Bouquets and foliage combos keep the garden colorful in August

Hydrangea 'Endless Summer' with Heuchersa 'Caramel' and 'Sashay', with
Mukdenia 'Crimson Fans at lower left.
Things can get somewhat bleak in August - weeds have had their way with any bare soil, suckers taunt you with their vigor, and leaves gone crispy mar the color and texture that should be starring right now in the garden.

The easiest, least demanding plants for this time of year are the ones that don't need flowers to look their best. One of my favorite Heucheras is 'Caramel', its leaves a carnival of colors that range from chartreuse to rose and everthing in between.

If you jumped onto the Mukdenia bandwagon three or four years ago, you probably have a plant that's coming into its own by now. It mixes perfectly with Heuchera and other plants that like partial shade like Hydrangea, Astrantia, and Hakonechloa.

I call this section of the garden "Sun and Moon."
It relies on foliage color and texture for interest in
the middle of summer.

Hellebores make great companions for Hakonechloa and the deeper colors provided by Ajuga (bugleweed), Actaea (bugbane), and Cotinus (smokebush). The golden theme is continued with a large-leaved Hosta (barely visible in this shot), a golden Chamaecyparis pisifera (threadleaf cypress), and a Thuja with a gorgeous golden color. 

I inserted my newest favorite Zinnia for 2011, 'Queen Red Lime', into a Hydrangea 'Endless Summer' bloom and added Celosia as an accent.
Celosia and Coleus make great partners in the ground where they can
spread out. This spot is partially shady but still provides enough
light to color up the leaves, creating an in-ground bouquet.


  1. The Hydrangea flower head poking through that patch of Heuchera looks so gorgeous. Love your 'Sun and Moon' garden and it's looking pretty darn good right now with the splashes of bright lime green and purple foliage. The Celosia and Coleus pairing is something I must try. It looks great.

  2. after seeing your colourful foliage plants I think I really must add some to my garden