This is what I tell myself


I wouldn’t even want my hakonechloa to be this big. It would be too much. Yeah, right.

 This is what I tell myself

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. Is this at the Elisabeth Miller garden in Seattle? Betty Miller introduced Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ to Seattle in the 1950’s I think–anyway she was the first to have it there.

  2. Wow – that is glorious! One’s tendency is to jam it up against something to make a skirt, but giving it space like that really allows it to shine. I find the species is hard to find now since all the cvs have hit the market.

  3. That is lovely. I had an amazing specimen of Hakonechloa macra ‘Albo Striata’ in my old front garden and someone came and dug a huge chunk of it out.

  4. Wow, thank you for posting this! I am a new gardener and I keep driving by one of these gorgeous plants on one of my daily routes. I wanted to know what it was… and now I do. Are they really hard to find?

  5. I got my first “okey fenokey” grass (as I call it, for some reason I can remember the name of some southern swamp but not this plant) probably 15 to 18 years ago. It likes my garden a lot. I have one in the front of the house that looks like that, a lovely river flowing and spilling out from the hostas. I split it and start it other places. It is probably my fav. plant. Ok, fav shade plant.

  6. They certainly don’t look like this on the east coast. They tend to be half that size and sort of hang over the edge of a planting. That is so sculptural! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Pictures like this are why I have tried it twice. Guess they really don’t like southern hot weather, because they just slowly dwindled away.

  8. Plantkiller, Bluestone Perennials has it, as well as two additional varieties. They are online, and I have had good experiences ordering from them for about 7 years.

  9. Mine is about 10 years old in pretty much full shade and about 16% that size. I’m surprised it is even surviving in Wisconsin. I have another but smaller yet……

  10. I’m loving Tib’s “okey fenokey” name for the grass. Glad that I’m not alone naming and remembering my plants the way I want to. My Contorted Filbert is named Curly (but of course). And my birdbath is named Phil (cuz you always have Phil the birdbath.) Now I have to get “okey fenokey” just so I have a reason to say those fun words.

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