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4 F’s Every Garden Needs: Foliage, Fragrance, Flowering, Fall Color

After working as a landscape designer for almost ten years I’ve learned that all gardens, no matter how big or small, need four elements of interest: Foliage, Fragrance, Flowering, and Fall Color. Read on to learn how to combine these elements in your garden.

Foliage – Loropetalum ‘Purple Pixie’ and Osmanthus ‘Goshiki’

Purple Pixi and Goshiki

When selecting a plant for foliar interest you have tons of options – from variegated foliage to brighten up a shady spot to purple foliage to contrast with neighboring plants. Both plants above get bonus points for being evergreen – and the Loropetalum also flowers!

Fragrance – Gardenia sp. and Osmanthus fragrans

Gardenia Osmanthus

In North Carolina we are lucky to have several fragrant plants that are also cold hardy. I use Gardenias or Osmanthus in almost every design. Gardenias bloom in early summer and the Osmanthus has fantastic fragrance in fall.

Flowering – Salvia and Achillea in a perennial garden

Salvia and Achillea

When selecting a plant for floral interest the options abound! Roses, Azaleas, Dogwoods, Redbuds, perennials, etc. Floral interest can be made more impactful when it contrasts with the texture and foliage of other plants.

Fall Color – Itea virginica

Fall Color

Round out your garden’s year of interest with a plant with spectacular fall color. This is also a great time to use plants native to North Carolina. Fothergilla, Itea, Nyssa, are all beautiful native options.

Need help with a gardening project at your property? Contact Bright Leaf Landscaping at (919) 619-4460 or fill out our online contact form. Landscape design and installation are what we do best, and we are always happy to meet with new clients to discuss potential projects!