Flowers are fantastic, but they are fleeting.  There is something very exciting about watching peonies pop, or daises bloom.  But in a few short weeks those blooms are gone.  Enter foliage, the key to season long interest.  Before the flowers bloom and after those blooms are spent, a plant’s foliage is ever present.  Try adding a splash of chartreuse with plants such as Gold Hakone Grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’) or Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’).  Don’t forget to consider fall colour.  Dwarf Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’) blazes red in the fall for a late season punch of colour.

Foliage texture is also a great way to add variety to your garden.  Pair fine foliage such as Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’) with the broad-leaved Hostas.  The lacy leaves of Threadleaf Tickseed (Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’) area nice contrast to the broad rigid leaves of the Bearded Iris (Iris germailca).  By considering all of the parts of the plant, not just the flowers, you can create a dynamic planting plan for a garden with interest, all season long.

– Jessica Wisniewski