Tag Archives: Winter

Decorating for Holiday with “Fine Foliage”

December 2012 Folaige and Bloom 121Poinsettia, Christmas Cactus, Amaryllis, Paperwhites are all lovely examples of classic flower power at the holidays. But, what about options without flowers? Tabletop arrangements bold enough to go without flowers are a fun option. And have you GOT COLOR outside? Probably not much when its been as frozen as its has been across the country this Holiday season.

So, lets take a peek at what some VERY talented designers are creating with the lovely options in winter foliage to arrange and cut for stunning outdoor as well as indoor arrangements.

Holiday-Planter-burlap-green-ribbon-bow-MediumStephanie and Garden Therapy made this adorable burlap covered porch pot and even gave you the complete instruction for how she created it from garden cuttings. I love the non-traditional colors!
The talented designers at Behnkes Nursery made this made this Christmas tree out of cut-greens, excellent color!!

The uber talented designers at http://besusan.blogspot.com/2011/12/its-most-wonderful-time-of-year.html made these designs above and worked almost a full week on the entire house- great blog post to read and see how they made the magic!

I love the way this arrangement uses the vertical height of the yellow twigs en-masse for impact!

Bill Kennedy Landscape has been taking Pinterest by storm with fantastic design work for winter!

Last but certainly NOT least, two of MY favorite designers who are simply BRILLIANT and constantly keep me in awe with their talents, Helen Weiss of Unique By Design of Edmond, Oklahoma and Deborah Silver of Detroit Garden Works.

Indoors, this wreath hanging over the table is magical!

Indoors, this wreath hanging over the table is magical!

Tall and regal!

Its almost like Deborah commanded pretty snow on her arrangement when she got this shot. :-)

It’s almost like Deborah commanded pretty snow on her arrangement when she got this shot. :-)

Silver sparkles!

Silver sparkles!

As the holidays culminate, and party invitations abound, what will YOU be doing to decorate YOUR home with Fine Foliage?

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Evergreens that aren’t Ever Green

Forever Goldie golden arborvitae has orange tips when the weather gets colder

Forever Goldie golden arborvitae has orange tips when the weather gets colder

We are all know that  most deciduous trees change color in fall but did you know that certain evergreens do too? When we notice these seasonal details we have the opportunity to create new combinations that highlight them – and that’s what Fine Foliage is all about!

Here are a few of my favorites;

1, Little Heath andromeda (Pieris japonica ‘Little Heath’)

Little Heath andromeda changes from green/white to green/pink

Little Heath andromeda changes from green/white to green/pink

This is a true four season shrub. Its  pretty green and white variegated leaves have pink new growth in spring, white flowers which often persist into summer and then the foliage takes on a wintry blush as temperatures drop. I use them in containers and landscape design – I’m sure you have room for at least one.

To see this in a great spring combination enjoy Damp and Dramatic on page 84-85 in Fine Foliage.

Plant details

Size; 3′ x 3′

Light; part shade, part sun

Soil; moisture retentive

Zones; 5-9

2. Blue Surprise Port Orchard cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Blue Surprise’)

Blue Surprise Lawson's cypress is typically a rich steel blue but in cold weather will add tints of burgundy

Blue Surprise Port Orchard cedar is typically a rich steel blue but in cold weather will add tints of purple

The surprise here is that the steel blue foliage takes on a purple cast in fall and winter! This Port Orchard cedar need good drainage to avoid fungal disease and rot but Monrovia has now grafted this onto disease resistant rootstock as part of their Guardian series so they are far less temperamental. I love this columnar conifer in containers when young before transplanting it to the landscape as a stunning exclamation point.

Plant details

Size; 8′ x 3′, possibly taller

Light; Full sun

Soil; well drained but moisture retentive

Zones; 6-9

3. Rainbow drooping fetterbush (Leucothoe fontanesiana ‘Rainbow’)

Rainbow drooping leuothoe in its fall/winter color - wow!

Rainbow drooping leuothoe in its fall/winter color – wow!

Deer resistant, drought tolerant and as tough as old boots – three reasons why I include it in shady containers and gardens but that’s not all. White spring flowers and striking multicolored leaves which turn scarlet in fall and winter turn this into a real garden workhorse. In some years I have found it prone to fungal spot (seen as purple spots on the leaves) but I give it a good haircut in spring and it bounces back just fine.

Plant details

Size; To 5′ tall and wide but can be pruned easily

Light; part shade, shade

Soil; drought tolerant once established

Zones; 5-9

4. Forever Goldie golden arborvitae (Thuja plicata ‘Forever Goldie’)

When young Forever Goldie is a perfect container candidate. It's summer color goes through gold to chartreuse

When young Forever Goldie is a perfect container candidate. It’s summer color goes through gold to chartreuse

Probably my favorite golden conifer, this is a beacon in my garden throughout the year combining with the blue-purple leaves of Grace smoke bush during spring, summer and fall before becoming a solo artist in winter. To add to its cold season glory the golden foliage takes on coppery-orange tints – stunning. This is usually available as a 1g or 2g plant so once again is a perfect container candidate until it needs a bit more root room. See the leading photograph for its fall/winter color.

Plant details

Size; 15-20′ x 3′

Light; full sun

Soil; average

Zones; 3-7

Other favorites?

Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica cvs.) – see A Three-Leaf Trifecta in Fine Foliage (pages 6-7)

Many heathers e.g. Firefly and Winter Chocolate – see Strawberries and Chocolate in Fine Foliage (p 68-69)

Many golden pines e.g. Louie and Winter Gold

Wintercreeper (Euonymus forunei) e.g. Emerald Gaiety and Emerald and Gold which both get pink tips,

What’s your favorite?

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