Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Foliage Combos from The Hardy Plant Study weekend

Last weekend I attended the Hardy Plant Study Weekend, which I mentioned in yesterday's post. It's a weekend-long (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) conference that took place this year in Bothell, Washington. It rotates every year between four areas here in the Pacific Northwest -- next year it's in Portland, OR.

I know some bloggers like to take detailed photos and do posts about every garden to try to give readers a feel for what it's like to tour the garden, and I love reading those kinds of posts, but I'm rubbish at putting them together myself. So I'm going to share some nice foliage combos that I saw. Gardens in this part of the country excel at cool, leafy gardens, and foliage is trendy (personally I prefer flowers). Flowers and quirk (there was even less of that). I can count on one hand the number of gardens that featured flowers. I'm going to see if I can get through this post without showing you any Hakone grass too, which, believe me, will be a big challenge (God, it was everywhere, and I'm sick of it).

Bonus flower

Bonus flowers

Can I let this stand in for ALL the yellow and red/purple combos I saw all weekend? God, that got repetitive.

Isn't that Loropetalum gorgeous?

Another bonus flower

Oh no, a little Hakone grass snuck in

Ah bugger, there it is again, I couldn't crop it out


Agh, help me

Pry my eyes out with a spoon -- I get it, it looks like water, but come on

I bet you're ready for some flowers now. I sure was, after four days of this. There were really only two gardens in the entire four days that were flower-heavy, and one of those was a commercial planting. Believe me, I latched onto those like a starving baby.


  1. Happy to look at beautiful foliage combinations for days on end :)

  2. Lots of great foliage combinations! It wasn't that long ago that Hakonechloa was the hot new plant. I still think it's lovely and enjoy the way it moves with the slightest breeze. Maybe this is because I've killed it in my garden by crowding it out - we always appreciate what we can't grow, right?

  3. Crazy, I really had no idea that flowers were "out"...maybe the personal preference of the organizers? (I also had no idea Hakonechloa was such a "thing"...)

  4. So much pretty green and foliage, but yes, some flowers would be nice too. And some spikes? But thank you for sharing some insight into what is cool in the PNW!

  5. These are seriously excellent photos Alison, I can't even pick which one I like best.Here in Norcal, those swaths of Hakone grass are rare, so I am happy to see them.

  6. I hope it's OK that I am grinning over your plant prejudices. I do love Japanese Forest Grass (I can't spell the other name and I don't want to bother to look it up) and I love foliage. You got some great captures. I loe flowers too, but foliage lasts longer.

  7. Love foliage combinations, love Hakonechloa too, thank you for sharing these beautiful gardens.Flowers are beautiful but so is foliage.

  8. Hakone grass is still a huge favorite of mine. The more I have the happier I am, the best and most reliable of all my other grasses. Plus, I always preferred Foliage Follow Up blogs to GBBD, so this gorgeous post of foliage combinations is just what I needed on Saturday morning. Inspired by you pics I may even get my very first Podophyllum this fall.

  9. Just back from vacation and catching up on all your posts. Had to laugh as I love foliage and was drooling over this last garden, esp. as I have been growing Hakonechloa for years. Guess this means you can never visit my garden except at very specific floral moments!


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