Carefully Selected Mix of Variegated Foliage Brightens a Shady Spot

Serene and sophisticated, this foliage vignette is a surprising mix of that includes three different plants that all have variegated foliage—this could have been tricky to pull off, but it's masterfully executed by Vanessa Nagel, garden designer in Vancouver WA.  One of the reasons that I think it works, is that there's really one foliage star, one plant with showy variegation, and that's the hosta at the bottom middle. The other two have variegated foliage, but with more subtle and fine variegation that adds a reflective quality in this shady spot. The deep rich green of the strongly upright, slow-growing yew and the fringe of dwarf sweet box at the base are rich green bookends for the lighter foliage. This pleasing variety of leaf color and texture, coupled with the varied plant shapes create a wonderful composition.

Growing Conditions

Zone: 6, 7, 8, 9
Exposure: Open Shade, Filtered Sun, Morning Sun, Part Shade, Part Sun, Full Shade
Water Needs: Average

Design Considerations

Style: City and Courtyard, Northwest Eclectic, Woodland
Features: Varied Foliage, Texture, and Form, Fabulous Foliage, Low Maintenance, Winter Interest
Focus: Curb Appeal, Mixed Border, Small Space, Efficient Use of Space
Seasons of Interest: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Pleasing Seasonal Changes, Year-round Interest

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Level: low

Plants In this Combo