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Designing a Garden With Foliage

A beautifully designed bed can highlight an area of the garden even when nothing is in bloom.
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Photo: Photo by Felder Rushing

Shades of Green

Plants like azaleas and daylilies have their seasons to flower but also play a part in the design when foliage is the main star. In this serene garden, a fern on a pedestal is the finishing touch in a planting bed that features tonal, textural and height changes, in addition to the structural quality of the tree trunks.

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Art with Foliage

Copper-colored and dark green, the fronds of the autumn fern (left) complement the orange-pink leaves of coral bells (right). Erupting with an assortment of bold foliage textures and colors, this pot is a horticultural tour de force. And, notice, no flowers. The green sedge (Carex dipsacea, hardy to USDA Zone 7), will eventually go dormant for the winter, turning soft russet tones. Ornamental grasses are not only great for providing a flush of color and texture but also for adding sound in the winter, swishing in the wind.

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Photo: Image courtesy of Ben Rollins

Brighten Up Shady Nooks

This shady nook accented with hostas in containers is the perfect place to unwind.

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Take Advantage of Variegated Leaves

With its many colorful leaf patterns, caladiums can be depended on to brighten dark areas of a shade garden.

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