Fine Foliage – What Makes A Spring Sophisticate?

#FineFoliage #Spring SophisicateWhen spring rolls around and we are finally let out of our house to play amongst the plants, we fling ourselves to the garden center and start lolling about the colorful rainbow of flowers. Which ones? Hmmmm, one of each? Yes, Primroses, Pansies, Hyacinths… Yes, you KNOW what’s coming, I have to say it. Ready?

Now repeat after me, “Flowers are fleeting, foliage is forever.” Ahhhhh, now isn’t that better?

A sophisticated container like this that I created for one of my clients is a great alternative to starting out the season with flowers that will only last a short while before the heat of summer is upon us. This shady courtyard entry is dark and contemporary, but I adored the clients choice of the tall, black, column pot for me to create this design.

One of my favorite modern color combinations is ideally suited to this location. Gold or chartreuse and white or white variegation lends itself to coming across as so clean, fresh and textural. I love how the two leaf shapes mirror each other in a way. But, the real star of this container combination is the quirky conifer. I specifically chose it because of its sweet tilt. It gives not only a contrast of texture, but a fresh green distinction from the other palmate shaped leaves.

This refined spring combination will continue to look great well into the growing season. Still think you need a floral based design to feel like its spring? Now repeat after me….. 🙂

Key Players:
‘Stoplight’ Foamy Bells, Heucherella– Citrus bold color foliage contrasted with red veins is striking and radiant in the shady nooks and corners of the garden or containers. It’s fluffy foliage stays colorful in part shade to shade from spring to fall. Profuse white flowers are charming in spring and hold for months. 14-16″ tall and wide for zones 4-9

‘Gryphon’ Begonia– Upright, green splashed with silver and white palmate foliage is a full on thriller in a container out in the garden or as a tremendously hardy houseplant. In part shade to shade, it has subtle, blush pink flowers and grows 16-18″ tall and wide for zones 7-11.

Slender Hinoki False Cypress, Chamaecyperis obtusa ‘Gracilis’– This graceful, arching branched conifer is a lovely and narrow small-scale tree in a container or garden. Its open branched, pyramidal form is loaded with sophisticated personality with its tiny, deep green needles and bronze winter color. Slow growing in part shade to full sun maxing out at 8-12 ft. tall by 4-5 ft. wide in zones 4-8.

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5 thoughts on “Fine Foliage – What Makes A Spring Sophisticate?

  1. Molly

    I’ve recently discovered your site and enjoy it so much. Its become more meaningful to me as we have moved into a condo complex where they put pesticide on the lawn (I’m working on stopping that) which means the area where I garden is exposed to pesticide. Not fair to plant flowers to draw in the bees and butterflies only to kill them so foliage will be the answer. Challenging because the garden is in full sun but I am hoping to pick up some tips from you. In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying all your beautiful photos. Thank you!

    Reply
  2. meander1

    Very appealing combination..especially with the hint of a playful Dr. Seusy vibe with the hinoki having that somewhat exaggerated arch. Is it possible to keep an evergreen like that in a container for years? If so, what kind of care do you recommend?

    Reply
    1. personalgardencoach Post author

      Hinoki Cypress of nearly any type make excellent, long term container plants. They do need to be tended with regard to summer water as they are NOT drought tolerant. But, with good watering, organic fertilizing yearly and root pruning every 3-5 years or so depending on the size of the plant and container, they are pretty simple and rewarding long term container plants.

      Reply
  3. Pingback: Green Spring in Black and White | I see beauty all around by rob paine

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