11 February 2008

Chartreuse 2...the new neutral?

Given your comments in the previous post about chartreuse foliage, this IS a great colour for plants (even though some of us don't like to think we're following any sort of fashion--we'll just say we like the plants for their own sakes and a pox on the fashionistas, okay?)
We have quite a few annuals and perennials that sport either chartreuse flowers or foliage; I decided to toss in a couple of floral offerings just because they play the same terrific role as their foliage counterparts.
Kicking off the parade of flamboyant foliage is Coreopsis 'Cherry Lemonade'. I really, REALLY hope this plant comes back this summer--it did spectacularly well all year, flowering well into autumn, and I did cover it in boughs as the weather grew cold...its flowers are the perfect foil for that gold-green foliage.

Since Tradescantia 'Sweet Kate' was doing very well in the front garden, I bought another couple of plants to establish in the big back border, where a number of other tradescantias already are well established. Here it's setting off the alarm bells of Salvia 'Purple Volcano' while I think hosta 'Inniswood' is the hosta nearby.

One of my favourite annuals last year, both for durability and colour was bacopa 'Copia Golden Leaves'. I've extolled the virtue of this plant before, I know, but it's just such a great performer, and those lavender flowers against the chartreuse and green leaves just works so well. The nursery where I got it is growing it again, I found out last week. Goody, because I neglected to bring it inside before the first ice storm....

I have written before about my love for euphorbias. This is E. 'Fens Ruby', and a definite favourite, both for the red colouring in the foliage and of course for that fresh chartreuse flourish of bracts and flowers. This one even threw a few flowers in autumn, but the main event was in midspring.

Another chartreuse flowered plant I can't be without is Lady's mantle, (Alchemilla mollis). I love this plant--it's so well behaved, with fantastic fanshaped leaves that look bejeweled after a rain or dew (or fog); and that froth of tiny flowers lasts and lasts. It's a great border plant, and lights up the foggy yard really well.

Here's ladys mantle again, doing its job of lightening up a bed of Cancun Asiatic lilies, Goldflame honeysuckle, deep blue delphinium, and a host of other perennials.

One of my favourite foliage plants is the annual sweet potato vine. It does very well in containers around our place, and this delightful cultivar is 'Margarita'.

Wow! You may have read before about my love for annual ice plants; here they are nestled up against 'Aztec Gold' veronica in the front bed. I use bright colours like this to really chase away the grey days when Fundy fog rolls in and stays...and stays...and stays...

Nursery operator Rob Baldwin of Baldwin's Nurseries near Windsor (website under construction) is one of my favourite plantsmen, and a friend to boot. I can't go visit without leaving part of my bank account with him, but it's no wonder--his plants are field grown at his nursery, for the most part, and he has a terrific selection of native plants. This Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold' isn't native, of course, but it's an amazing grass for the front of a border; it cascades in waves, and that colour is hard to beat.

Yeah, so hosta 'Golden Tiara' is common as dirt. I don't care--it's one of some five dozen hostas, some unnamed--errrr, make that unidentified--around our garden, and I love it. Obviously, or I would compost it. Here it's nestled up against Salvia argentea, silver sage, a biennial with huge and elegant furry silver leaves, and one of the creeping veronicas.

This part of the front garden contains a fair few chartreuse foliaged plants, including Bromus 'Skinners Gold', the veronica mentioned above, 'Brigadoon' hypericum, and a mystery shrub (which I finally dug up and moved this fall, still unidentified. Anyone know what it is?).

Another of my nursery operating friends (who had better be getting her website up and going soon!) specializes in native plants, grasses, conifers...and heaths and heathers, like this incredible gold Erica. But don't ask me which one it is--I thought I had it out back, but of course everything is buried, and I'm finding that with so many plants, some of the names simply go into hiding in my head. Never mind that. As the late, still lamented Steve Irwin would have said, "Isn't it a beauty?"

There are a host more chartreuse-foliaged plants around our yard, but I don't have photos of all of them--and I think you get the point, those who might not yet have gone for gold...give it a try this spring! I'll certainly be adding more, though probably not the gold smoke bush--I've seen it, but it's a bit iffy for the mountain--but I'll be looking for chartreuse foliaged columbines, centaurea, campanula...and anything else that catches my eye!

Yes, that's right. My name is jodi, and I'm a plant addict.

There are worse habits.


  1. I'm one too, Jodi. My hubbie says Garden Centres are my sweetie shops :)

  2. Jodi, I have that 'Sweet Kate' too but I am not sure it has survived our hot dry summer last year. It was barely holding on when frost put it to sleep this past fall. I do hope she is hanging on.

    A friend of mine put a couple of those sweet potatoes in the ground to use as ground cover. WOW they took over the area she wanted ot cover and more.

    This past year is the first time I had a Lady's Mantle live. Go figure?? I am pleased to find a spot in the garden where it will survive and thrive. I want more this year so it doesn't feel lonely in its spot.

    I know what you mean about Golden Tiara. Ihave that sweet little hosta too. I pull out hunks of it to put into pots for a little color. It does so well. The mother clump blooms prolifically and is very charming at that time in what was deep shade.

  3. Dear Plant Addict - I feel your pain. I also share the love for the beauty of that yellow-green foliage. How sweet that you quoted Steve Irwin, who I miss greatly. Ah, I'm aching for spring! Debi @ GHT

  4. What a wonderful garden you have, even with your cold winters. All those gold foliage plants add so much spark to the beauty outside. Thanks for showing us more, got any more?

    Frances at Faire Garden

  5. That's right, like being a kittycat addict. Oh wait, you are that too, sorry! ;-)

    Lady's mantle, who would be without this little trooper? Not I!

    Uptil recently we could only get the white bacopa here but I noticed this year that one nursery is now selling the other colours as well. Hopefully they will have the Copia Golden Leaves so that I can, finally, get my hot little hands on that plant!

  6. I've got to have that Coreopsis - it's the color combo that I'm trying to get going! How hardy is that? I can't believe it, but I failed to take a single photo of my Lady's Mantle in bloom this year. It grows like a weed for me, so I keep stuffing it into empty places in the garden. Indispensable indeed. There's a reason why Hosta 'Golden Tiara' is common as dirt - it's a great plant. I'd get it, but it is a bit too much like another Hosta I already have. (It might even be 'Golden Tiara.')

  7. I gotta say that I use sweet potato vine, in all its colors, throughout the garden. The chartreuse version livens up any basket, window box and hole in the garden. It droops just perfectly, it's not fussy, its leaves are unique in shape, it goes with everything and there's no deadheading! Even the darker versions work well anywhere. It is the workhorse of my garden.

  8. Jodi,
    Your gardens are Just Beautiful! I'm working on mine. I'm a plant addict, also... however, the soil here is clay. Not just a little - but entirely, so I continue to amend, amend, amend. I've added so much good soil, composted soil, etc. and now I'm going to spread my home-grown compost as far as it will go, into some of those beds that Really Need it! Someday my plants will grow as well as yours! (Maybe!) ;-)

  9. Dear 'plant addict' friend ... my soul is with you, jodi. More snow is on the way here also. Thanks for reminding us of spring and what the earth has in store for patient gardeners ... right around the corner :) Is there anything more lovely than morning coffee & Lady's Mantle crystal sparkling dew? Only perhaps an evening garden walk with a glass of woodruff infused 'May Wine' ... oh, yes ...

  10. Oh, what beauty! I love the chartreuse plants, as I've said before, and you've showcased yours wonderfully. Reading a post like this gets me really excited to get out there and do some real planning in my garden. (In spite of my latest blog post. LOL)

  11. Hi again, Jodi :-)

    Yes, chartreuse seems to have you in a tizz!

    I agree that it is a great colour for the garden – I like it best in partial shade myself. However, I have to say that I am a gardener from Scotland and not a trendy writer but I have always known this colour as ‘acid green’. I hadn’t heard of it as chartreuse until now! Great posts on this great colour Jodi - whatever it is called :-D

    Mm... who visiting these posts won't be a plant addict :-D

  12. Hi! Nice to meet you. I just came over from Crafty Gardner. Beautiful plants and colours from one gardener to another.Just been through your last two pages of posts. I have lots of posts of my garden in England if you are interested in dropping by.


Thank you for visiting and for taking the time to comment! It might take me a bit, but I will return the compliment whenever possible.
Spammers--need not apply. Because I delete your comments and they will never make it here. Kthxbai!

Search Bloomingwriter

Custom Search