Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Foliage Follow-Up: Celebrating Chartreuse!

FFU May 2013 Header
For this month's Foliage Follow-Up Post, I decided to focus on one type of foliage, chartreuse foliage! I know it's one of those colors that you either love or hate, and I'm firmly in the love camp.

Sumac
Rhus typhina 'Tiger Eyes'
There is something so wonderful about this color...it just GLOWS in a garden! Can you imagine this scene without the Sumac? It would be way less effective. It's in such great contrast to everything else.

Oxalis Iron Cross
Oxalis 'Iron Cross'
Maybe it's because it seems like such a fresh color, it reminds me of new, spring growth, who knows. One thing is for certain, it's most effective when paired with darker colors, like in this Oxalis, which does the work for me, with it's amazing two-tone foliage.

Origanum and Stipa
Origanum vulgare 'Aureum'
Most chartreuse foliage is at its best in cooler weather. This Origanum, for example, tends to fade a bit in hot sun (last year it actually scorched quite a bit). Luckily, it's so vigorous, that I just trimmed off the tatty bits and it looked fresh and new!

Hakonechloa
Hakonechloa
And, of course, few colors light up a shady spot like chartreuse, as in this Hakonechloa.

Persicaria Lance Corporal
Persicaria 'Lance Corporal'
Another plant with built-in contrast, Persicaria 'Lance Corporal'. I love this plant almost to an absurd degree...it's so easy-going, thriving in sun or shade (although it too can scorch in hot weather). It reseeds like nothing I've ever seen, so you always have some to share.

Persicaria and SumacAgastache Golden Jubilee
Of course, chartreuse is most noticeable when paired with other plants...as on the left, it becomes a highlight of the border. On the right, one of my favorite plants, Agastache 'Golden Jubilee', which is so easy to please. It's stunning during the entire year, offering gorgeous foliage and blooms...and even in death, has a wonderful skeleton during winter...and finches love it's seeds. Again, I'm a little predictable in that I've paired it with a plant with contrasting, darker leaves...in this case Aster 'Prince'.

Geranium Ann Folkard 2
Geranium 'Ann Folkard'
A stalwart in my garden, 'Ann Folkard' never fails to thrill me. The foliage is a screaming chartreuse in the spring, although it can green out a bit by fall. If you ever find that it is sprawling, you can cut it back for a fresh flush of new growth (well, technically you can, I've never had luck trying this).

Sedum and SchizachyriumPersicaria Golden Arrow and Panicum
Of course, you can hardly talk about chartreuse foliage without mentioning good old Sedum 'Angelina'. She's a garden workhorse...looking good all year long, especially in winter when she is suffused with red and orange highlights. One of the newer chartreuse plants in my garden, on the right, is Persicaria 'Golden Arrow'. Not only is the foliage gorgeous, but it blooms nonstop from June to frost. Unlike most Persicarias, however, it really needs partial shade (preferably dappled shade) as the large leaves scorch easily in hot sun.

Geranium Sumac Sedum Privent
I find that I have to restrain myself from planting too many chartreuse plants together...here, you can see, however, that spaced out, they are highlights in the garden...and bring together their own form of cohesion.

boots in box
What about you, are you a chartreuse fan or foe? Either way, check out Pam Penick's Digging for more Foliage Follow-Up Posts :-)

70 comments:

  1. Chartreuse is my favorite color in the garden. I need to go plant shopping again after reading your post! Thanks for introducing me to new plants. :-)

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    1. I love it too...make sure to get some dark-leaved plants to contrast it with :-)

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  2. Try Jasminum officinales 'Frojas' - a great vine for shade or part sun

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    1. OMG...you have no idea how much I want that now! I must find a spot for it!

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  3. Chartreuse makes so many other colors pop. I have it with true blues (light and dark) and lavender/magenta, which is an interesting combo that I haven't seen often. I have 'Ogon' spirea, 'Sum & Substance' hosta, 'Orange Marmalade' hosta, 'June' hosta, 'Lime Rickey' heuchera, and the flowers of lady's mantle. There's also a teucrium with chartreuse leaves that's calling my name 'Summer Sunshine'. Yummy!

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    1. I love those...haven't heard of the Teucrium before...must find it!

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  4. Chartreuse is my fav too. I try to pair it with burgundy and blue (I know, who doesn't). Nothing can pop a combo like a shot of chartreuse though. Love your persicarias Scott - I keep looking for them - definitely on my list. And dear Anonymous, I google imaged your Jasminium officinales 'Frojas'. Hello gorgeous!

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    1. I think Chartreuse and burgundy and purple are my favorite color combos...they just sing together...can't get enough...obviously!

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  5. Do you buy it on purpose, or as you wonder through a garden shop that they appear in your basket? It is a fun contrasting color, I didn't realize o many plants have chartreuse varieties.

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    1. I think it's usually the latter...I sometimes have to stop myself form buying MORE chartreuse foliage...I'm slightly addicted!

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  6. Hi Scott,

    No fan of chartreuse, and so far only really have a couple of plants with bright foliage... Although I do also have to admit that in your garden they do look amazing, I think in my case it's more a situation where I never think of foliage. For me it's all about the blooms and then foliage is way down the list of considerations.

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    1. I certainly love flowers, no doubt there! There are some chartreuse flowers around...although I think they are more novel than actually "pretty". I rather like the chartreuse Nicotiana langsdorfii :-)

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  7. Love chartreuse - use it with burgundy in several parts of the garden.
    One of my favorites are the bracts of Salvia mexicana 'Limelight".

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    1. Oooooo...I love that Salvia, rosekraft! I just saw it for the first time a few weeks ago...that deep purple with the chartruese bracts...perfection!

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  8. Lovely plants and photos as always Scott! A chartreuse fan, it can lighten up shady spots and add contrast and variety to any border or planting scheme.

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    1. It's so true...it makes a huge difference in shade!

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  9. This is one of my favorite colors in the garden, always lights up those darker corners. I just put in Deutzia Chardonnay which has leaves through three seasons in this color.

    Eileen

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    1. Oh, Eileen, I've got to look up that Deutzia...it's sounds perfect!

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  10. Chartreuse is a nice accent for the most part, but sometimes the plant just looks sickly. The "golden" versions of conifers for instance. I think it's all about context.

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    1. There are definitely times I don't like it (when it gets more towards the yellow side). There is a very popular shrub around Portland (Choisya) that I kind of loathe for just that reason...it looks sickly and sun-scorched.

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  11. I keep running into situations where no other color will do. Put me in the "fan" column.

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  12. Scott, you need to add Leucosceptrum 'Gold Angel', stunning plant for part shade to shade, with golden foliage and 3 to four feet high and wide.

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    1. OMG...I totally "heart" that plant, Al! I DO need to find a spot for it...I just need something to die over the winter to make room ;-)

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  13. Most of my garden is wooded, so lots of shade. If I can find a golden leaved plant that will cope, it really does draw the eye and add depth to the planting. In the flower borders it can be more tricky to place.

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    1. I totally agree, rusty duck, too much can be harsh...a little goes a long ways.

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  14. I am a full-fledged lover of chartreuse -- especially with purple foliage plants.

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    1. Oh Zoey, absolutely, a classic color pairing!

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  15. YES! Love it heated up with oranges, reds, hot pinks or cooled down with blues and burgundy. My current fave is Sambucus canadensis 'Aurea' growing in a huge beautiful pot in an impossibly dark corner. The chartreuse brightens that corner like nothing else and completely dies back in the winter allowing me to appreciate the gold metallic-glazed pot. I'm also pretty enamored of Persicaria 'Golden Arrow' with it's pretty pink wands dancing above the foliage. Of course that orange and white furry combination in your final picture is best of all!

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    1. I think that's why it appeals to so many of us, even though we have different tastes, it is quite versatile! Boots appreciates your kind words ;-)

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  16. Wow I never realized there were people who don't love chartreuse, what's up with that? (Leaves more for us I guess). Glad to see nursery flats have a second purpose in your garden too...

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    1. You two make me want a pet so badly. Greg is too big to fit in the nursery flats so they sit empty. :(

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    2. I didn't realize it was a controversial color until an ex-coworker of mine remarked with a sour face that I certainly had a lot of "acid-green" plants. She was obviously, not a fan!

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    3. I bet if he REALLY wanted to, Greg could make it happen. If not, you could just cut an appliance box down to size for him ;-)

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  17. You're garden is looking great as usual! I like the chartreuse of my 'Sutherland's Gold' elderberry. It should really be called 'Sutherland's Chartreuse', but that doesn't have the same ring.

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    1. That is a gorgeous shrub, Jason...one I wish I had room for. Then again, I'll need to replace the Privet with something, won't I :-)

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  18. I agree that chartreuse is great in the garden. I have had my eye on that Rhus Tger Eyes--I'm going to have to get it!

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    1. You should definitely get one, Linda...it would look amazing in your garden!

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  19. I love chartreuse and you make such wonderful use of it. I love that the blooms and foliage of Ann Folkard echo the color combination of your Rhus against the Red Dragon. Gorgeous!

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    1. I want to say that it was a happy accident, but I totally planned that...you caught me...I'm seriously THAT neurotic!

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  20. I was going on and on about how wonderful chartreuse plants were, when a woman turned to me and said, "Looks like the dog pee'd there." My first inclination that not all people liked the colour in the garden. It really is refreshing in a shade gardening especially toward mid and late summer when everything seems to be dark green. After reading the comments, good to know there are so many of us out there.
    B.
    p.s. Do you think the kittie still thinks he/she still fits into the box?

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    1. It's definitely a love or hate kind of color, but I think there's more love than hate, in general ;-) I agree, it's a nice contrast to all the deeper greens...they are like little highlights in a garden. I think Boots is pretty sure he's still a kitten ;-)

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  21. Chartreuse fan - I've been keying in on all the chartreuse new growth for months. I think that is partly why I like Opuntia in the spring?

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    1. So true...I think that's a big reason I like it...it reminds me of all the fresh, vivid, bright new growth of spring!

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  22. Hi there- I just found your blog and wanted to say I enjoyed reading through your post! That Persicaria has my attention- I am not familiar with it at all. I like the chartreuse colors too, although I don't have much of it. I do have some hosta (Amber Tiara) that are that color and are a favorite of mine. I do think it's one of the best accents with the hot pink color! Love your kitty- she/he couldn't look happier! I'm your newest follower!

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    1. Hi Liz...so glad to meet you! Yes, chartreuse is amazing with hot pink! On paper, it wouldn't seem to work, but in reality, it's ELECTRIC!

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  23. I am a fan because it makes so many other colors shine. It brightens dimmer places in the garden and the sometimes larger leaves play off the finer textures in a garden space. I like the title block in your post. Very nicely done.

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    1. So very true...it's is very valuable...and you're right about the larger leaves (of which I don't have a lot), the sheer fact taht they are larger is already a contrast to finer-leaved plants :-)

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  24. OK, I had to check out this post because of the title--because I, too, am crazy about chartreuse. It has grown on me (well, figuratively, sorry) over the years. I now like it as a clothing color, as a spot decorating color, and definitely in the garden! You show some excellent examples (as always) of why it works and how it pops. I think it's especially effective paired with burgundys, purples, and bright pinks/fuchsias.

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    1. Yes! I totally agree...it's the pairing of chartreuse with those other, contrasting colors that gives it such a richness!

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  25. I am not a fan of light green plants because I always think of them as being chlorotic. Nevertheless. you have a knack for using them in your garden. You could have a colorful and interesting garden even without the flowering plants.

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    1. I think in sunnier climes, that is more the case. I've found that chartruese definitely looks its best in softer light...it can even bleach out in too much harsh sun.

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  26. FAN! I'm finally coming to an understanding of the strong role chartreuse can play in my garden, as well as coming to an appreciation of the wonderful selection of plants available in chartreuse. Sedum 'Angelina is a workhorse in my garden also, and I adore a NOID Japanese Maple I grew from a seedling for some chartreuse behind my glaucus Eucalyptus. Your Rhus is such a lovely larger plant in the color!

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    1. Oh yes, Jane, that Maple with your Eucalyptus is MAGIC...so beautiful!

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  27. I am definitely a big fan! It's not a color that pops up frequently in Austin gardens, so seeing it in yours is always a treat. If I ever moved to the Pacific NW I'd probably need a gardener's intervention so as not to plant every chartreuse plant I could get my hands on. See you at the Fling next week!!

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    1. Hahahaha, well, sadly, I wouldn't help your addiction if you lived here, Pam...I'd be a total enabler of your chartreuse frenzy!

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  28. I'm loving this color in my garden right now -- what to plant behind, around, and in front of my Cornus 'Hedgerows Gold' to make it pop out even more?

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    1. Anything purple or burgundy! Ninebarks, Sambucus, Persicaria, Actaea, Cotinus!

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    2. Yes, I think so too, but I want the red stems to stand out in the winter...evergreen? (Picky!)

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  29. They are all beautiful, chartreuse or not, but that last one doesn't mind at all as long as she can sleep!

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  30. I am a chartreuse fan. It gives a shot of color in my shady over-planted garden. I like all of your color combinations.

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    1. It really is so great in the shade, isn't it, Lisa...plus, the shade neutralizes any "brassiness" that might occur!

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  31. I like chartreuse and you have it mixed perfectly!

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  32. Thanks for linking this very interesting post to GBFD, I can understand why some people don't like chartreuse it can be difficult to combine with other plants. You have used it to stunning effect.

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  33. Scott you've got several perfect examples of chartreuse-foliaged plants. I'm a plant person for sure, but as soon as I saw that last photo of the sleeping kitty in the box, my heart melted. What an adorable photo. Always a pleasure to visit with you.

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  34. Love chartreuse in the garden and I have a plant that found me. Must have come with another plant and I cannot find an image or name for it in my searches on the web.
    It has beautiful chartreuse leaves growing on stems about eight to ten inches high and then very fine spikes grow above the leaves to about fourteen to sixteen inches with very small bead like pink (flower?). Anyone recognize it? It is perrenial and a self sower.

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