Pack a punch of texture in your garden by being clever with foliage! It’s amazing just how many plant families come pre-packaged in dual-coloured tones or variegated varieties. So pick and choose your favourites from this top five – the leaves stay this colour all year round!
Being tropical plants, you can imagine the vibrancy of foliar colours – think burnt orange, green, pink and golden yellow. Their lush leaves glimmer and turn almost translucent in filtered sunlight. The cordyline species with narrow leaves are the most sun hardy and those with broad leaves prefer a sheltered position planted in part shade.
For a touch of glamour, it’s hard to look past aglaonemas for their stunning ornamental foliage featuring green or burgundy-veins that stretch the entire surface of their oblong leaves. Some species are known for their tenacious hold on life and can grow in almost any soil condition. Plant a few side-by-side for a stunning groundcover in part shade.
Make a bold statement with the handsome hostas. Grow them en masse in a lightly shaded part of the garden for an impressive sight of lush, exotic leaves marbled or marked in white. Look out for dual-toned markings in combinations of green, white, blue-grey or cream and yellow. Hostas make excellent groundcovers or feature in patio pots and planters.
When it comes to bright, low-maintenance vegetation, crotons really take the crown. They come in a range of bright, tropical colours and often the leaves are splashed with green and gold or crimson tones. They thrive in a warm climate, however if you want to intensify the red, plant in an area that catches afternoon shade.
The strong, sturdy and sometimes spiky (depending on the variety) leaves of Yucca work well in drought-tolerant garden designs. They prefer growing in full sunshine and dazzle in creamy-yellow centres and lime-green layers pressed between a deep green outer rim.