Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hakonechloa 'All Gold' In Pots

Hakonechloa 'All Gold', Alstroemeria, and Geranium Roseanne

Hakonechloa 'All Gold' in front of border with Melianthus major

View of back patio and pond sculpture with both pots of Hakonechloa 'All Gold'
     I have many large pots in my garden and my thinking about how to deal with them and what to plant in them has evolved over the years.  As I get older I try to cut down on the work my garden requires and one of the ways I resolved to do that this year was to plant things in my big pots that could winter over outside with no added protection and that would come back year after year.  In the past I have used big pots to showcase non hardy plants, but I have reached the limit on how many of those I want to schlep back and forth to my sunroom as the seasons change. 
     I have three extra large pots, 2 of which you can see in the pictures above, which I have placed at three corners of my back patio.  Last year and the year before, I had planted these with Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii', the dark red Abyssinian banana.  I basically now treat these bananas as annuals, since they are not that expensive, they grow rapidly and they are a pain to winter over in my sunroom.  I will describe my experience with them in some later post, but suffice it to say I love them and have grown them for many years.  But this year, although I have one of those bananas elsewhere, I thought I would not plant them in these big pots because I wanted something more permanent there and also, I thought that something less vertical and more horizontal would look better. 
     It occurred to me that Hakonechloa macra aureola would look good in those pots and could stay there permanently. These are big pots and so I thought I would need three nice gallon containers of the grass to fill each one.  That meant I needed 9 pots of the grass because I had three of the big pots to fill.  When I went to my local nursery I found that they had nice gallon containers of Hakonechloa 'All Gold', which is a relatively new introduction of Hakonechloa macra and it differs from auroela, which I have grown for many years, in that it is--you guessed it-- all gold, whereas aureola has some green in the leaf.  This makes 'All Gold' a brighter presence in the garden.  So I decided to use 'All Gold' in these pots and I think it has turned out very well!  I like how these pots echo the chartruese of other nearby plants such as Robinia 'Frisia', and my pollarded golden catalpa.
     You may ask why I don't plant these pots up like so many other people do with a variety of different plants.  Well, that is just not my style.  I almost never plant more than one kind of plant in a pot, and the reason I don't is that my entire garden is filled with a variety of plants and I wants my pots to be a place to rest the eye.  Also, and probably more importantly, I simply don't have the time or energy to fuss over pots and it is much easier to just plant one kind of plant in a pot and be done with it.


  1. I love the simplicity of these pots - the coloration is so dramatic in your gardens that they indeed punctuate rather than "elaborate" the plantings -- the all gold cultivar too magnifies the coloration of the pots. A masterful composition!!

  2. They look great: you know what you are doing!

  3. Beautiful!! I was interested in having the "All Gold" planted in two containers in front of my porch (FULL shade). I am in Ohio, wondering what you do with these in the winter time? Do they live through winter in pots? I know during spring summer and fall I will have to make sure they are getting watered as pots dry out quickly, but if they will survive in pots through the winter please tell me what I need to know to care for these plants. Thank you!