Contrast without flowers, plants with great variegation or leaf color

One lesson I’ve learned as a gardener is that flowers are here for a few days or weeks, while foliage is here for months! As a result, I design around the color and texture of foliage as much or more than the flowers of a plant. We regularly use plants with purple, red, silver, yellow or variegated foliage – read on to learn about some of my favorites.

I love variegated foliage for the contrast that it provides, and the attention that it can attract in the garden. Goshiki Osmanthus is a mid sized evergreen shrub, thriving in partial sun to shady conditions. Combine it with ferns and hellebores in a shady deer prone garden or with peonies and iris in a partly sunny location.

Two of the most dramatic colors in the garden are silver and purple, especially when combined together. Purple Pineapple Lily and Lambs Ears are one striking example of this combination – with their smooth and fuzzy textures adding an additional layer of contrast. The best thing about this combination? It’s based entirely on foliage which lasts from spring into fall. Add other flowering plants to increase seasonal impact.

Interested in adding plants with striking foliage to your garden? Contact Bright Leaf Landscaping at 919-475-1015 or fill out our online contact form. Design and installation are our expertise, and we are always happy to meet with new clients to discuss potential projects!