October 9, 2012
Many gardeners have learned that flowers are not the only option when come to providing color. Ornamental foliage is an easy to grow landscape workhorse. Today I’m visiting a house where the owner has made quite an impact with big combination containers. It’ the end of summer and these colorful foliage plants are still going strong. The ornamental plant I like the best is the Persian shield which is typically grown as a houseplant. The leaves have a colorful iridescence. Elliptically shaped four to six inch leaves are washed in purple, pink, and silver metallic with purple undersides. The green veins are prominently displayed. Sun coleus are real mainstays for foliage color. The bright yellow leaves with chocolate brown venation of this Nevada coleus shine in this container. It is complimented by the darker Kong coleus that draws the viewer eyes into the planting. This late in the summer the coleus flower spikes add another dimension of texture. The second container has a red theme. Red fountain grass foliage and flower plumes arch gracefully ready to move with the slightest breeze. Blazin Lime iresine has its bright red stem holding the lime and cream variegated foliage. Saturn coleus has foliage that are a rich burgundy red and have brilliant lime green centers that draws the viewer’s attention. Bright red petunia creeps around the base adding color highlights. Growing colorful foliage in large containers can make a huge impact in the landscape. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.