December 12, 2010

Color, texture, and growth patterns

I’ve decided to devote this blog to plants that overwinter in the zone 5 climate—perennials, bulbs, trees, and shrubs. But as a slight departure, I’d like to share a photo I recently snapped for a Good Garden Ideas story about holiday botanical garden displays.

Neither Poinsettia nor Amaryllis can overwinter in my climate. Poinsettias are native to Mexico and Central America, and Amaryllis plants are native to South Africa. Both are tropical plants. But the rich and complimentary colors, textures, and growth patterns of these two plants was a good reminder to me to think about these characteristics when planning future plantings in my garden.

The veined, soft white, carpet-like texture of the white Poinsettias provides a lovely base for the spiking, dramatic Amaryillis. The colors, textures, and growth patterns of both plants are beautiful on their own, but especially striking when planted together.

Actually, this is somewhat similar to the effect of Lycoris, in my garden, rising up in late August out of a carpet of Hostas.


  1. That Lycoris/Hosta combination looks wonderful, the exotic foliage of the hostas is a perfect foil for the tropical-looking flowers. You are so right to emphasise the importance of finding good plant combinations. There must be something about this time of year when we all end up planning for the following year. Ii have been coming across so many posts about planting combinations and the importance of structure and form in the garden.

  2. Plantaliscious: Yes, planning is on our minds! I suppose we all wish we could be digging in the dirt, but planning the garden is one way to beat the winter blahs.