Category Archives: Grasses

A Fern, a Grass and a Shady Spot

Planting’s begun …

Today I’ve planted two new plants in the bit at the bottom by the toolshed.  They are Panicum virgatum ‘Warrior’, Switch Grass and Dryopteris goldiana, Goldie’s Wood Fern.




Goldie’s Wood Fern ~ Dryopteris goldiana

Goldie's Wood Fern

Goldie’s Wood Fern

This fern is named to honour John Goldie, an early botanist who discovered it in Montreal, Canada.   It’s one of the largest for a sheltered shady garden but likes moist shade so I’ve taken a slight risk as the bit at the bottom is fairly dry.  I added a good amount of homemade compost to the planting hole to help improve moisture retention and have mulched as well so fingers crossed!


Switch Grass ~ Panicum virgatum ‘Warrior’

Switch Grass

Switch Grass

P. virgatum ‘Warrior’ is a deciduous perennial grass with flat, linear leaves which are mid-green in spring and summer turning yellow in autumn.  The flower spikes turn dark purple in autumn too.  It tolerates a wide range of conditions, including any aspect, any pH (acid, alkaline or neutral) and most soils as long as they are moist and well drained.  The garden centre label claims it tolerates partial shade though most references will tell you it needs full sun.  We will see how it gets on in the dappled shade.  Assuming it settles down, I’ll be dividing this plant in mid-spring for further planting.  This is also the time to remove the dead foliage and flowered stems before new growth advances.

By the way, the fern in the foreground is a Hart’s Tongue, Asplenium scolopendrium which came with us in a pot when we moved house.