Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Foliage Combinations


So many times we gardeners garden only for blooms. I myself simply adore blooms, but try to consider the foliage too. Blooms are fleeting whereas the foliage lasts a long time. Spring is an awesome time to notice foliage. Everything is so succulent, green, and full that the foliage really tends to grab an onlooker. Here are a few of my favorite fabulous foliage combinations. Some look good together based on color, or texture, or form, but all fit well together regardless of additional traits they possess. I usually do consider texture and form when planting, but some of these are just happy accidents. The first such picture is one of those happy accidents.


Santolina (Lavender Cotton) and Yellow Button Mum
Hosta and Feverfew


Dwarf Alberta Spruce and Nepata 'Walkers Low'

Daffodil, Iris and Asiatic Lily Foliage

One of my absolute favorites! Bishops Weed (yes I know you can never get rid of it, but mine is contained and I like it) and Lily of the Valley

'Goldflame' Spirea and Iris Foliage

Iris and Variegated Grass (I lost the name-sorry)

Hosta, Lamium and Woodland Phlox

Sedum and Tree Peony Foliage

Turtlehead and Goatsbeard and Astilbe

Lambs Ear and Anisse Hyssop 'Blue Fortune'

Yellow Primrose and Iberis (Okay, disregard the blooms!)

Oxalis and Iris

Iris Ensata and Shasta Daisies

'Powis Castle' Artemesia and Mom's Hydrangea

Some other great combinations not pictured: nandina and little leaf euonymous or boxwood, lambs ear with allium or sedum or 'Firewitch' dianthus, and daylily with salvia or shasta daisies. These are just a few of my favorites. What are some fabulous foliage combinations you find in your garden?

in the garden....

38 comments:

  1. Very nice here!! I am finding I like to combine grasses in containers with a little bit of flower color added in.

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  2. Tina .. you are a gardener after my own heart when it comes to these fabulous foliage combinations .. every one of them are beautiful ( I have a thing for your nepeta and Alberta Spruce ).. I love my heuchera and hosta with a touch of Japanese Painted ferns .. but one of my favorites is very understated .. after my hellebore finishes blooming and its foliage is up to par .. that combine with my Mugho pine in the raised border .. well it is beautiful to me : )
    Great post girl !!

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  3. It's nice to select your plants for the foliage too!

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  4. Hi Tina, I love all of your combinations, they lood fabulous together and are what makes a garden good looking all season. Blooms are really very fleeting. Love the santolina and powis castle. Those gray colors really enhance their neighbors. The little grass looks similar to the dwarf ribbon grass I have, did it come from here? I think it is bulbous oat grass according to MMD.
    Frances

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  5. I like my rosemary and lambs ear together. They make a great pair! Thought provoking post Tina--I'm walking the garden after work and seeing what else I find.
    Have a great day!

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  6. Morning all! And a wonderful morning it is!

    Frances, It is a ribbon grass. No, I didn't get it from Fairegarden but it is very likely it is the same ribbon grass you have. I don't really like this grass. It looks great in spring then dies out in summer. But there it grows not bothering anything so I guess it will stay. Yes, the grays are wonderful!!! The santolina for the first time has self seeded so I'll be spreading that joy around. I have tons of Powis. I hope yours is doing well. My sheffies are splendid!

    You all have a great gardening day!

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  7. Good morning, Tina, after living in New England, I always think fall colors when I read the word “foliage,” but your beautiful images and fine sense of landscape design show that foliage can be lovely anytime of year. Wonderful combinations! The goldflame against the iris made me think of Japanese prints.

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  8. I totally agree with you on having foliage combinations to carry the garden when there are few or no blooms. You have some perfect combos!

    Cameron

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  9. Great combinations. I have the agastache/lamb's ear and hosta/lamium combos. That variegated iris is pretty thing, I'll bet it makes a good combo with lots of other plants. You chose quite a pair with bishops weed and lily of the valley. I actually love bishops weed. It can always be relied upon to perform in very difficult conditions where everything else fails. I agree, isolation and containment are the keys to enjoying these tough but very attractive plants;)
    Marnie

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  10. Beautiful combination's, Tina. I have started to put some plants together in pots. Some for color with blooms but still there is the foliage left to please the eye.

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  11. Absolutely beautiful combinations Tina. I've tried thinking that way too ever since buying my Wormwood and it looked so great with darker greens. And of course with the dark wine/maroon foliage plants I seem to be attracted to.
    Once again great and informative post!

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  12. Dear Tina
    thanks a lot for your nice greetings I read at ruhezone blog.
    This garden pictures are very nice, I like it.
    Excuse my bad english, but I have not so much practice ;-)
    Have a nice time and keep in touch
    Greetings from Doris

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  13. Tina, I just kept looking at all the combinations. So beautiful. It made me think that I should plan more when I think of planting. Artistic combinations are a joy to behold for a long, long time. About the foliage--so true. Blooms only last for a short while.

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  14. I really like the combinations you have. The spirea and iris look really nice together. I'll have to think about some favorites...

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  15. Like Frances said, flowers are fleeting but oh the foliage keeps on a keeping. Your combos are great.

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  16. Tina...Really great combinations with many ideas for we combo challenged gardeners...(me!) I adore the Japanese tree peony foliage...those flowers are fleeting, but you can't beat the leaves. gail

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  17. Your combinations are spectacular.

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  18. Your Foliage combos are great! I never think of the green aspect of planting just bloom colors. Great way to view the garden! And I do enjoy tropical lush green gardens so wonder why I never thought of green when planting in my gardens? Hum, you always get me to ponder the mind and this post is just a great example of the pondering minds today! I do like a green spike plant in a pot with lots of surrounding flowers but again, blooms not all greens... And my favorite color to decorate with in the house, Well green of course… lol…

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  19. These color combinations are so inspiring! Being a new gardener I'm always looking for ideas. I love the combination of hosta, lamium, and woodland phlox. Most our yard is in shade so I'm always looking for color combinations for woodland areas. --Jackie

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  20. Very sublime. I shall look for such combos once my garden leafs out enough to notice them!

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  21. Hi Tina, I am on late today, helped a friend this morning. I too love foliage contrast. I like a lot of the ones that you posted. I use Artemesia and Dusty Miller as a good color/foliage interest as well as some of the yellow-y sedum like Angelina or Stringy Stonecrop. Also like mixing up hostas with Tradescantia (both common and Sweet Kate). Check out my posting for today. My containers are mostly foliage contrast so I don't need to worry about blooms all the time.

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  22. Hi Tina. Beautiful combinations you have here. I love so many leaves it's hard to narrow down the favorites, but right now my tree peony is up against the dusky purplish leaves of rosa glauca (rubrifolia), and I'm quite enjoying the combination. I'm also enjoying a male fern's bright new growth next to a ground cover of golden oregano.

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  23. Well, I like sedums paired up with most anything, as the contrast is usually striking. And silverish plants paired with everything. I once looked at the flowers and didn't pay much heed to the foliage. But now I'm all into foliage!
    Brenda

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  24. Hi Tina, that's a lot of nice combinations you have made! I'm gardening more for the foliage than the flowers. I even cut the flowers off since they "destroy" the picture "ups" sometimes. The Variegated grass you didn't have the name of, I think it's Molinia caerulea 'Variegata' it sure looks like it!

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  25. Excellent combos! I'm a foliage person too, but only because I had read how important it is several years ago. I really does make a difference. :-)

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  26. Wonderful combos Tina! I love Ajuga combined with Astilbe, variegated Lirope & some gold or lime green colored Hostas! :)

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  27. Hi all! Just checking in for a quick sec. I have some school exams and projects I am working on. No garden time today:((((

    Unikatbuch, Bitte schon and Froliche Geburtstag-again. Thanks for dropping in.

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  28. Pomona, Thank you for your email! Sorry for the restriction on the blog.

    Gail P. If you find your way here I just wanted to say to enjoy your irises! And thanks for dropping by. Tell your husband thanks from me for telling you about my sign:)

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  29. a lot of greens, I love it !!! herzlich Kathrin aus Bremen

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  30. My favorite is the foliage of the daffodil, iris and asiatic lily!

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  31. What's nice about most of these is that they're so easy to grow - I have lots of them in my garden, but not necessarily in these combinations. If I can grow them, anyone can!

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  32. green is one of my most fav colours in the garden and it is foundational for all the blooms when they come. i love your photos of the foliage groupings.

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  33. I just love foliage, and you have some great combos. The Bishop's Weed & Lily of the Valley are well suited to each other, the thugs.

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  34. Tina, as you say blooms can be fleeting but good foilage combinations help keep interest in the garden all season long. I have seen Bishop's weed at my MIL and thought I might want some-thanks for mentioning it's invasive. I have enough plants I am trying to contril. :)

    Great pphotos and ideas. Thanks!

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  35. A great post, Tina! You are truly an artist in the garden. I love all these photos, and they're giving me some great ideas. In the last few years I have "matured" as a gardener and look beyond the blooms. I love my shade garden because there are few blooms there, just the interesting foliage. I still have a lot to learn about combining them, but I think that's partly why I love heucheras--they look great with anything!

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  36. Thanks for the combination suggestions. I'm going to try a few of these myself.

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  37. Hi all! Thanks for all the nice comments. I am liking all the suggestions and it is clear we all like our combinations!

    And a word to the wise on Bishops Weed-it will take over and is hard to eradicate. The lily of the valleys do too, but easier to get rid of and not as bad as Bishops weed. Both die out in the summer here in my garden due to drought. So if you do plant these, plant in drier areas that may help to contain them. Walls around them also help. They are thugs like many of you have said-so be warned!

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  38. Hi Tina! I'm so glad to know that you like bishops weed! I heard so many bad comments about it. I have it in the place that I hope it'll never escape. I believe it's pretty. Your pictures are very nice. You always find such interesting subjects for your posts. Thanks!

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