Cinnamon Spice

IMG_0636Some foliage looks so good you could almost eat it! Well here’s a lick-ilicious combination for you that is easy to try in a large container or your garden.

The inspiration for this scrumptious color scheme came from the cinnamon colored indumentum on the new growth and stems of this Rhododendron ‘Teddy Bear’. This fuzzy coating has a suede-like feel and serves to help protect the plant from moisture loss. Interestingly it has also been reported that many Rhododendron with indumentum are less susceptible to vine weevil attack.

Pairing this with Heuchera ‘Creme Brulee’ was an obvious choice since its foliage was the perfect shade  to draw attention to this special feature of the Rhododendron. The dark green, glossy, mature foliage of the shrub adds necessary contrast and depth; without it we’d just have a cinnamon slushy.

The finely textured grass seen peeking here is orange hair sedge (Carex testacea). It’s wispiness lightens and softens the plant palette while keeping with the monochromatic color scheme.

IMG_0447To develop this grouping further you could add autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) shown above. The new growth has wonderful coppery tones and the different leaf shape adds interest.

This combination began life as a container planting for a client. I loved it so  much that I repeated it in my own garden! Remember that you can always transplant your container plants to the landscape when they outgrow their allotted space too. Containers are a great way to experiment with new plants and color schemes before you splurge on an entire border makeover.

Plant details

Rhododendron ‘Teddy Bear’ – compact and dense growth to 4′ x 4′. White flowers flushed with pale pink in June. Outstanding plant!  Zones 5b-8b

Heuchera ‘Creme Brulee’ – 16″ x 16″ evergreen perennial with spires of white flowers in spring that hummingbirds love. Zones 4-9. (‘Southern Comfort’ has a similar color and may be better for hotter climates).

Orange hair sedge (Carex testacea) – olive green stems, tipped with orange. This evergreen grass grows to 2′ tall and 18″ wide as a soft fountain. Zones 7-10

Autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) – my favorite fern. This vase-shaped,evergreen beauty  benefits from trimming in spring as the fresh foliage appears. To 3′ x 3′. Zones 5-9

All plants do well in part shade with average, well drained soil.

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