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As gardeners I think we get hung up on flowers and tend to forget the incredible range of foliage forms and colours of plants. Creating a garden that focuses on foliage will ensure the garden looks brilliant all year round.

Top tips to creating a foliage focused garden:

  • Select a range of plants so that there is an outstanding display all year round. Some species will look stunning in spring while others are at their best in summer.
  • Repeat the varieties around the garden area. Less variety planted in blocks creates a more dramatic effect than a single plant on its own.
  • Border the garden beds in the same area with the same variety of plant. This result in many of the same variety being planted and will give a sense of flow to the garden area.
  • Keep the same tones together in the same area, e.g. a range of burgundy plants in blocks creates a stunning effect.
  • Be selective with any annual colour planted in the garden and select a colour theme to be repeated throughout the garden area.
  • Use flowers as highlights in the garden rather than the sole focus.
  • When you think about foliage no two species of plants are the same. Shapes and shades are very different.

Best Burgundy Foliage

Agonis After Dark, Agonis Southern Wonder, Phormium, Berberis, Royena (brilliant new growth), Photinia Red Robin, Coprosma cv., Lophomyrtus, Nandina domestica nana, Metrosideros Fiji Fire, Brenyia nivosa.

Best Silver Foliage

Convolvulus cneroum, Leucophyta brownii, Cineraria, Leptospermum sericea, Adenanthos sericea, Lavandula, Darwinia citriodora, Succulent sp and Dichondra Silver Falls, Cerastium Snow in Summer and Lambs Ears.

TIP: When planting, apply 30mL Seasol concentrate per 9 litres of water (standard watering can) to give them a great kick-start to life. Seasol helps overcome transplant shock, stimulate a strong root system and promotes healthy leaf growth.

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