Houzz is the new way to design your home.
A tapestry of green. This wonderful shade planting scheme shows us just how foliage alone can give us a great amount of color, creating a green tapestry.
Brilliant color. Few plants have such brilliant foliage color as the Coleus blumei shown in this border.
If the upkeep of Coleus sounds like too much trouble, a good replacement is the spectacular grass Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron'. Planted here in blocks, they really are breathtaking. It's not the easiest to grow, needing full sun in a moist soil. Strangely, the color starts at the tips of the shoots in spring and gradually suffuses through the plant.
Subtle palettes. Here we can see how a more subtle planting of glaucous green gives us a restful picture. Notice how the choice of plants has been limited to prevent the border from becoming too busy — something that is so important when using foliage plants in smaller spaces.
Perennial plants can also provide us with more subtle planting. Brunnera is a great plant for moist, shady situations. Its large heart-shape leaves make a good ground cover, and though it has delicate sprays of flowers similar to forget-me-nots, the foliage is the real winner.
Low maintenance. The use of foliage alone in planting schemes has been widely adopted in contemporary garden designs. The main benefits are the low maintenance required for year-round-color evergreens.
Contemporary style. Contemporary planting is again shown at its best with this roof garden. The precise planting shows us how restrictive and repetitive planting works best. Most leaves have differing colors on their upper and lower surfaces, perhaps green on top and gray beneath, so gardens prone to wind will get the benefit of an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colors.
Lasting color. One of the most obvious attributes of the average leaf is that it is with us for a lot longer than the flower. This is truest of the evergreens, whose leaves remain on the plant from one to three years.
Subtle contrast. The amazing sweep of Pachysandra terminalis and Buxus in this garden shows us why the sole use of foliage plants can be so dramatic. Though both plants will flower, the whole emphasis of the design is the wonderful contrast of subtle leaf color and texture.
Bolder statements. Other foliage contrasts need not be so subtle. The juxtaposition of the black grass Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' against a golden Carex makes a real statement. Try being bolder with plant selection, contrasting plants of differing color, texture and leaf size and shape.
Mass planting. I really love the use of these succulents. The shiny surface of the foliage brings yet another dimension to this evergreen planting. With just one species we can see the intricate differences in foliage color from deep cabbage green to the delicious pink-tinged edging.
Perhaps this green wall is the true green tapestry. The creation of this wonderful vertical jungle shows us how the foliage available to gardeners is so diverse — and how when we see it used in this fashion we may see we really don't need so many flowers.