The Importance of Foliage In The Garden

Flowers are always seen as the stars of the garden.  A seasonal bloom will catch your attention for a minute or two and add a splash of colour for a brief moment.  The leaves of plants quite often get overlooked for the flowers.  The foliage of the plants you use in your garden will be the reliable back drop to these flowers and in most gardens it will give you the structure of the garden for twelve months of the year.  Foliage should be considered whenever you are planting out a garden.


  • Shades of green – give the space a calming feel. 
  • Variegated foliage – will lighten a shady corner and give a splash of coolness to the space. 
  • Painted or patterned foliage leaves can be so delicate that they almost don’t look real.  Others are so blended that you know only nature could have produced it. 
  • Striking single shades – Strong deep reds, purple and blacks will give a bold impact.  Silvers add a softness to any planting scheme.

Form (Shape/Size)

The edges or margins of leaves will vary and this then also affects the look of the leaf.  If you can mix contrasting leaf shapes and sizes together, this will give the garden more depth and movement. 


Leaves have many different finishes to them – almost like the way you can have different finishes in metal work, paving or even wall paper.

Glenice Buck
Glenice Buck

PH: 0417077386

Glenice is a landscape designer, horticulturist, garden writer and consulting arborist based in Young but she also works on projects throughout country NSW including Sydney. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, Glenice enjoys visiting famous gardens, parks and nurseries around Australia and throughout the world. She is the principal of Glenice Buck Designs.

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