Wishlist Plants for Foliage – FineGardening

Alright, one last wishlist post from me, your GPOD editor… This time I’m looking past flowers to foliage that I want to add to the garden. Everyone knows that foliage is the heart of a well-designed garden as it lasts so much longer than flowers. BUT I’m very guilty of being seduced by pretty flowers, so I need to really focus on stepping up my foliage game this year.

What are your favorite foliage plants? Send in photos, we’d love to see them!

This conifer is Pinus contorta ‘Chief Joseph’ (Zone 5 – 8). In the summer, it looks perfectly normal. But in the winter, the needles turn this brilliant yellow. It is slow growing, and needs some protection from direct sun in the winter to keep from burning, but wow, what a color! The burlap behind it in this photo is to give it a bit of shade. I took this photo at Hidden Lake Gardens in Michigan.

Another favorite with yellow foliage… Aralia ‘Sun King’ (Zone 4 – 8). Hard to beat that color! I actually planted one of these last year, but it is still small… it takes time to build up to this huge specimen I saw in a garden in Virginia.

I took this photo of a dahlia at Chicago Botanic Gardens, I just loved the rich dark color of the foliage contrasting with the bright yellow flowers! Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture of the label, so I’m trying to figure out the variety. I THINK it might be ‘Happy Days Yellow’.

Begonia grandis (Zone 5 – 9) is probably the most cold hardy begonia out there. The small pink flowers are pretty, but the foliage is really the star, I love how the backs of the leaves are red.

Bowman’s root (Porteranthus trifoliatus, Zone 4 – 8) is a wonderful perennial native to eastern North America. I’ve always enjoyed is pretty white flowers in the spring, but never realized that the fall color was so good! This is a clump I saw at the Lurie Garden in Chicago.

This may look like a clump of grass that is dead and brown for the winter… but actually, it is a sedge (Carex buchananii, Zone 6 – 9) and it looks like this all summer! Some hate it… I love it. This is a patch from my old garden, where it was a favorite snoozing spot for me cat. Time to plant more in my current space.

Rex begonia vine (Cissus discolor, Zone 9 – 11) is a gorgeous vine I’ve loved every time I’ve seen it at public gardens, but I’ve never actually grown it myself. That foliage is just incredible!

Okay, one last photo, and this isn’t quite foliage… but it isn’t flowers either. Rather, the great fruit of winter berry holly (Ilex verticillata, Zone 3 – 9). This is native to a wide swath of North America. And such a great plant. I don’t know why I don’t have any at home! Need to fix that this year.

Winter is always a slow time for GPOD submissions, so if you’ve been putting off submitting, please send in some photos now! If your garden is dormant for the winter, it is the prefect time to look through your photos from warmer times and send us some of your favorites.


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

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