Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Form & Texture

It's amazing how many different shapes, textures and colors foliage comes in. I never stopped to think about it until I put these collages together. Actually, grouping photos of foliage together helps me see more clearly the varying shades of color and how the different shapes of leaves work together. It's true...you can create an interesting garden based solely on foliage.  

These soft bluish green shades are very soothing and create a feeling of tranquility. The textures run from stiff to soft. Pictured in this sampling of foliage is -- Wandering jew, begonia, lavender, succulent, holly fern, cast-iron plant and peacock ginger.

The plants above harmonize nicely with the deep rose color in these caladiums. If you want more color in a shade garden . . . caladiums are the perfect no-fuss plant.

Now the shades of green are becoming more vibrant with undertones of gold and ivory. They stand out more in the garden than the softer tones. Pictured in this group are croton, pothos, lotus begonia, and parsley.

I love the transparent look of large bold foliage when I use the sun as backlighting. The intricate framework of veins are visible making a "plain" green leaf even more beautiful and amazing. As I look at these photos I can feel the warmth of the sunlight shining on them.

Bromeliad foliage is . . . I think you'll agree with me...outstanding. The circular shaped plants with stiff leaves are eye-catching. Some of the leaves have soft sides while others are sharp and serated. Separating the sharp, serated plants will scratch your arms up if you don't wear long sleeves or rose gloves. These plants are epiphytes . . . meaning they don't need soil to grow in. They can be attached to a rock, log, tree branch or planted directly into the ground or in a container. One really neat aspect about these plants is that the center is a cup which holds water (see top two photos). Rainshowers and hand-watering replenish the water in these cups.

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