Friday, December 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Yardsmart: Late-season color creations

By
From page C3 | October 20, 2012 |

They are the colors of Victorian drawing rooms, of Craftsman bungalows and the shades that fill fashion magazines in the fall. These deep hues blended with rare accents in fiery hues create an undisputable flair for the dramatic. To create beautiful accents for porch and patio, the emphasis is not on flowers, for few bloom this late. Instead, the herbaceous plants that bear colored leaves are front and center, a most remarkable late-season dynamic.

Recent style trends have yielded some outstanding plants for your pots and window boxes that will easily come indoors later on. The vivid purple foliage of tropical Persian shield is among the most outstanding of the newer foliage plants because the leaves are large, up to 6 inches long. The color of Strobilanthes dyerianus is nothing short of iridescent purple, with darker venations that are a treasure up close.

The richness of foliage color will vary according to how much light the plants receive, so you may want to move this around to achieve the best look. This plant is, again, tropical, so it will not tolerate frost. In marginal areas, protection by a porch roof may allow it to survive outdoors, or simply move it inside and treat as a houseplant for the winter.

For colder regions, consider the more vivid purple flowering kales that have yielded very strong purple and magenta foliage that can offer a similar, but more cold-hardy, centerpiece.

When purple plants are your starting point, there are two options for companions that provide dynamic contrast. First are fine-leaf plants that create textural contrast. Second are very bright leaf plants that provide color contrast. When you achieve these ends with perennials bought in small containers late in the year, they won’t be a one-act plant like annual coleus. Come spring, they’ll be ready to go out into the garden. Therefore, the money you spend on perennials treated as annuals is a better value than creating autumn potted compositions strictly out of annuals that die at season’s end.

In terms of texture, you need fine-bladed plants that stand out boldly against larger leaves of kale and Persian shield. The best choices are grasslike plants called sedges, in genus Carex. The foliage can be stiff, the blades needle thin to a half-inch wide, and most retain their looks better in the cooler months. There are dozens of species and hybrids to choose from, with foliage that is straight, arching or even curled. Discover sedges this fall for your container compositions, and by spring you’ll be ready to use them in your garden with flair.

When it comes to contrasting foliage color, remember that blending light hues against the deep purple leaves is what makes a composition pop. Unlike analogous colors that all blend together, high-contrast companions are what gives a planted urn or antique pot visual appeal.

The extensive breeding of heucheras over the past decade has flooded the market with fabulous foliage. Once grown for their delightful coral-bell-like blossoms, the modern heucheras are all about foliage hues. This perennial holds its leaves through remarkably cold temperatures, making it valuable for maintaining interest in the off-season garden. If you start selecting heucheras to contrast with Persian shield, you’ll get to know many of these varieties.

For a great introduction on what’s available in both Carex and Heucheras, check out the Proven Winners selections at www.Provenwinners.com. This plant line is available through both independent garden centers and big-box stores.

This time of year, it’s foliage color that will transform your entry with beautiful creations that welcome friends and family. Just forget the flowers, and keep in mind that it’s all about the leaves.

(Maureen Gilmer is an author, horticulturist and landscape designer. Learn more at www.MoPlants.com. Contact her at mogilmer(at)yahoo.com or P.O. Box 891, Morongo Valley, CA 92256.)

Maureen Glimer

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings play role in civic life

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Sondheim’s ‘Woods’ holiday showcase for Missouri Street Theatre

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Frankye Kelly ready to spread holiday cheer

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Celebrate the magic of Christmas

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

 
Santas have busy week at schools

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
Safe streets task force work nets 3

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
 
Solano College approves officers, meeting schedule

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

Longtime Suisun harbor master to retire

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Next steps on Cuba: Normalizing could take awhile

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Local emergencies in Northern California counties after rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California’s top utility regulator defends record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Pretty horrible’ scene; car slams into crowd

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Police: Drunk man shot while entering wrong house

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Russian sailors leaving France without warship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

European court rules obesity can be a disability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

.

Opinion

Another look at school bonds

By George Guynn Jr. | From Page: A11, 5 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 19, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

News of the day strikes a chord

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

 
 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D8

 
Should I use Child Protective Services threat to get back rent?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D8

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Dec. 19-25, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Sweet ‘Night at the Museum’ bids farewell to Robin Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of ‘Late Late Show’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Eric Idle brings ‘Not the Messiah’ to Carnegie Hall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

.

Sports

A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Raiders defense depleted by injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Rodriguez boys open Les Curry Tournament with victory

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

39 bowl games and a reason to watch every one

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

By Jim Litke | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

Roomiest Subaru Legacy debuts for 2015

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Dow industrials have their best day in three years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Lisa Dee McHughes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Travis Curt Price

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jennie Ponce Reyes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics