GBFD 8/22/2014: A Foliage Border

Today is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day for August, and I am pleased to present an example of how foliage can be used to create an interesting and dynamic picture. This photograph shows a side of one of my four island beds.


The visible plants (from left to right) are: Boxwood ‘Winter Gem,’ Carex morowii ‘Evergold,’ Spirea ‘Anthony Waterer,’ Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Bath’s Pink,’ Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil,’  Chamaecyparis ‘Golden Mop,’ Rosa x ‘Radcon’ (pink Knockout rose), a pink unidentified heirloom peony, Dianthus ‘Bath’s Pink,’ Berberis thunbergii ‘Crimson Pygmy,’ Iris sibirica ‘Caesar’s Brother,’ Sedum ‘Autumn Joy,’ and Echinacea ‘Pixie Meadowbrite’ coneflower. They have a range of colors, shapes, heights, foliage patterns, texture, and leaf forms. Maintenance for this part of the garden is generally a once-a-year cleanup effort and a bit of deadheading (My “arranger” likes me to keep things on the tidy side).

I trim the boxwood into its formal shape usually twice a year. I eventually moved the ‘Golden Mop’ (it was a poor choice for the location; destined to be too big) and replaced it with a ‘Goldmound’ Spirea bumalda and achieved the same view. Although several of these plants do indeed produce attractive flowers, the focus of this part of the garden is clearly the foliage…all season long.

Thanks to  Christina for originating this idea for the 22nd of each month.

About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in a retirement community in Matthews, NC.
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11 Responses to GBFD 8/22/2014: A Foliage Border

  1. pbmgarden says:

    Nice assortment of textures and colors John. Low maintenance is starting to sound good to me so I will make note of your plants.


  2. Christina says:

    Thank you for this great example of a border planned more but not exclusively for foliage. Colour, form and texture from foliage are perfect for showcasing some plants that flower for a very short time such as the peony.


  3. What a beautiful border! We are also trying to reduce maintenance in our garden using shrubs, so I know the skill it takes to create an effective grouping like yours. Also went back and read a number of posts which gave me a good sense of your garden. I garden in Wisconsin but I saw a number of plants and ideas that might work for me.


  4. johnvic8 says:

    Thank you, Linda. Let us know how your garden changes with new ideas.


  5. Like you, i like boxwood, but I trim them about every 2-3 years. Mine are in hedge arrandement, yet I like the more natural look. Right now mine are trimmed. I do it to keep them small. Your border has nice texture and color, so it always look nice.


  6. Very nicely done. Tidy but interesting and rich in contrasts.


  7. johnvic8 says:

    Thanks for your comment.


  8. Annette says:

    Lovely mix of plants with contrasting habits and foliage, well done.


  9. johnvic8 says:

    I appreciate your response.


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