Garden Photo of the Day

Foliage Counts

When leaves bring as much excitement as flowers

I’m big flower lover, but sometimes leaves are just as beautiful as the best blooms! And, of course, leaves often stay looking pretty for far longer than the brief life of a flower. There are tons of great plants with jaw-dropping leaves, but here are some of my favorites. What are yours?

Yucca ‘Color Guard’ (Yucca filamentosa, Zone 4 – 9). The dramatic, spiked leaves of yucca are always great, and ‘Color Guard’ takes it to new heights with a broad, bright yellow stripe down the center of each leaf. The best thing about this is that it looks good absolutely 365 days a year. The leaves hold up right through the cold and snow of winter. They laugh at summer droughts, and deer don’t eat them.

Blue leaved rose (Rosa glauca, zone 2 – 8). I love roses, but most rose have beautiful blooms on frankly ugly plants. Not this species of rose. It forms a large, arching shrub as much as 4 or 5 feet tall, covered in some of the most beautiful leaves out there. Each leaf is silvery grey with a flush of red. The small, pink flowers are second tier when set against those terrific leaves.

Trees like maples are famous for their fall color, but some perennials put on a display that is just as terrific. This mass of Amsonia hubrichtii (Arkansa blue star, Zone 5 – 8) growing in the Lurie garden in downtown Chicago has pretty blue flowers in the spring, but really shines in the fall when the foliage turns a rich, bright, golden yellow.

You can’t mention foliage without talking about coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides, annual)! There are endless choices of coleus on the market, but this has to be one of my very favorites, the cultivar ‘Sedona’ with bright, burning leaves in shades of orange and red. (Get tips on designing with coleus).

Sometimes I like leaves with some attitude… Solanum quitoensis (Naranjilla, annual) has huge leaves covered with vicious looking purple spikes! Try taking a bite out of THAT, deer!


Have a garden you’d like to share?


Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/22/2018

    It was nice to see the inclusion of the yucca 'Color Guard' in a winter setting because it is particularly striking backlit by the sun's lower positioned rays that time of year. Hmm, color me daunted by the sight of those sharp spikes on the Solanum quitoensis to hear from any fellow GPOD-er who has given it a try and what their review of it is.

  2. SteveA 03/22/2018

    I concur with the selection of all these plants (not that that means anything), especially Amsonia hubrichtii and coleus, two plants I mention so often on our podcast that my cohost makes fun of me.

  3. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/22/2018

    Nice. I think Heuchera and Heucherella are great options for versatile, low growing foliage in a range of amazing colors. Some, like Rio, have several different colors during the year.

  4. cheryl_c 03/22/2018

    And we can't neglect the old stalwart, alchemilla mollis, nor the new (to me) salvia argentea, which (except for during the depths of winter) has been a real drama queen in my garden.

  5. btucker9675 03/22/2018

    The Naranjilla looks like it should have tattoos!! : )

  6. rafftar123 06/04/2019

    Now first install the latest new a web browser,so this microsoft edge web browser microsoft edge password manager millions of window users like and used this app.

  7. user-7532987 10/17/2019

    As flores também podem parecer ter uma beleza atraente e atraente, mas a atração de folhas também não pode ser ignorada. Aqui está a ajuda para escrever eu pensei sobre isso para concluir meus trabalhos. A beleza dessas folhas permanece por um período muito mais longo do que a beleza das flores.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest