Posted: 12/06/2013 at 20:58
Personal experience shall rule in this discussion I'm sure, so, whilst being no expert in the field of horticultural wonder, I would like to say that foliage is absolutely my main ingredient in designing my garden and choosing plant combinations. This is just my absolutely favourite subject Verdun!
I adore any foliage that changes colour through the seasons so photinias, Spiraeas, Acers (obviously) Pieris, Huecheras, Virginia creeper, Elders...and don't forget the bark and stalks, my Eucalyptus has amazing peeling bark in spring/summer, especially when it rains...gosh the list is endless really, and so exciting!
I try to place changeable plants near each other so I balance out rusts and oranges with the cooler tones of those plants I discover that have a fresh blue or grey foliage such as pinks in spring/summer and my Euphorbia in autumn.
I'm still building this border and the photo is two years old now so this year's autumn colour will be especially exciting for me with the additions I've made since.
Sedums for one which have amazing foliage changing qualities, not just the flower heads.
Hebe Red Edge changes foliage nearly all the seasons from deep mauve in winter, through pinky red to grey in autumn, so I've planted it near a rose that greens up brightly in spring with those red tinted new tips that harmonize really well.
Other plants I'm still experimenting with but even the hated Crocosmia has a glorious autumn death worth planting near some small leaved bluish hebes or other evergreens perhaps, then there's the blue stalks of eryngiums besides the flowers...
I could go on and on, but I'm really keen to read what others have to say..I may be stealing ideas