One of the comments when I brought up trends a few months ago suggested that leaf variegation might be on the way out. That won’t be happening in my garden. As the Northeastern season winds down, I’m more grateful that ever that I have relied on large-scale and variegated foliage plants to provide interest around the entire perimeter of the space.
As the last petals drop off the various rudbeckia and lilies, the roses slowly diminish, and the fuzzy-headed plants turn unattractively brown, the colocasia, coleus, and musa (accessorized by various annuals) continue to pump out ever-huger leaves. They finally feel as though they’ve had enough warm temperatures to get comfortable ad settle in—just when I’ve started to worry about how I’m going to winter them over. In February, I quoted Tony Avent as saying this would be the year of the ear. Looks like September and much of October will be the months of the ear. Which is a good thing because the only fall perennial I really love is Japanese anemone. Although one doesn’t like to lean too much on warm zone plants or tropicals, this is the time of year where they can really enhance a Northern garden.
Shown here: colocasia esculenta hybrids Nancy’s Revenge and Yellow Splash close-up; c. esculenta Illustris in pots.