Finding plants with interesting foliage is always a treat, but if they’re discouragingly expensive or too fussy to grow successfully, the thrill can go off pretty quickly. So these days, I turn first to seed catalogs to see what I can grow for myself before I start hunting through online nursery listings or visiting local garden centers. Here are a few of my favorite foliage finds that are easy to start from seed and easy to grow in the garden, too.
The list of neat plants I want to tell you about keeps getting longer, so it’s about time to have a crack at checking off a few of them. First up, a must-have shrub for those who swoon over scented plants: Abelia mosanensis, known variously as hardy abelia, fragrant abelia, and bridal veil.
Herbs were the first group of plants that grabbed my attention as a youngster, and they quickly became a passion in my later teens, when I started gardening obsessively. Eventually I moved on to ornamental perennials, but lately, I’m finding myself drawn to herbs again, and I’m excited about planning an herb-themed planting for a new space I have to fill. In the process of sorting through plants that I already have here to see what might be suitable, I found a number of neat plants are both ornamental and – at least tangentially – herbal.