Using Green in the Garden

In the garden, green provides the base for other colored plants and flowers to shine. And there are infinite shades to choose from!

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Cotton Lavender Is Good for a Hedge

Lavender cotton, Santolina chamaecyparissus, is a clump forming evergreen perennial that, if left unchecked, will form a low growing hedge. The silvery leaves are topped with small yellow, button like flowers that will bloom in July.

Lovely Lilyturf

Lilyturf, or Liriope, is often used as a groundcover or an edging plant. It has dense tufts of evergreen, broadly grassy leaves that are often striped. Stiff stems bear tight spikes of tiny blue or white bells.

Hardy Agave

Agaves are exotic, drought tolerant plants with an amazing garden structure. The agave plant, native to the Southwest and Mexico, fascinates with its architectural looks. When grown in pots, agaves will grow to the size of the container.

Hosta 'Elegans'

Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans' is a large hosta with deep, smoky blue, slightly frosted, heart-shaped foliage. Deep veins give the leaves a corrugated look. This hosta's white flowers bloom in early spring.


Asarabacca, Asarum europaeum, is a creeping perennial for shady spots in rock or woodland gardens. It has dark green, kidney-shaped leaves and solitary, purplish-brown, drooping, bell-shaped flowers in summer.

Feather Grass

Feather grass, Nassella tenuissima, has delicate and graceful leaves with airy flower heads that sway gently with the slightest breeze. This grass reseeds to naturalize in meadows or on slopes for erosion control.

'All Hallows Green'

Marrubium bourgaei 'All Hallows Green' is a dense wide spreading plant with lime-green, rough-textured leaves and small green flowers. Plant in full sun, where it is drought tolerant, for a solid low cover of an unusual color and texture.

'Blue Sunrise' Cranesbill

'Blue Sunrise' cranesbill produces a low, spreading mound of deeply cut leaves emerging chartreuse and turning green. They are most effective when planted in groupings. Blue, saucer-shaped blooms appear in early summer.

Red Barked Dogwood

Cornus alba 'Sibirica', red barked dogwood, is a deciduous shrub with oval, dark green leaves with small, creamy spring flowers. Its bright red stems are revealed when its leaves fall, making for an interesting winter border.

Wallich's Wood Fern

Dryopteris wallichiana, or Wallich's wood fern, is an evergreen with large beautiful fronds. It puts out a strong flush of new growth in the spring, densely covered with reddish black scales and prominent veining which makes the fronds looked carved.

Chinese Virginia Creeper

The long, slender leaves of Chinese Virginia creeper are green with clearly marked gray or even pinkish veins. They turn bright red before dropping in the fall.

Italian Arum

Arum italicum, or Italian arum, add great color and diversity to the garden with arrow- or spear-shaped leaves veined with mid-green to white. In early summer, white spathes of flowers are followed by spikes of bright orange-red berries.

Lungwort 'Ocupol'

Lungwort 'Ocupol' is a semi-evergreen perennial with ovate leaves heavily blotched and speckled with silver; clear pale-blue flowers open from pale-pink buds in spring on tall stems. Strikingly patterned leaves develop in the summer.

Honeybush Beauty

The honeybush plant is a tropical shrub with long, pointy leaf formations and deep green coloring. It is a low maintenance plant, though it will need extra attention during the colder months.

Japanese Maple

Japanese maples are small, deciduous trees grown for their graceful habit, fall color and beautiful foliage, which may be colored or deeply dissected. Many acers grow extremely slowly and are perfect in smaller gardens, or grown in large pots.

Swiss Mountain Pine

Mugo Pine, or Swiss Mountain Pine, is a shrub or small, round pyramidal plant that grows best in sun or partial shade. Dark green, stiff needles are held on the tree for more than four years, making it a dense pine suitable for a screen.

Next Up

Shade Gardening Secrets

Learn how to choose shade-tolerant plants for your garden.

14 Simple Gardening Tips and Tricks

From using leftover coffee beans to preventing dirt from getting underneath fingernails, master gardener Paul James shares his top 14 tips and shortcuts to make spring gardening a breeze.

Wildflower Gardening

Love wildflowers? Create a meadow using these tips as a guide.

Fall Gardening Checklist

Essential chores to get your garden, lawn and tools ready for cooler weather.

Spring Gardening Planner

Do these tasks during spring and caring for your garden will be easier, quicker and more satisfying.

Keyhole Gardening Tips

Try this inexpensive, green solution to growing food in drought-prone terrain.

Butterfly Gardening Basics

Offer a sheltered, sunny spot and a diversity of flowering plants, and you'll have these beautiful creatures — and their children too.