Must have plant - Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'

This is the very beautiful Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'.

It's one I came across about ten years ago, and was the beginning of my interest in grasses. Up to this, I had always liked the old staple Carex 'Evergold' and not liked Cortaderia selloana, otherwise known as 'pampas grass' (unless it was in a large garden and I didn't have to prune it!)

I would have known and come across other grasses, and knew people who were in fact quite passionate about the uses of grasses, but just didn't get it. 

Now of course I understand what people were talking about, the movement grasses bring to the garden, their gracefulness in a border, the sound wind makes as it moves through grass stems. Ah yes, I have been converted. 

And this one was the start of it all. It is a plant that enjoys sun to semi-shade, Has bright yellow and green strap-like foliage, that grows to bout 12 inches in height, with flowers in Autumn that rise above this; also in Autumn, the foliage changes to a wonderful russet colour, reflecting the season. 

It does die back for the winter, with the young shoots rising from the base in Spring. It is as theses new shoots appear that I remove the previous year's foliage, generally by hand, otherwise there is a danger of pruning the new shoots.

I know of people that have tried, and failed, to grow this plant. I've always had it in a pot, preferably using a rich soil based compost that is lime-free. I split it every 3 years or there abouts and the new plants do take a year to recover from this.

It is a grass I highly recommend growing, and it will reward you with an ever changing look to reflect the season that's in it.

Happy gardening.