One bit I am focusing on constantly when adding plantings into the designs is my clear focus on foliage shape and color, the two most important elements to an interesting landscape, with impact. It is how to extend a colorful garden
Gorgeous? YES!But.....what happens when those flowers are gone? Sure there may be some flowers to follow however it could have season long impact. In this case all green, smallish leaves = b-o-r-i-n-g
Uniquely attractive, in a subtle way. Today however it is all about impact created with diverse foliage
Virtually few perennials, massive interest with diversity of colored foliage and varying leaf shapes
Ajuga 'Bronze Beauty' with the added bonus of blue flowering spikes in Spring
Miscanthus 'Zebra Grass'
Festuca 'Elijah Blue;
Miscanthus 'Purpurascens '
For shade, 'Hakonechloa 'All Gold'
Variegated Thyme 'Lemon'
Caladium 'Ansel Adams'........to die for!
Japanese Painted fern
'Coast to Coast'
'Fire and Ice'
Heuchera's......In every imaginable color, well, almost
Geranium 'Espresso' Brownish foliage with delicate pink flowers that blooms from late April to late September. I like to underplant it with the ground cover Lysimachia 'Aurea', shown above. This is a real POP, as this beauty can fade into the mulch. You do mulch don't you?
Heucherella 'Sweet Tea'
Brunnera 'Jack Frost'
Actea 'Black Negligee'. Tall with architectural foliage blooms in late Autumn with bottle brush spikes laced with the scent of vanilla
Stachys 'Big Ears'
Hello Gorgeous! Clematis 'Stolwijk'
Hardy Kiwi Vine Only the MALE has this coloration
Climbing Hydrangea 'Firefly'
Physocarpus 'Amber Jubilee' This is year round, not just Autumn!
Pittosporum 'Irene Paterson'
Sambucus 'Plumosa Aurea'
Fothergilla 'Blue Mist'
Again, not a flower in sight
False Cypress 'Gold dwarf'
Pyrus 'Silver Frost'
Cercis 'Forest Pansy' Yes, a burgundy leafed Redbud!
Cornus 'Golden Shadows'
And........that is just for starters! Now, how to combine these plants in your borders. This is where the leaf shape takes center stage.
The best neighbors are opposites; thick leaf next to thin leaves
More of the above
Thick and thin
Something else to note......if you have a bed that appears to be messy, the cause is often too many small leaves. Large leaves lend order. Imagine if the above tropical was not there, there would be no focal point and the Verbena would appear medowish
Let's take a look at great examples of this conversation
Hope you found some inspiration, I love this topic!
Thank you for reading......