Now THIS is more like it. I love flowers, yes I do. But I realized as I was taking these pictures for Foliage Followup that while I decorate with flowers, I DESIGN with plants. I could have a whole garden without flowers, but without foliage of all shapes, textures and colors? Never!
Oh, my! Did YOU know that Mondo Grass has a berry? And not just any old berry, but a perfectly gorgeous BLUE berry? I have never seen this before, what a treat!
Carex 'Sparkler' now there is a fitting name for a plant; this is a lovely choice for adding sparkle to a shady corner.
I use variegated Boxwood as a well-behaved accent throughout the garden, but never, ever as a hedge. A girl has her standards.
The winter coloring of Dodonea purpurea (Purple Hopseed Bush) is all kinds of gorgeous; in summer it is more subtle, but always graceful, and a nice companion to Prunus caroliniana compacta (Carolina Cherry Laurel) for an evergreen hedge.
Coprosma 'Evening Glow' is another favorite accent plant with it's glossy, colorful leaves and compact, rounded habit.
Ilex x. Mondo 'Little Rascal' from Monrovia is a fantastic little evergreen shrub for sun or shade; here it makes a nice groundcover at the base of my bamboo...
Another Nandina 'Firepower' gives a pop of color in the bamboo grove; the groundcover is Isotoma fluviatilis (OR Laurentia fluviatilis OR Lobelia fluviatilis OR Pratia puberula; will someone PLEASE make up their mind what this poor plant is called!?) Whatever its name, this is a white-flowered variety that makes a beautiful green carpet.
The variegated English Ivy planted in the honeysuckle pot gets some nice pink tints in winter.
Protea, Mother Fern, Crassula tetragona, succulents and ivy in peaceful combination on the Buddha porch.
Asparagus Myers (Foxtail Fern) and Fatsia Japonica in a sheltered corner of the courtyard near a carved pine post from Mexico.
Yucca 'Bright Star' is a real cutie in winter with those pink edges.
Oops! Snuck in a Crassula flower! I almost lost this Jade Plant last winter; it's enjoying a more sheltered spot this year and seems quite happy!
And this is why I love Loropetalum; great foliage and flowers, happy in sun or shade, does something interesting all year round. Just don't shear it, please!
Carex testacea is at its glossy green-orange best in winter.
Another all-star in my book; Coleonema 'Sunset Gold' is the kind of plant I place front and center in the garden; soft, friendly, bright and easy-going.
Woolly thyme; fabulous low-water groundcover, softens everything!
Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Golf-Ball' is just a good, good boy.
The Artichokes are looking awesome!
And the Euphorbia 'Helena's Blush' just keeps getting more intense.
Here's my blue Senecio, by the way (he was feeling left out with all the attention his green buddy with the cute flowers has been getting.) Great combination with the Aeonium. Have I ever mentioned that all these succulents came from Succulent Gardens in Castroville? They are an awesome resource for designers. These were donated for the APLD booth at last year's SF Flower & Garden Show, and I got to take them home. Big thanks to Robin Stockwell for his generosity and wonderful plants!
Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' is transforming by the day.
And finally, Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue' is one of my favorite ornamental grasses; I have probably used more of these in gardens than any other plant. You can see why...
Big thanks to Pam Pennick from Digging for suggesting 'Foliage Followup!' Go to her site for links to more fabulous foliage!