Tag Archives: Gold Variegated Iris

Oh MY Iris!!!

There are grasses and all manner of spiky plants to add colorful texture in the garden, but its extraordinary to find iris with phenomenal foliage used to great effect. It used to be something rare and unique, but now iris of all kinds are being favored for the personality they bring to the landscape with leaves and not just flouncy flowers. 

Oh MY Iris!!!

Paired here with a lavender Japanese primrose (Primula sieboldii), these variegated yellow flag iris make a classy color combination for spring at the Bellevue Botanical Garden. 

Oh MY Iris!!!

Now look at how different that same iris looks with the emerging new foliage of this astilbe. Red and yellow are so vibrant together! 

Oh MY Iris!!!The the same iris again in front of this deep green ilex….. I don’t think fans of foliage would have hurt feelings if I said that I wouldn’t feel bad if this never bloomed would you? 

Oh MY Iris!!!
This beautiful German style iris is perfectly suited to this spring display with Forget-Me-Nots, Iceland poppy, pale yellow carex grass and moonlight toned wallflower. I have to hand it to the designers at Chanticleer, they know how to make a fashion statement all right! 

Oh MY Iris!!!

Another Siberian iris ‘Gerald Darby’ makes you stop in your tracks to get down and check out the marvelous legs on this plant! Blue-purple and not even a flower yet. Imagine the design possibilities! 

For more information on the amazing world of iris, see “A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts” from our good friend of Fine Foliage Kelly Norris. And a good companion option for all of the other amazing iris selections out there is this one, “Bearless Irises: A Plant for every Garden Situation” by Kevin C. Vaughn.

In the mean time, join us over on our Facebook page for more daily doses of leafy inspiration by clicking HERE!

Spring and Summer Perfect Pairings

Spring and Summer Perfect Pairings

‘Plum Crazy’ Oxalis from our beloved Hort Couture paired with Celosia.

Whether you are looking for what wine would be best suited for your favorite foods or which type of chocolate to have after your superb meal, pairings are a natural idea that we all gravitate toward. Team Fine Foliage obviously gets to play with all kinds of amazing foliage and we love to figure out new and exciting ways to create new pairings.

There are no pairing rules, but we prefer that you begin with some kind of a superior leafy plant to get your design juices flowing and then springboard from there! In this post, we’re giving you the spring and summer edition. At the end of this post, if we have inspired you, leave us a note with a description of YOUR perfect pairing and you may see it in a future post. 🙂

Spring and Summer Perfect Pairings

‘Blue Dune’ Lyme grass paired with Weigela ‘My Monet’

Spring and Summer Perfect Pairings

Phormium ‘Sundowner’ paired with Variegated Wallflower.

Spring and Summer Perfect Pairings

Yellow Gaillardia paired with Black Twig Dogwood.

Spring and Summer Perfect Pairings

Heucherella ‘Sweet Tea’ paired with Leucothoe ‘Rainbow’

Spring and Summer Perfect Pairings

Variegated Bluebeard paired with Blue Oat Grass

Spring and Summer Perfect Pairings

Heuchera ‘Berry Smoothie’ paired with Pieris ‘Flaming Silver’

Spring and Summer Perfect Pairings

Purple Sage paired with Limonium.

Spring and Summer Perfect Pairings

‘Coppertina’ Ninebark paired with Heuchera ‘Green Spice’ and orange Nemesia.

Spring and Summer Perfect Pairings

‘Delta Dawn’ Heuchera paired with ‘Lawson’s’ Cypress

Spring and Summer Perfect Pairings

‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple paired with Choisya ‘Sundance’

Spring and Summer Perfect Pairings

Variegated summer Phlox paired with unknown Heuchera.

Spring and Summer Perfect Pairings

Variegated summer Phlox paired with Hypericum ‘Ignite Scarlet’

All right now it’s YOUR turn, we will be waiting for your amazing ideas so that we can try to re-create some and post them later. Now, get going you have some designing to do! 🙂


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The Bold and the Blissful

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!
Slide1Gold variegated Yucca on the left and a white variegated Daylily both rise boldly from the fluff of Ajuga flowers in spring.
Slide2Hosta 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.

Slide3The 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.

Slide4Keeping the color palette bright and yet subtle make it impossible to ignore the fine filigree details of the Fern against the Hosta.

Slide5A subtle circle of Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium n. ‘Pictum’) is mesmerizing with its variety of color and textures.

Slide6The Cobra heads on these emerging fern fronds were enough of a detail to stop me in my tracks!

Slide7Variegated Lily of the Valley is the dramatic broad-leaved companion downstage from the tousle of red and bronze foliage of the Astilbe.

Slide8Prominent 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.

Slide9The delicate, almost crochet looking leaves of green are in their own contrasting striped jail of golden variegated Iris foliage budding up for spring.

Slide10This 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.

Slide12Kirengeshoma 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.

Slide13Bergenia 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.

Slide11This Box Honeysuckle, Lonicera n. ‘Twiggy’ is the perfect golden compliment to the broad-leaved, fresh green foliage surrounding it.

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