Tuesday, August 4, 2009

For the Love of Leaves

Garden writers and designers have claimed for years that you can design a beautiful garden considering only the foliage of a plant and ignore the blooms. Shade plants work particularly well as foliage features.

I haven't had a shady area to plant in years. My last house had all sun all the time. Now I have just a small patch of shade by my kitchen door. I decided to plant a garden in this small space that didn't need deadheading so it would always be welcoming and never seem shabby.

I combined the lime green of Hosta 'Sum and Substance', and the blues of Hosta 'Blue Angel' for large leaves at the back. The small leaves of Huecherra 'Lime Rickey' (Coral Bell) fill in the front nicely and echo the light green in the back. Also in front is an unknown maroon and green Coral Bell that I grabbed from my mom's garden that ties in the Euphorbia at center. The top drama queen is the annual I added this year called Persian Shield. The irridescent purple and green leaves contrast perfectly with the Hosta Sum and Substance (see top picture.) This purple pleasure likes to stay fairly moist (I have it near, but not under, the gutter spout) and can join your house plants inside for the winter.

I will have to split these plants every couple years to contain them in the space. But that is not a negative for me. It means I can share them with my friends and family if they like this combination.

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