My garden, here at Whimsey Hill House starts blooming in April, is a wonderful sight throughout the summer, and is done blooming, cut back, and run over with the lawn mower by the middle-end of October. I have perennials and annuals that, basically, throughout the growing season, give quite a display.
Most perennials bloom two to three weeks, and before they bloom, and after they bloom, you really only have their stems and foliage to look at. What a herbaceous perennial garden really is, is a tapestry of leaves. If you want to heighten the look of your leaf tapestry, to take it past just a sea of green foliage, with flowers, ADDING colored foliage to your garden will give it that WOW FACTOR. The colors of foliage I am telling you about are Blue-Green, Chartreuse, Burgundy, and Gray. The names for the four colors I came up with are just quick and simple descriptions for a broad range of foliage tones.
Blue-Green is self-explanatory. It could also be green with a hint of blue, blue with a hint of green. It could be pale and frosty, or a deep somewhat jewel color.
Chartreuse is yellow-green, harvest gold, gold with a hint of green, and green with a good amount of yellow in it.
Burgundy is reddish-purple. burgundy-maroon, burgundy with black undertones, burgundy with dark green undertones…also any foliage that has red in it.
Gray is grayish green, gray, and silver
Besides the colors I just listed, I am starting to see, in my area of upstate New York, a new color of foliage. It is a Coppery-Honey-Rust color. It almost looks like a Maple leaf in Autumn.
Now look at the illustration. The upper part shows some examples of the colors I am talking about. I used paint chips, and magazine cutouts to give you an idea of what to look for.
Next look at the illustration of the garden. The concept that I want to relate to you here, is about working the different colors of foliage across a garden and even around your property. First look at how I took the burgundy color of the foliage and worked it from the small tree on the left side of the drawing, to the bush in the center of the garden. Then it shows up again at the edge of the border and finally it appears as the color of the tree in the neighbor’s garden.
Now look at how I worked the chartreuse across the garden, from the bush on the left, to the planting along the garden’s edge, to the pyramidal bush on the right.
After that look at how I worked the colors gray and blue-green across the border.
The secret of adding different colors of foliage is to NOT plant it in one place (isolate it). You must find places on your property to move the color along. If you plant it in one place and stop, your eye will go right to it. If you plant it in multiple places, the eye will keep moving from one planting of it to the next.
The purpose of adding different colors of foliage to a garden, or your property, is that the foliage color alone is visually interesting, even if no flowers are blooming.
How to Plant (design)a garden. Mass versus Specimen planting. 2-17-2011,
When designing a perennial garden, it’s all about the shapes of leaves. 1-15-2011,
Stagger plant heights when Planting (designing) a garden. 2-23-2011,
Designing / Laying out Flower Beds 5-4-2013,
Plant a Garden Room on your Property 2-17-2013,
Plant (Start) a Flower Garden for Sun or Shade, Celebrate Spring 3-31-2012