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40/4201. While Our Gardens Are Asleep, The Growers Are Busy

Design Ideas For Shade Plants


We've looked at so many new and exciting perennials but some are probably asking - how do we put this all together? We next look at some combinations and some different ideas as to how to use these plants together. Heucheras or Coral Bells are great to address different color schemes because there is so much variety and so much interest in these plants. They also provide an opportunity to see how the different hues and densities of the colors work together. In one combination we view there is both sparkling burgundy and caramel, both are warm colors which means they tend more to the yellow side as opposed to the blue side and it's a harmonious combination. They're good earth tone colors and compliment each other quite well. By juxtaposition we notice an area with jade gloss which is a cool bluish tone on Heucheras next to the caramel. It's not as good a combination. They don't clash but don't compliment each either either. As we put plants together we should think of keeping all warm tones together and keeping all cool tones together. That's a good rule of thumb for starting off. At the same time as one moves plants around try different color combinations, take a light hearted approach. With so many different varieties available, why have just one or two varieties. Play a little bit more and experiment a little with colors.

We look at another totally different type of combination. Here we have a caramel and sparkling burgundy which are colors that would be very close to each other on the color wheel. More of the reddish and orange hues that are kind of warmer tones and they work well together. Another group has a deep purple and a bright chartreuse color that would be opposites on the color wheel but they look good together. These plants are Heuchera 'Lime Rickey' and Heuchera 'Frosted Violet' and the contrast is amazing. They just grab you, a nice color combination. The chartreuse really helps one see more of the violet, it draws the eye into the planting and brightens everything. It's a great way to put two contrasting colors together. Another great combination of shade perennials is Heuchera "Frosted Violet' and Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' and they make a dynamic duo. The heart shaped leaf, the light color versus the dark foliage. It has a little different leaf color and there is some silver banding but it's a little different type of silver. They work well together and the contrast is harmonious. A nice pair. We often don't think of shade perennials in containers, more commonly when thinking about container combinations sun perennials come to mind. But shade perennials work well together in a container, especially some with an incredible amount of color. One example is Heucherella 'Stoplight' planted in a beautiful blue container. It, too, is stunning. It's not only the foliage but the burgundy spreading into the veins. A great look.

We've seen a lot of amazing plants in this show. A lot of exciting new perennials. Eric thanks John for this tour. His operation is amazing, his plant knowledge outstanding. Thanks John for all the plant information.

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GardenSMART Featured Article

By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photos courtesy of Suntory Flowers

As summer heats up, the garden party is just beginning for gorgeous, tropical mandevillas. To learn more click here for an interesting article.

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