create a leafy garden step by step

If you like the simple things in life and sobriety, then what follows should please you. A garden is not necessarily made up of thousands of flowers and flamboyant colors. Indeed, many gardens around the world highlight foliage that can be just as majestic as a bloom. And when we talk about leaves, we are not just talking about the color green and its derivatives, no! The plant world is full of varied foliage with multiple colors, textures and shapes. With exclusively leafy plants, you can create a sober and elegant garden as well as a whimsical and exotic garden. So, are you ready to grow only leafy plants?

The advantages of an exclusively leafy garden

There are many benefits to growing foliage:

  • The leaves require less maintenance than the flowers. They do not wilt as easily and their chance of survival is greater.
  • Most of the leaves are green and this color is most soothing! Your garden will become a real cocoon for you to relax.
  • Your garden will arouse the curiosity of plant lovers. Indeed, we generally admire the flowers from more or less far away, while the leaves encourage us to come closer to examine their color and texture. We are also more likely to touch a leaf than a flower, whether for its texture or its shape.
  • The advantage of a leafy garden is that it can be admired for longer. Indeed, flowering plants generally bloom during a fixed period, most often in spring, and they disappear the rest of the year.
hosta foliage
Credits: Nataba / iStock

How to make a garden all in foliage?

Like all plants, there are basic rules to follow for plants to flourish:

  • When planting, make groups of plants. Place at least 3 plants while contrasting textures, shapes and colors. Most leafy plants do not change color or pattern throughout the year which is an advantage, because once placed as desired the composition will not move!
  • Second rule which seems obvious: we place the plants which need light in the sun and the plants fearing the sun in the shade.
  • We also plant the plants that require a lot of water together and those that tolerate drought farther away in order to be able to manage the watering.
  • Create a beautiful harmony of colors. For example, green and yellow leaves contrast very well with gray or purple leaves. The variegated or patterned leaves will go very well with the simply green leaves for a touch of originality in a sober environment. Bright foliage (red, orange, etc.) is placed in your flower bed by touches in order to draw the eye to a specific location. This will make them stand out.
  • Finally, the shape and texture of the leaves are also very important! For example, the large leaves of hostas go very well with hearts of Mary. You can also marry low-growing plants like sedums with tall, upright plants. The only limit is your imagination!

You now have all the keys to start growing leaf gardens! You can start by testing on a small patch of your garden to see the result.

Calathea roseopicta « Dottie »
Credits: Francisco Herrera / iStock