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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Fantastic Foliage

As my hunt for fantastic foliage unfolded, my first inclination was to search out foliage with contrasting colors. Purple foliage and chartreuse foliage were (and still are) highly desirable. Variegated foliage was another trait I sought out.

After adding these plants with fantastic foliage to the garden (or containers), it took a while before I understood just how diverse foliage can be. It's not only the colors, it's the shape, size and texture of each leaf that counts. Even if one were to have an all green garden, there could be incredible diversity by choosing lance-like leaves and placing them next to soft lacy foliage.

While there is such a wealth of tropical plants with amazing foliage (just look at Coleus alone), there are plenty of perennials with foliage that will blow you away. In this photo are four plants, a simple Hosta 'Emerald Tiara', Sanquinaria (a double blood root), a dwarf Epimedium and Asarum europeam. While each of these plants also flower at one point, I grouped them solely for their fantastic display of foliage.

The wonderful thing about perennials is that your one time investment will reap you a many times return in plant material. So often I see buyers here poo-poo the "common" plants like this lovely Stachys byzantine (Lambs ears). And yet, every photo I scanned that had lambs ears in it was just lovely. As the the Sedum behind it, you only need to read some of my past posts to know how much I love Sedums. One simply needs a pinch and before you know it you have another clump of Sedum to use to highlight another part of your garden.
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