moment are chives and day lillies. Somehow taking obelixx s problems into the plan.

ObelixxObelisks is spot on.  Bulbs amd grasses do not mix well.  Each spoils the other.  Grasses need their own space, ideally with contrasting but non-encroaching neighbours. ,

Sketch MrsG?  Me?

Day lilies and grasses will not look good together.  Too similar and day lilies are,likely to swamp any grasses.  Leave some spaces ...ideally another plant.....between these two.  Ditto Chives.  Should be in veg patch.  

. Kinda thought similarities of leaves n grass would work but guess not.
Must keep to the original idea - kids to play, walk along path touching as I go, wafty, willowey, gentle, feathery, touchy feely, swaying, elegant, soft, flowing, flake adverty,
Back to the sketch pad...

I've got lots of Stipa tenuissima seedlings from some seeds that someone sent me. There will be some spare if you can wait/grow them on.


Feathery?  How about artemisia Powys castle?  Lovely silvery soft foliage. Perfect comfrast to grasses.  And lavendars, the ultimate in tactility plus scent and colour and, again, work well with grasses.  And santolinas .  Grey aromatic evergreen mounds

However, perhaps too many ideas are dissuading you from what you really want, viz., a billowing "wavy", swaying, tactile, feathery edge to your pathway.  Stipa Tennuissima would give you what you want and look good.  Sometimes I have too many ideas ....perhaps over complicated ones.......when the simple ones may be best.    If you want a grass pathway go for it. 


Thanks Fidget, you seem to be becoming my 'supplier'  

Thanks Verdun for ALL your ideas, it keeps me busy and inspired. Might well go for simple and build on it next year. I need to see what the plants do and look like when grown as I'm not so good at visualising them so your input  (amongst that of others of course to whom I'm also very grateful)  helps me get closer quicker to that. For example the bulb/grass thing I can't visualise in my head until I see it, so can't judge for myself how much of a mistake it would be, but fully taken on board. All suggestions have been googled and considered.

The only other problem is cash flow, so rather than order online my preferred selection I will have to go with what's available at the GC or already in my garden. And of course my personal nurseywoman/supplier 

I must admit I do keep steering back to a sort of swaying, touchable 'hedge' but agree other interest needs to be incorporated. I've not said but it will be in full sun apart from a little shade from the tree and from the arch once climbers established.

Look, it's all about trying things.  Grasses really can be good value. If you bought say 5 plants of Tennuissima you can divide them by pulling...carefully...apart to make maybe15 or 20plants.  Right now they will grow fast and once you have them you can pot up seedlings or divide again .  

Thing is just to enjoy a gradual development of your garden MrsGarden.  


Have a look at Plant World Seeds -   They do some good grasses and you could have loads more plants and/or vatieties than if you buy them ready grown plus spares to swap or sell at a boot sale or similar.

That's where I got my bronze carex from and also my molinia plus others I have yet to sow.