Diversity of plantings in the garden is key to a stunning display. While flowering bulbs or blooming perennials may tug at the gardener's heart strings, no garden is complete without some architectural plants to act as dimension and a foil for other species. Shrubs and bushes with dramatic flowers and other interesting garden plants provide variety and height, while pulling the entire garden together.
A well planned garden should include a riot of plants that complement each other. The types selected will depend upon the zone, light exposure, soil type, and other factors, including personal taste. Dramatic foliage plants can provide interest during several seasons, while flowering plants enhance the spectacle with their bright blooms. Dramatic garden plants are part of the symphony of the landscape, lending their unique forms and hues to promote an exciting plant show.
Dramatic Garden Plants
Preference is everything when planning the garden. Personal flair plays a big part in developing that perfect aesthetic. Many plants can contribute to the excitement, especially a diversity of flora. Adding dramatic flowers to the landscape creates a stimulating vista during the growing season. Interesting garden plants with colorful, variegated foliage, unique leaf shapes, and texture continue the parade. Even selecting just one or two outstanding plants gives you the ability to construct a thrilling niche. Once considerations such as zone, lighting, moisture needs, and other physical necessities have been vetted, it's time to imagine and play.
Ornamental foliage is a great way to create drama in the garden. The colossal leaved Elephant Ears provide both vertical appeal combined with foliar majesty. Coleus are generally annual plants but come in such a host of hues and patterns they are a wonderful shade to part shade addition. Other outstanding foliar options might be:
- Ornamental grasses (think Porcupine or Zebra)
- Dappled Willow
- Burning Bush
Vibrant Flowering Plants
Spring in many areas isn't complete without colorful tulips and other bulbs, sweetly pink cherry blossoms, and stunningly gold Forsythia stems. But many other plants provide a color display in spring and throughout the growing season. Trees like most fruit and nuts, silk tree, and golden rain tree, dogwood, and magnolia, provide beautiful blooms combined with architectural appeal. Other flowering plants that can brighten the landscape at various times of the year are:
- Tree Peony
- Hardy Hibiscus
- Passion Vine
- Black Mondo Grass
- King Protea
- Angel's Trumpet
With careful planning, it is possible to have bold flower and foliar displays in every season. Select plants that grow reliably in your area, and ones that provide several seasons of interest, such as maples. Combining flower and leaf diversity creates a garden that is an eye catcher in any zone.
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Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.