Gold Rush

Even on cloudy days, your garden can glow brightly with gold and yellow plant varieties.


A variety of gold-leaved plants create a high-wattage container planting.

A variety of gold-leaved plants create a high-wattage container planting.

Even on cloudy days, your garden can glow brightly with gold and yellow plant varieties. Gardening guru Karen Platt of Sheffield, England, suggests ways to create a "gold rush" in your garden.

"If you want a little happiness in your garden, this is a superb choice of color," says Platt, who has collected more than 1,300 gold and yellow plants over the years.

While some folks think that gold plants would look ghastly in a garden, Karen says yellows give the garden a golden opportunity to glow. She recommends planting a variety of colors. Providing a beautiful contrast against dark greens, blacks and pastels, gold is a "great intermingler," she explains.





Most gold plants brighten with additional sunlight, and some like shade. "Your gold plants are going to look a little chartreuse or green if they're not getting a lot of sun," Platt says. Others, like members of the hosta family, flourish in shaded areas but still need the sun to bring out their golden highlights.

Great combinations for a nine-carat gold container:



Sedum 'Angelina'

Sedum 'Angelina'

  • Karen selects a large container and fills it generously with a light, well-draining potting soil.
  • Plants with trailing stems--such as vinca 'Illumination' and lysimachia--help soften the container and draw the eye down.
  • The shape of the vinca's smaller, smooth, oval leaves contrast with the wavy leaves of the amber-colored Heuchera that's added next.
  • For touchable texture, Karen adds the sedum 'Angelina'.
  • The dark foliage of plants such as bergenia, colocasia or coleus adds contrast and increases the wattage of surrounding flowers.
  • Carex elata, a golden upright grass, will shine year-round.


Carex elata

Carex elata

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