A Favorite Chosen as Perennial of the Year

Golden Hakone Grass Brightens Shady Entry Garden
Golden Hakone Grass Brightens Shady Entry Garden

I was delighted to read that the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) voted Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ or Golden Variegated Hakone grass as the 2009 Perennial Plant of the year. This lime-green small low growing ornamental grass lights up a shade garden and combines to create stunning plant combinations and textural compositions.

I love planting it with large leafed blue hosta (‘Blue Angel”), the low growing ‘yaku’ rhododendron, and perhaps the burgundy leaf of coral bell (Huechera x ‘Stormy Seas’ or “Plum Pudding’ . To use it effectively, plant clumps of 3 together–better 5 , 7 , or 9. Otherwise it gets lost in the garden and adds a element of chaos instead of wonder.

In the shady entry garden shown in the above photo I’ve combined Hakone Grass with masses of the golden coral bells (Heuchera ‘Citronelle’), dark green shiny European ginger (Asarum europaeum), and spring blooming pale-pink- going-to-white Yak rhododendron (R. ‘Yaku-Princess’). The combination complements the fieldstone and granite I chose for the cheek-walls and steps. This design works well in all seasons and was installed early fall 2008.

One response to “A Favorite Chosen as Perennial of the Year”

  1. This is one of my favorites too. I started growing it in my garden about 5 years ago when I was looking for a deer-resistant perennial for the shady areas. I started with five 1 gallon plants and have divided them as needed and now I have Hakone Grass in several different areas of my garden. It looks good no matter where I place it and guests always comment on it.

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