Posts Tagged ‘foliage’

Gorgeous Golden Shrubs – Part 1

Foundation border with Viburnum lantana 'Aureum' and Philadelphus coronarius 'Aureus'

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

As exciting as it is to see the first few blooms of spring, it’s hard not to be greedy and wish for more color now. Hooray for years’ worth of digital photos to supply a quick color fix! While I was filing some newer images, I came across pictures of some of my favorite yellow-leaved shrubs, and, knowing that many of you too enjoy great-looking foliage, I figured I’d share them. I decided to divide them into two posts: those that are grown for flowers as well as foliage and those prized mostly for their leaves.

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Not-So-Mellow Yellow

Baptisia sphaerocarpa 'Screaming Yellow' with Nepeta 'Walker's Low', Cornus sericea 'Silver and Gold', and Salvia 'Caradonna'

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

In The Softer Side of Yellow, I trotted out some images of what I thought were relatively tasteful combinations of yellow with green, yellow with yellow, and yellow with blue. As I was choosing those pictures, I also found some combinations that showed a bit more zip, so I figured I’d put those in a separate group. This combination, featuring ‘Screaming Yellow’ false indigo (Baptisia sphaerocarpa) could have gone either way: Paired with the ‘Walker’s Low’ catmint (Nepeta), the effect is rather soft, but the intense purple-blue of the ‘Caradonna’ salvia in the back saves it from being too sweet. Can you imagine this grouping without the catmint? That would definitely be zippy.

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The Softer Side of Yellow

Arc borders at Hayefield

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

Of all the color combinations in my garden, yellow with green is one of my favorites. Built around a long row of golden elderberry (Sambucus nigra ‘Aurea’), the curved borders that evolved along my driveway turned out to be a great place indulge in all sorts of yellow flowers and foliage. It wasn’t until months later, when I took the picture at the top of this post, that I realized the excellent color echo of the road sign in the background. The strong yellow of the ‘Zagreb’ coreopsis in the foreground is almost a perfect match, though I think rudbeckias would be even better.

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Purple Prose – Part 3

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' with Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra' and Trifolium rubensPurple foliage lends itself so well to high-contrast plant pairings that it seems almost a waste to try it in quieter combinations. In my garden, this usually happens only by accident: The purple foliage is there waiting for the bright flowers to do their thing, and it ends up looking good with another leafy partner. Well, I’m inclined to enjoy beauty where I find it, and these unplanned pleasures often delight me more than my carefully considered pairings.

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Purple Prose – Part 2

Clematis seedling with Rosa glauca

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

Every few months, I start a new list of garden projects I’d like to try. It would be better if I’d keep just one running list, because the many small bits of paper scattered over my desk get used as bookmarks or coasters or end up getting filed with other papers, and I lose track of them. When I do run across an old list, it’s fun to read it over and see what I’d planned and what (if anything) I’ve accomplished. One project that’s appeared on quite a few of my lists is making a black-and-white garden.

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Purple Prose – Part 1

Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum 'Nigrum' with Solenostemon cv., Musa zebrina, Solenostemon (coleus) 'Sedona', and Euphorbia cotinifolia

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

If chartreuse gets the distinction of “the new neutral,” then dare we describe purple foliage as the horticultural equivalent of the little black dress? Well, in my reality, work boots and a boonie hat are the perfect accessories for any outfit, so I’m on thin ice making fashion-related analogies. But I think I have a grasp of the theoretical concept of the LBD, as being perfect for almost any occasion because you can dress it up for drama or leave it unadorned for an effect of understated elegance. And if that’s right, then I’d say that those qualities definitely apply to purple foliage (like that of Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum ‘Rubrum’, above) as well.

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Dark and Light – Part 1

Capsicum annuum 'Explosive Embers' and Talinum paniculatum 'Kingwood Gold'

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

A while back, I wrote a post at Gardening Gone Wild about one of my favorite color combinations: burgundy to black with chartreuse to yellow. Since we’re concentrating on color for this month’’ Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop, I have a perfect excuse to revisit the topic with some more of my favorite combinations. Above is a detail shot of ‘Explosive Embers’ pepper (Capsicum annuum) with ‘Kingwood Gold’ jewels-of-Opar (Talinum paniculatum), two easy-to-grow annuals.

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