Who needs flowers when there is so much pretty foliage to enjoy? Okay I do, especially right about now when there isn't much blooming. But, one thing I've really come to appreciate is the importance of interesting foliage in the garden. I've tried to add interest in the shrubs, perennials, ground covers and trees. I remember when I first started gardening I thought it was only about flowers. If it didn't bloom, I just passed it by. After seeing other more experienced gardeners using different shades of leaf color and shapes mixed in with their flowers I began to see how important they were. So, now as I plant shop I not only look at when a flower will bloom, but at how much interest it will add when it's not blooming. Of course, sometimes a flower is so pretty I don't care how the leaves will look when it's not blooming!
Oakleaf hydrangea 'Pee Wee'
creamy white flower clusters
hummingbirds love the bright red, long stemmed flowers
Heuchera (unknown variety)
very long stemmed, small white flowers
Centaurea dealbata (Persian Cornflower)
lavender/blue bachelor button like flowers
Pulmonaria 'Roy Davidson'
clusters of blue flowers that change to pink
Tiarella 'Neon Lights'
tall clusters of small, white, fragrant flowers
I've tried to find different colors, shapes and textures to add interest throughout the seasons. I like leaves that draw you over to touch them. Some of the plants add an interesting backdrop to showcase the flowers planted around them. I've found that I've been drawn to more chartreuse and variegated foliage lately, they really seem to pop. If I'm really lucky I find plants that have both wonderful flowers and interesting leaves. Even luckier still is a plant that also has a great scent.
What are some of your favorite plants for foliage?