I've been trying to come up with interesting and unique combos of foliage, something more than just grasses, ferns and hostas -- although those plants are old stand-bys for foliage -- so of course, they've crept in. And I've just now realized, looking through the bed, that sometimes too much foliage variety can be just as chaotic and unrestful as too many flowers.
This bed is technically part of the gravel garden, but it's at the back, where there is more shade than towards the front of the house.
|Viola labradorica, Geranium phaeum 'Margaret Wilson'
|Begonia grandis, un-tagged fern, Carex oshimensis 'Everillo'
|Heucherella "brass lanterns, un-tagged fern, Deschampsia 'Northern Lights', Tiarella cordifolia
And this bed is also in the shade, but on the other side of the fence that separates front from back.
|Hakonechloa macra aureola, Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'
|Sword fern, Hellebore 'Ivory Prince', Hakonechloa macra aureola, Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost', Begonia grandis
A third area with a variety of foliage is in mostly sun, and gets irrigation in the summer, and in the rainy season is located right in the low spot where most of the water drains, so it's basically a mostly sunny, very wet spot. These plants have been in the ground for two years now, and I've lost the tags, so I don't have all the correct names.
|Filipendula rubra, Dark-leaved bugbane (might be Cimicifuga racemosa 'Brunette'), unnamed fern, Filipendula ulmaria 'Aurea', and at the very far left Rodgersia aesculifolia
|Rodgersia aesculifolia and Filipendula ulmaria 'Aurea'
|Chocolate Eupatorium, dark-leaved bugbane, and Filipendula ulmaria 'Aurea'
|Chocolate Eupatorium, Filipendula rubra, Cardoon
Now if I can just keep all these plants alive to come back next year, hopefully bigger and lusher.
Go to Pam Penick's blog Digging, where she is focusing on some spectacular foliage plants that she photographed on a recent trip to the Denver Botanical Garden. And you will find many more links in her comments to other bloggers who are focusing on foliage today.