Foliage plants that sparkle

Tue. Feb. 12, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Foliage plants that sparkle

Under layers of winter, I’m thinking of my gardens.  

Feb. 7, 2019

As I do, I ask you, have you ever looked out at your garden in the waning days between Spring and Summer, Summer and Fall and thought, man, my garden looks pooped?

Sparkle it up with foliage plants.  I’ve talked about this before, but as we start planning our gardens, it’s a good time to bring it up! 

These foliage plants are workhorses of a sort, not only adding sparkle and texture but keep our gardens beautiful as those flowers fade.  One of my favorite silver foliage plants is Brunnera. It does flower, in fact quite beautifully in Spring,

with delicate blue flowers, however, it’s gorgeous heart-shaped leaves are the true showstoppers for months.  It’s a wonderful groundcover plant. I have ‘Jack Frost’. Boy does that SEEM appropriate right now! 

Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’

A 2019 introduction is called ‘Sterling Silver’.  They say it looks like it’s on steroids!  

Brunnera ‘Sterling Silver’ courtesy of Walters Gardens

Brunnera is great for part shade to shade.  Another silver darling is one my mom couldn’t keep her hands off of, Artemisia ‘Silver Mound’.  It’s so soft!

Artemisia ‘Silver Mound’

This plant prefers more sunshine. One caution on ‘Silver Mound’ – it can fall open later in the season, so you’ll want to give a good pruning to keep it full and bushy.   There are plenty of options with Artemisia, also called wormwood. ‘Silver Brocade’ does well with just 4 hours of sunshine and makes a great groundcover.

Artemisia ‘Silver Brocade’

Stachys, also known as Lamb’s Ear, is another soft-to-the-touch plant.  ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy’ is great for a full sun border.

Stachys ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy’

For shade, there are a couple of heucheras that may interest you. ‘Silver Gumdrop’ is brand new for 2018.  

Heuchera ‘Silver Gumdrop’

Early spring reddish-silver new leaves quickly turn silver with distinctive veining. Silver Gumdrop gets ONLY 6-10″ tall spreading to about 16-20″. In early summer it is adorned with pink blooms that reach 20″ tall that attract pollinators.  Use them in a cut flower bouquet.