Remember summer? I admit that I love to look at pictures from summers past at this time of year. It helps me remember which plant combinations were successful so I can plan for this year. I like big contrast in foliage color to grab your attention. Here are a few pictures of things that worked out well.
Here is our chocolate Joe Pye Weed next to a Salvia elegans, or Pineapple Sage. Since Maine summers often aren't quite long or hot enough for this to bloom well, I buy this for the great lime foliage to contrast with the dark leaves of the Joe Pye Weed.
We can't eat all the lettuces we plant, but that's the point! Lettuces can be beautiful for for color alone. Here is two of my favorites, Yugoslavian Red Butterhead and Cherokee from Johnny's Seeds. The only thing that would have made it better would be to add the lime of Thomas Jefferson's favorite butter head "Tennis Ball" into the mix.
Here we have two Heucheras with lime and chocolate foliage along side a Hellebore and Bleeding Heart. Later in the season, the dark Heuchera looks stellar next to the white Astilbe.
Again, that chocolate and lime contrast with the Aralia cordata "Sun King" and the Dahlia Mystic Illusion. I can see that this is a pattern with me, the dark foliage next to light.
So when planning out where everything will go this year, thinking about height, flower color and time, don't forget to think about foliage color. This will reward you for the whole season!