On this page I have collected together some plants that you can use for their bold foliage effect.
Many of these plants are great in flower as well, but they are all well worth their place for their foliage alone.
- Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’ – Bronze Fennel. Clumps of beautiful feathery bronze leaves build up to make impressive mounds that are a perfect foil for bold leaves such as Hostas. The stems grow 5-7 ft high and are topped with delicate yellow umbels that are equally ornamental. dead-head to prevent seeding.The strongly aromatic foliage, which smells of aniseed, has a long history of medicinal and herbal use being noted for its restorative powers on vision and to make more gaunt those ‘..that are grown fat.’ These powers might be of some doubt, but it is reliably great in a ratatouille.Florence (vegetable) fennel is derived from the annual variety F.vulgare var.dulce
- Rheum ‘Ace of Hearts‘. A lovely foliage plant that deserves to be more used. The leaves are heart shaped with rich burgundy reverses, stems and veins which are shown of beautifully by the way they are carried stiffly upright. The flowers are carried 1.5m high and are of a creamy white. A robust, but not overlarge clumper. Thought to be a hybrid of R.kialense. Particularly lovely when the sun shines through the leaves. A great favourite of Dan Hinckley.
- Rheum palmatum ‘Atrosanguineum’. A most dramatic plant with huge rhubarb leaves that unfurl darkest maroon from scarlet buds and then are topped by a 7-11 ft spike of pink fluffy flowers. Best grown in a damp site where the roots can find water. Our own selection, propagated clonally from a plant we selected out of seedlings many years ago – as deep a colour as we have seen anywhere.
- Hostas. I’ve put in a picture here of Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ but it’s really a stand in for all the lovely big bold Hostas that are available. Click on the link to be redirected to our Hosta collection from where you will find further links to a comparison page and a page of Hosta pictures from the Garden.