It is always a treat when Syd Carpenter submits photos from her garden in Philadelphia. If you’ve missed previous photos of this incredible garden, you can see them here:
My garden has evolved over 25 years in dappled light under mature maples. I have learned what works after these many years and now am able to achieve a rich palette of color, texture, and pattern using the tried and true along with new discoveries. Although perennials play a strong role, it is their leaf colors and shapes rather than their flowers that contribute to the garden design. These are combined with annuals and tropicals that also have strong leaf colors, shapes, and textures. Because of this year’s generous rainfall combined with many hot and bright days, the garden performed beautifully. It has been a good year.
Foliage first, with a dark, cut-leaf Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) taking center stage. The white flowers of a peony behind it complement the garden design created by leaves.
Coleus take center stage, bringing a huge amount of color from foliage, while variegated greater periwinkle (Vinca major ‘Variegata’ Zones 7–9 or as annual) trails from a hanging container.
A statue of the Hindu god Ganesh wrapped in colorful annual foliage. Ganesh is known as the remover of obstacles, a task every gardener needs to be done!
Look closely at this beautiful scene and you’ll see that there are essentially no flowers in view! There are two pink Mandevilla vines on either side of the shed door, but other than that, everything is based on carefully chosen foliage in a variety of colors and textures. And annuals and perennials mix freely. In the foreground, a perennial Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum, Zones 3–8) mixes with colorful annual coleus; closer to the shed, hostas and shrubs mingle with annuals. The greenery even continues onto the shed roof!
Another foliage-centered design, integrating tropical plants often grown as houseplants, including polka dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) and inch plant (Tradescantia zebrina).
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