Did you get swept away by the purple-and-gold craze a few years ago? Those two high-contrast colors certainly wake a garden up – but they can also make your garden look rather dated – like that well-worn jacket you keep reaching for because it’s familiar.
GOOD NEWS – it’s easy to update the look with a few new foliage accessories in silver or blue.
Singin’ the Blues
Look at the difference blue makes to the small container design below. The cobalt blue pot acts as a frame for the three golden elements (two conifers and a trailing creeping Jenny) while the inclusion of Blue Star juniper and a blue-green rush (Juncus ‘Blue Dart’) ensures repetition. A dark purple-leaved bugleweed could be used in place of the Burgundy Glow variety shown here and the contrast would still be muted pleasingly thanks to the blue foliage.
Clockwise from lower left: Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star, Thuja plicata ‘Forever Goldie’, Ajuga repens ‘Burgundy Glow’, container design as featured in our book Gardening with Foliage First
If you prefer something even softer, try silver in your design. It looks stunning with gold and purple.
Clockwise from top left: Senecio g. ‘Sunshine’ with Elymus magellanica and the light golden foliage of a winter hazel, dusty miller, Bella Grigio ‘Mighty Velvet’, Festuca glauca ‘Beyond Blue’.
More Candidates for your New Look
Got you thinking? Here are some more plants with silver-blue or blue-green foliage to consider adding to your existing designs to refresh the look. Think of them as the new scarf to update last year’s outfit. Look how pretty that silver dusty miller is against the purple heuchera.
Clockwise from the top left: Standing Ovation little bluestem, Hebe ‘Quicksilver’, Cotinus ‘Old Fashioned’, dusty miller (with a purple heuchera).