Gardens that are fortunate to have shade or part sun, have design options for special effects with foliage colors and textures that the full sun gardens envy. It’s imperative to take notice of the high contrast details from every angle, they’re worth ogling!
This series of photos illustrates some combinations of plants where the bold leaves in all of their drama, meets the delicate, lacy, strappy, exquisite tendrils, fronds, and froth of smaller foliage. Some of the photos are simply pointing out foliage details that ought to be noted!
Gold variegated Yucca on the left and a white variegated Daylily both rise boldly from the fluff of Ajuga flowers in spring.
Hosta is a never ending source of options for combinations of both striking and delicate in a small area. Small space gardeners rejoice! On the left, this clean white variegated Hosta is paired with fragrant Sarcococca humulis. On the right is a blue and gold painted Hosta with a fluffy chartreuse fern. Both design companions highlight each plants strength beautifully.
The old-fashioned lace of this fern, Athyrium n. ‘Ghost’ unfurling in front of the seersucker texture of the Hosta in the background is pure composition bliss.
Keeping the color palette bright and yet subtle make it impossible to ignore the fine filigree details of the Fern against the Hosta.
A subtle circle of Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium n. ‘Pictum’) is mesmerizing with its variety of color and textures.
The Cobra heads on these emerging fern fronds were enough of a detail to stop me in my tracks!
Variegated Lily of the Valley is the dramatic broad-leaved companion downstage from the tousle of red and bronze foliage of the Astilbe.
Prominent and pronounced leaves of the Rheum or Ornamental Rhubarb stand tall and proud in the border with machismo. If you bend down and look at the undersides of the foliage on a bright day, you can see through the light bronze and enjoy the more feminine, cinnamon and mauve-pink coloration from underneath.
The delicate, almost crochet looking leaves of green are in their own contrasting striped jail of golden variegated Iris foliage budding up for spring.
This Rodgersia may have the texture of Elephant skin but certainly not the color! Milk chocolate foliage is a delicious contrast to the smooth as lemon chiffon pie yellow of the Carex in the background.
Kirengeshoma palmata or Yellow wax-bells is a late season bloomer with soft butter cream-colored flowers. But, until August, we will need to be thrilled with this fine-cut silvery foliage.
Bergenia and Hellebore are done blooming and now they become a sturdy green backdrop for the soft grassy texture of Molinia c. Variegata or Variegated Moore Grass.
This Box Honeysuckle, Lonicera n. ‘Twiggy’ is the perfect golden compliment to the broad-leaved, fresh green foliage surrounding it.
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