On the 16th of every month, Pam Penick hosts Foliage Follow-up – a celebration of the more permanent stars of the garden. So, head over there for additional wonder and happiness! Yesterday’s Bloom Day post focused on blue flowers, but in all seriousness – they would not look half as good if it weren’t for the surrounding colors and textures – ranging from yellow and chartreuse, through green, to brown and black. They are all powerful in their own right, and add both contrast and visual focal points. Here are a few of my current favorites:
The browns, blacks and greens of this stunner – Pennisetum purpuraeum ‘Vertigo’. I mean really – what does not look spectacular against this one?
The mesmerizing texture of Canna ‘Pretoria’ will create a fabulous focal point just about anywhere.
‘Pretoria’s’ leaves have a delicate red edge which looks superb and adds definition when juxtaposed against a darker foliage.
Another take on green and yellow – Miscanthus zebrinus – a tall, upright grass with a graceful weeping habit. It comes in a smaller version too.
The sheer size of the leaves of Colocasia command your attention. This poor thing survived the winter in a pot. Somewhere in spring, I tossed the semi-mushy corms in a bed to see if they would come back. They did. Now they dwarf just about everything else around it. Not the ideal spot perhaps, but I’m happy it’s back. Next year, I will give it a more exclusive home, worthy of its grandeur! I bet it will look great against my new purple wall…
Cyperus papyrus adds height and fuzzy flowers. Such a fun plant! An annual in this climate, though.
The tiny leaves, and knarly twigginess of a Corokia against leaves and berries of a ‘Black Lace’ Elderberry.
More green and burgundy – the veiny leaves of Red Sorrel make a great ground cover. A prolific self seeder, it pops up all over the place. At some point, I might try to exercise a bit more control over its adventures, but for now, I quite enjoy it wherever it appears. You can actually eat it too. It’s young leaves give salads a great splash of color and zest! If anybody would like seeds, let me know!
The marvelous purple texture of a Strobilanthes – Persian Shield – against an Aucuba japonica.
Oops – almost forgot this month’s oddball. It seems I have an albino iris! It is supposed to look like the variegated variety behind it, but as of yet, there is not a hint of green on it. I’m watching it closely to see whether it will wither and die, revert back to variegation, or thrive and prosper as its ghostly self. Exciting!
Finally, the graceful weeping foliage of Iris confusa against the dark, bluish green of my Edgeworthia. This elegant draping habit is what made me want this plant in the first place. The long-lasting and pretty spring flowers are just an added bonus.