Complementary Plants

Credit: Mary LePatourel

Plants are hardy to the zone number indicated.

Although the Prices’ garden has its fair complement of flowers, its lasting impact comes from foliage. Margaret is particularly adept at using variegated plants to great effect. Some of her more striking examples include:

• The chartreuse leaves of Spiraea japonica ‘Goldflame’ (zone 2) beside a dusky black elder (Sambucus nigra ‘Guincho Purple,’ zone 6), with a mix of frosty lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis, zone 2) and Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’ (zone 2) below. At a little distance the combination is echoed by two contrasting ninebarks, Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Dart’s Gold’ (zone 3) and P. ‘Diabolo’ (zone 3), the latter reinforced by a smokebush (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple,’ zone 4), threaded with the lipstick flowers of Clematis ‘Ville de Lyon’ (zone 3).

• The lime and lemon leaves of Buddleja davidii ‘Harlequin’ (zone 5) complement those of variegated dogwood (Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima,’ zone 2) and holly (Ilex aquifolium ‘Argentea Marginata,’ zone 7).

• Trails of ivy in pale gold and green drape a large pot of glazed jade green.

• Myriad hostas (zone 2) swirl beneath taller plants, giving continuity to the garden and echoing the greens and yellows of leaves and blooms above.