Even though we are surrounded at the moment by wonderful flowers of all colours, it is very easy sometimes to forget the sumptuous tapestry effect that comes with contrasting foliage.
Here we have a hosta next to an astilbe, which are beside my favourite fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris. This fern is so big this year, in spite of the drought we are having at the moment. Tucked at the front are the only flowers here , Primula Guinevere, which has purple foliage and this is next to Iris sibirica “Butter and Sugar” which will flower in about another months time. Not only do you have contrasting shapes of leaves here but also of texture and colour, love this grouping.
Further along the same border ( this is the bog garden, in the shade, formed by an underground stream. This border never dries out – even in the driest of summers. ) we have the same fern, please don’t ask me to type it out again, with another hosta backed by a Rheum palmatum. To the right is Iris pseudacorus Variegata which will flower soon and the bright chartreuse flowers belong to Euphorbia palustris which loves the boggy ground here. I think there is plenty of contrast in the different sizes and shapes of the leaves .
Another border which is drier and more sunny has Alchemilla mollis contrasting in shape and colour with Lysimachia ciliata Firecracker which itself contrasts with its neighbours Euonymous Emerald Gaiety and the shrub Physocarpus Dart’s Gold.
Hosta Minute Man is in a wooden planter and contrasts with the ivy around it and the miniature Clematis in the pot with it.
In a sunnier part of the garden Senecio has been planted with another Euonymous next to Cotinus coggygria. The white flowers in the background belong to Choisya ternata.
This photo shows the Hart’s tongue fern unrolling – I think they look really lovely at this stage – contrasting so beautifully with an epimedium which itself is next to one of the many pulmonarias which seed everywhere.
My old favourite again, this time with Arum italicum marmoratum, and you can just see a blue hosta in the lower right corner getting in on the act.
Starting at the bottom left, there are more astilbes which of course flower later in the summer, a lonely variegated flag iris, where have all its friends gone ? with Hosta Krossa Regal. Then there is my lovely fern again and behind it all, the yellow of Bowles golden grass.
Some people want colourful flowers all the time, and would find these groupings rather boring, but I am very happy indeed with such a colourful, textured tapestry formed by the foliage of beautiful plants, I hope you agree !