Using foliage plants may seem easy, but there are lots of different shades, textures and proportions to contend with. Make sure you’re using the right foliage plants for your particular space with the help of Alasdair Cameron’s advice. And don’t miss our feature on the best plants for shade.
Thinking of foliage plants as just ‘green’ belies the many different shades there are to play with. For example, mind-your-own-business (Soleirolia soleirolii) is a bright, almost electric green; Stauntonia hexaphylla, a favourite climber of mine, is an appley green, while muehlenbeckia has a more brownish hue.
When you’re using just one colour, foliage texture and proportion take on a far greater importance. I think spheres of Taxus baccata, Hebe rakaiensis and Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Golf Ball’ look great together – the leaf sizes are similar but they provide both different shades and textures.
Use evergreens for winter interest and structure, but make sure you have some summer flowers nearby. Evergreens can feel a bit dark in summer.