Beauty and the Beast

IMG_9353This is a tiny corner of the very first garden I designed professionally and it is still one of my favorites. Ironically the fabulous combination shown here, is actually one that the homeowner created!

Why It Works

I planted a group of the variegated ‘Little Heath’ andromeda at the base of a dogwood tree imagining the pretty color echos between this delicate foliage and the white flowers/ red fruits of the tree. While that was certainly attractive it wasn’t until these monster-sized chocolate colored leaves were added as a backdrop that the vignette really came into focus. The burnished tones of the ‘beast’ seem to enhance the rosy tints of the ‘beauty’ perfectly and there is no doubt that the dramatic difference in leaf size plays a key role in the success of this duo.

Gorgeous – I just wish I could take credit!

The Stars

Red leaved Rodger’s Flower (Rodgersia podophylla ‘Rotlaub’).

The giant, jagged leaves of this herbaceous perennial are serious show stoppers! Initially emerging a deep bronze this dramatic foliage slowly creates a 3-4′ mound of foliage in shades of green, copper and burgundy. Truly a spectacular backdrop for the dramatic plumes of creamy-white flowers which appear in mid-summer, but really who needs flowers?   Zones 5-9

‘Little Heath’ andromeda, lily of the valley shrub (Pieris japonica ‘Little Heath’)

Evergreen, compact, delicate green and white variegated foliage with rosy new growth and spring flowers – this is one of my ‘go to’ shrubs for containers and gardens. It  grows slowly to 3′ x 3′. Zones  5-9

What They Need To Thrive

  • Partial shade
  • Moisture retentive soil

Season Of Interest

  • Year round

Want to see more? Our book Fine Foliage features this duo with ‘companions’…………..

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