I had the opportunity to attend the Woodinville Garden Club annual garden tour this past weekend. This is always a highlight of the garden tour season for me and over the years I have made many new friends and discovered several outstanding gardens that we have been able to share with you through the pages of Fine Foliage as well as our upcoming new book Gardening with Foliage First.
These are just a few of the artistic, foliage-focused combinations that had me reaching for my camera.
All about the foliage
Starting in true Fine Foliage style, the first group is a selection that relies fully on leafy goodness for their good looks. Since the homeowners and volunteers were extremely busy I was unable to get some plant names but will add them as I can.
Japanese maples are always a favorite – I thought this was a lovely way to highlight the delicate layers.
Love the way the deep rosy leaf of the Japanese maple (Shaina??) picks up on the vein detail of the Heuchera leaf (Solar Power?) and stems of the dwarf Rhododendron. Design by Victoria Gilleland.
Hardy impatiens is a stellar ground cover for the shade. Loved how it was allowed to mingle with this golden false cypress (Chamaecyparis)
The yellow central vein of a hardy impatiens assumes greater importance when adjacent to a golden conifer. Design by Victoria Gilleland
One of my favorite conifers is the Rheingold arborvitae so this trio captured my imagination.
A silver-leaved daisy bush, a bronze sedge, and Rheingold arborvitae all thrive in full sun. Design by Joe Abken
And then there were plant combinations that were as unique as they were colorful…. Fabulous layers of foliage including a variegated cherry laurel (I think this is Prunus laurocerasus ‘Marble White’) and a new purple-leaved hydrangea called Plum Passion had us all swooning. Mmmm.
Of course, no garden tour is complete without getting on my hands and knees to photograph hidden treasures such as this container.
Loved the light shining through the Trusty Rusty coleus and onto the Sparks May Fly begonia. Design by Joe Abken
Talking of coleus, I must find out the name of this variety with the twisted leaves and toothed edges.
Loved how designer and homeowner Joe Abken had paired it with a hardy begonia (Begonia grandis) – which had me on my knees again so I could show you the burgundy veins underneath the leaf…..
Our new book will show you how to layer additional elements onto a foliage framework. Flowers, buds, bark, art – all are possible! This selection of images shows you how it’s done.
This scene, again by Joe Abken shows how the cinnamon-colored buds of a leatherleaf viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum) play off the bronze foliage of a nearby Japanese maple.
When combined the visual strength of both is augmented;
Likewise, the soft blue-grey tones of a spruce and snowberry (Symphoricarpos) make for a monochromatic backdrop to show off the delicate pink flowers, that in turn echo the color of the stems.
And then there are flowers that have equally eye-catching foliage so you can’t possibly go wrong! See what happens when you combine Golden Lanterns Himalayan honeysuckle and Fuchsia speciosa.