Foliage plants that sparkle

Thu. Feb. 15, 2018

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

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.

Not every plant we plant has to center around the flower!  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.  A WHOLE lot more information is here at Chicago Botanical Gardens with a host of varieties.

Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’

I just recently talked about a new introduction called ‘Alexanders Great’.  Brunnera is great for part shade to shade.

Brunnera ‘Alexanders Great’

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

Artemisia ‘Silver Mound’

Now 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.   More on Artemisia and all it’s varieties at Mother Earth Living.

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.  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.

Heuchera ‘Silver Gumdrop’