As gardeners, we always think of flowers as the way to add color to a garden. But as we all know, flowers only bloom for a short period of time and the color goes away. Most people who garden add flowers with different bloom times to keep the garden in flower for the growing season. Adding more flowering annuals and perennials can become expensive. Have you ever considered plants that have colorful leaves as a way to add color? The other day I made my annual trip to the local garden conservatory. In February, it is just nice to walk in the conservatory and enjoy the warmth and blooming flowers. As I walked around the conservatory, I found that much of the color in the conservatory was not from flowers of the plants but the beautiful and striking leaves of the plants. Exploring the conservatory gave me lots of good ideas for adding more leaf color to my own garden.
As gardeners, we have a much larger selection of plants to choose from for our gardens than we did 20 or more years ago. Now you can go to any local nursery and find all types of tropical, rare and new varieties of plants. It really is exciting what is available to the gardener today.
After my visit to the conservatory, it was time to look for plants with interesting leaf color for my garden. I am adding lots of colorful caladiums, variegated cannas and cannas with dark burgundy leaves. I am also adding colocasia 'Tea Cup', 'Red Stem Rhubarb' and 'Lime Zinger' for that large leaf tropical look. I also plan to add a few more colorful hostas to the garden. With the other plants that I have in the garden, it should be a very exciting growing season. Many of the plants that I am adding will be planted directly in the ground or planted in containers to move around the garden.
Crotons add lots of color to a garden!
If you are starting to design or selecting your plants for your garden, "think" colorful leaves for that extra punch of color that keeps on giving when the flowers don't!
Do you have a favorite plant with great leaf color? Leave a comment and share it with other readers.
The Creative Gardener