WOW heuchera and shrub combinations

mrtulinMay 29, 2011

Could we start a post about fantastic combos of heucheras and shrubs? And I have two specific questions below, which I'd appreciate an answer to, so I can stop saying to myself..."God that's so ugly, what was I thinking?"

Some poor companion choices from last fall need correction.

Which heurchers would you use with physocarpis Coppertina

and Sedum Matrona? I think complementary colors would be better than contrasting. In other words, I wouldn't like h.lime rickey with the physocarpis.

Also, think about long season interest; not just when the shrub is in bloom..

Thanks!

Marie

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

In all honesty, I don't think I would put a Heuchera with Coppertina since texture and size of the leaves is so similar. Near my Coppertina I have other plants with smooth-edged leaves that are either larger (gold hosta to pick up the gold in the Coppertina) or smaller and green for contrast (an Amsonia hubrechtii, chamaedaphne, Liatria, and a Baptisia) From June 2010

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mrtulin

Yes, I agree completely. When I actually walked around with plants they were so similar as to nearly disappear.

So, If I may, I'd like to revise the question to "what are your favorite shrub and perennial combinations. Companion shrubs are also eligble"

Thanks, everyone. I have been adding many more shrubs to the border, but "companions and skirts" are still in style!
Marie

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 9:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ditas

Love your threesome nhbabs!!!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 1:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rmac78

I have coreopsis(moonbeam) in front of my ninebark. The yellow flowers really stand out next to the copper color.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gazania_gw

I am very much 'into' color and texture. Probably to the point of being gaudy to the eye of some. Planting in 3's is something I rarely accomplish. Even when not much is in bloom, I always have a lot of bright spots/interest going on in my many planted areas on my one acre.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 1:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alina_1

I am with you Gazania (love your beds)!
I also like color/texture combos and try to implement them as much as possible.

Heuchera Midnight Rose + Peony + Creeping Jenny

Potted Heuchera 'Berry Smoothie' with Hakonechloa and fern or Hosta (experimenting with different combinations):

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 1:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
magnoliaroad(5)

Gazania, don't worry about your garden being gaudy. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 2:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marquest(z5 PA)

alina_1, we must have the same taste. I purchased Heuchera 'Berry Smoothie' and Hakonechloa last week and have been moving them around the gardens to see where they will look best.

I do not think it will work with the blue hosta because they need so much shade to keep the blue color.

I am thinking of putting the two with my Purple smoke bush and the yellow barberry. That will be a wild and crazy bright sight. LOL

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 6:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mrtulin

Hi Everyone,
Glad to see people are posting! I'm following along quietly. I've been reading more about combining colors and textures in the garden. After 30 years of gardening, it is still elusive.

For instance, Alina, the grass, heuchera and hosta don't work for me because the hosta and heurchera are both cool colors...and the grass is lime green.

I think the heuchera with the japanese painted fern is lovely (it has rose in it), and that one stem of green sets it off. Still not crazy about the hakone grass....Maybe the threesome can be the plant with the green leaves, the fern and heuchera...what about red fountain grass, annual pennisetum?

What did you decide?

Thanks for all the ideas. Marie

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 9:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alina_1

Actually, the picture with the blue Hosta was a joke. In the 'Berry Smoothie' Heuchera thread I mentioned that I am going to pair it with Hakonechloa. Someone said 'Yam! It would be great if a blue Hosta is added to this combo'. I made a picture and asked 'Like this?' Nobody noticed the joke :) Everyone started discussing the two pictures and vote for the fern.

I still think that the 'Berry Smoothie' with Aureola are stunning together. First, this Heuchera has very warm color (7 years of intense art training in my background), although it does look a bit cold in pictures. Second, there is nothing wrong with warm+cold colors combo if it is done right.
I planted them together on my new front yard bed. I added a group of Hellebores next to this couple. When Hellebores are blooming, the Heuchera foliage is insignificant and the Hakone grass has its winter pale foliage. Or, its foliage is cut back. So, the Hellebores are the focal point. Then later in the season, they will create a neutral background for the colorful couple with their dark green mounds.
Blue Hosta is not there :o)

BTW, the bed is just planted; the plants look a bit sparse and stressed. Yet, I have people stopping near my house, asking about this particular couple, and making compliments :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 10:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

I'm not sure that any of these qualify as WOW, but I do try for contrast of foliage shape, color, size, or texture of the perennials I use around my shrubs so that my mixed beds have interest even when not much is blooming.
This photo has four plants I often use with shrubs:
From June 2010 From top left corner, Iberis sempervirens (this type has white blooms spring & fall), hosta, cranberry, hosta, Hydrangea 'Endless Summer', Clematis 'Ville de Lyon', Rhododendron 'Checkmate' (a short PJM). I use the Iberis, cranberry, and hosta at the shrubs' feet and the clematis growing up into the hydrangea and then onto a support as it's really way too big for these shrubs that top out for me at about 3-4'. From June 2010 A hosta and cranberry at the feet of a Daphne x transatlantica 'Summer Ice.' From June 2010 This variegated dogwood has vinca and edible rhubarb at its feet, a native sedge peeking in from the left and Siberian Iris on the right, as well as a lupine and foxglove that placed themselves in front of the dogwood. From June 2010 Perennials across the front, L to R: Veronica (wouldn't recommend as is boring when not in bloom), Amsonia hubrechtii (I love the feathery texture,) Nepeta 'Walker's Low', Dianthus 'Greystone' (excellent bluish, fine foliage when not in bloom), Thermopsis villosa/Carolina Lupine (back by the sprinkler.) This bed also has lilies, daylilies, hosta, hydrangea, and rhododendrons, so it's not all the fine foliage visible in this photo. From June 2010 From top left, a dark foliaged Cimicifuga/Actea, Rosa mundi, Siberian Iris, lilac, Astilbe, Veronica 'Georgia blue', Heuchera, variegated Solomon's seal and peony (mostly off the left of the photo), with a thyme growing along the edge of the lilac to the right of the photo.

I like contrasting small shiny dark leaves like those of the cranberry, vinca, bearberry, or Iberis with tall long leaves like Iris or daylily, large broader leaves like those of the hosta and hydrangea and feathery textured foliage. I do use colored foliage, but not too prolifically since I live in a rural area and I think it might look a bit odd against the backdrop of woodland and rough field.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 10:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Alina - I really like the peach, maroon, gold, green combination that is going on in your first photo. I've always been at a loss to use peach and salmon tones well since I'm not fond of them with reds, pinks or purples, but I think that you have nailed it.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 10:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alina_1

Thanks nhbabs :)

BTW, I just discovered a new Heuchera. I noticed it at the local HD when I came for the top soil. The huge very dark maroon leaves with dark green undersides. The plant was more than 1' tall. Very impressive. I've never heard of the cultivar ('Binoche'), but when I saw the price, it was a no-brainer - $5.98. Two pots went home with me. To my surprise, it turned out to be a newly patented variety. The pictures online do not do any justice, the plant is much better in person. Since it has villosa parentage, I have high hopes for its performance in our hot and humid climate.
Fantastic landscaping plant IMO, a real statement in the garden. Also, a great opportunity to create lovely combinations - the color is very dark and hence very neutral.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 11:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nwrose(PNW)

I think you are doing a wonderful job. Nice use of the Painted fern.
I find the painted fern difficult to work with. I was almost relieved when I lost mine, feeling I never did it justice....a beauty that needs it's day. Then it came back, where it wanted, which was intermingled with strawberry bagoninas, hostas, heurcheras and epimedium. It chose it's own textures, colors and spacing. It gingerly gives me a spring or three and never more. I added some yard art in the grouping and it works for me. When I see it I smile.
Smiles,
D....

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 11:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Heucherella 'Brass Lantern' would look outstanding with the 'Coppertina' ninebark.

I planted one last fall at the feet of Spirea 'Magic Carpet'

Here is a link that might be useful: Brass Lantern

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 12:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kiskin(5/6 in EU)

Idabean, I have heuchera Hollywood next to my Matrona sedums - nice complementary colour combination:

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 2:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mrtulin

The other plants I'm having fun with are perennial geraniums. Talk about intense, I stuck a big hunk of g. magnificum (violent violet) behind gold hakoneloa grass and it sings! For me, a little of that goes a long way.

Now I'm looking at a gold full-moon maple across the lawn, that needs a big skirt of something. I want to see the tree, not the groundcover. Got ideas?

Color is very challenging for me. Humbly, I defer to (and envy) people with an eye, training or both.

Marie

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 11:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mrtulin

I was searching for an answer to the same question I asked last year at about this time, this thread popped up. The emerging chartreuse foliage of full moon Japanese maple still needs something besides dirt under it.
Were there combinations that you liked all season? What are you trying this year?
idabean

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 12:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

When it comes to color, I've always preferred analogous color schemes or monochromatic ones to those based on high contrast from 'opposite' colors. However I was never keen on yellow or bright green foliage until I saw the combination below in a garden on the local garden tour a few years ago:

That 'light bulb moment' convinced me that the best way to combine yellow/bright green foliage is to mass it with other plants with the same color in foliage or flowers, getting the 'contrast' element from varying forms.

Ever since seeing that combination above, I've wanted to find a place in the garden for a 'golden' area. In late 2011 I started working on a 'golden path' leading under our white pines. It's going to take awhile to develop/mature but, at this point, it starts with a 'Full Moon' Japanese maple and some of the golden forest grass seen in the picture above, some bright green heucheras (which the local rabbit population seems to think is gourmet lettuce!), some 'Sum and Substance' hostas, a yellow-variegated euonymus on the fence, and another JM with yellow emerging foliage that turns green. I'm still assessing what more to add/change as the area develops. Unfortunately I haven't taken any good pictures of it yet because things are still in the rather bare not-filled-in-yet stage of development. Maybe this year it'll be picture-worthy....

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 2:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
molie(z6 CT)

I'm actually a bit jealous looking at these because all my Coral Bells, plus other things, were destroyed in the hurricane and salt water flood in my lower garden area. I'm thinking about replacements and found much inspiration here.

Woodyoak, those are such striking tones of yellow in your photo. Is that a peony above a Hakonechloa? Do you its name?

Babs, I love the lupines in front of the variegated dogwood and your nepeta bed with the various textures.

Alina, your combination of Heuchera 'Berry Smoothie' with Hakonechloa Aureola and Japanese painted fern is one I think I'll copy. I've always loved yellows and lavender/purple.

Gazania, you have such wonderful combinations of textures and colors on your one acre of gardens--- I love the way you've combined those elements.

This is such a wonderful thread!

Molie

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 10:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gazania_gw

Here is a new combo of color that catches the eye on the way to my font door....it is extreme. That is Euphorbia bonfire and Heuchera Peach Melba. The color of this Heuchera was more subtle last year. To be honest, I find this combination a little jarring. May decide to move Peach Melba ...somewhere.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 7:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

mollie - that's a tree peony with the grass in the photo. I don't know the name of the peony since it wasn't labelled in the garden. There are a number of yellow tree peonies, and intersectional cross ones too, so you could look around to see what you can find if you wanted to repeat that combo. It sort of looks like 'High Noon', although the on-line pictures I can see seem to have a darker center than the one in the picture.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 11:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
molie(z6 CT)

Thanks, Woodyoak, for the tips! I do love that plant and will search it out online.

I've always loved tree peonies ---- bought one over 30 years ago at my first house, which was deep in the woods. It was a beautiful purple peony, slightly ruffled, and it died. Well --- what else could I expect considering how I was a new gardener and planted the poor thing where it never saw the sun? I spend a fortune on that plant but actually believed, naively, that it would survive because it was so expensive!

Molie

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mrtulin

I'm so glad this thread has new posts. Woodyoak, I also have "Full Moon"" as well as three big patches of yellow hakone grass that need division. Thank you for the inspiration. Hosta June doesn't have very large leaves, but I wonder how it would look in combination or adjacent.
I have moved h. "Georgia Peach" all around the yard. It looks good under a dark red j.maple, although it is is a bit lighter. Still undecided.
H.Caramel came through the winter so well. A remarkable plant.
NHbabs, if you read this, could you say some more about the cranberry you use? I know nothing about it.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marquest(z5 PA)

idabean I have June coupled with Heuchera Tiramisu

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
funnthsun z7A - Southern VA

Here's my new Heuchera combo. On the diagonal, from left to right we have Glow Girl Spirea, Heuchera Obsidian and Blue Princess Verbena. Doesn't look like much now, but when they grow in a bit, I think this combo is going to be striking. The little Glow Girls were planted in January, the Verbena in early April and Obsidian after that. Obsidian can take full sun, so I'm excited about that. I actually alternated Obsidian and Amethyst Falls between Spireas, I'll post a pic of Amethyst Falls, also.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
funnthsun z7A - Southern VA

Here's Amethyst Falls. Both Obsidian and Amethyst Falls has the same tone, so they really look great staggered. One solid, one multi-toned. Awesome.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
coxy(6)

LOVE LOVE LOVE the hakone, Berry Smoothie and painted fern!!!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 10:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Idabean -

The cranberry I grow is Vaccinium macrocarpon, the regular commercial cranberry. It doesn't like dry soil, but grows just fine in ordinary garden soil. I have it in gardens that range from full sun to only about 3 hours of sun. I find that it spreads, with the stems rooting as it goes, but so far it hasn't interfered with any other plants' survival. The pink and white flowers are tiny (much smaller than the berries) but a beautiful shape, and are followed by the cranberries which start out pale green and slowly blush until the whole berry is bright red. After a freeze the berries become translucent. The leaves stay evergreen, though like other evergreens they can get winter burned if it is too cold and dry without snow cover. The leaves are quite small, perhaps 3/8" long and a bit glossy. Another positive for me is that the voles don't seem to like it.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 10:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mrtulin

It is lovely. Maybe the tiniest leaves I've seen. Red berries, what a plus....
thanks

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 10:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

I love "Citronelle" paired with red laceleaf Japanese maple.

No pic today - I'll try to remember to get a pic of that when I'm out there with the camera.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 11:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Marie - Have you considered Veronica 'Georgia Blue' under the skirts of your Full Moon Japanese maple? I love any combination of blue and gold, and the Veronica's small green leaves would be a nice foliage contrast all summer, especially if there's grass or hosta nearby. It doesn't root deeply and spreads in a friendly manner, spilling around the feet of other plants without overwhelming them. It seems fine in part to much shade, but I haven't tried it in sun.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 2:22PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Winterizing perennials?
Just moved into a new home with lots of established...
chaven
Hey, I just remember I have...
globeflower! Totally forgot I have these, I was typing...
mxk3
Before and After
By chance I came across this first photo just today....
rouge21_gw
Suggestions To Make This Forum Better
A Private Message feature would be great! Add yours!...
WendyJoZ8
Your Monkshood?
I have an established stand of some unnamed aconitum...
rouge21_gw
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™