Although greenery is relegated to the chorus in many gardens while blossoms play the starring role, foliage can still be an important component of any garden design. The delicately divided leaves of ferns and the fountain-like effects offered by many ornamental grasses have a beauty and grace all their own. Such foliage not only serves as a lovely background to blooms but can also be used as the dominant feature of a foliage garden design. Foliage carries a garden through the seasons, long after the flowers have faded to a memory.
Far from being simply green, some foliage plants offer variegated patterns of white, gold, and red, while others have leaves tinged with yellow, blue, or bronze that can act as a focal point or an accent in a color scheme. Tall, flowing grasses and dense, leafy ferns are ideal for creating a lush and generous look in a small patch of earth. A variety of foliage plants also do well in shady, moist areas that most floral plants find to be withering. Think green and leafy as you peruse the foliage garden ideas and garden photos that follow.
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Rich, green hostas tipped with white take center stage in this green-and-white-themed foliage garden. Hostas as landscape plants have taken off in recent years, and deservedly so. These handsome perennials are practically trouble free and are excellent choices for filling shaded locations. A double helping of a white-margined cultivar here anchors a border that also includes ferns, foamflower, and bleeding heart.
For more ideas on wonderful ways to use hostas, continue to the next page for a look at several hosta gardens.
If you think foliage is fabulous, wait until you see what else you can do with your backyard garden: