Flowers are the highlights of many gardens when they are present, but foliage plants (plants grown primarily for their foliage) boast a reliability that is not to be scoffed at. Blooms come and go. But if you grow specimens with long-lasting leaves, there will always be something in your garden to delight you.
Sure, you can coax a longer blooming period out of many flowers by deadheading them -- but that involves extra work on your part. And while that extra work is worthwhile, I can't help but be impressed by the fact that the subtler display put on by foliage plants is largely gratuitous.
Okay, so that's just my lazy side speaking. There's no doubt that a mix of foliar standouts and flowering beauties is best. But to make sure that you appreciate the diversity of options offered by foliage plants, below (and on Page 2) I discuss several of them, of varying heights. Notice how different in its characteristics each of these selections is from the rest:
Foliage Plants for Ground Covers
Pachysandra is a ground cover, spreading to fill in an area via underground runners. Reaching a height of about 6 inches, pachysandra bears insignificant white flowers in spring but is a fine foliage plant. Pachysandra prefers shade, so it's a great choice for those problems areas you have that don't receive much sunlight.
Read article: Pachysandra
Liriope is another ground cover but grows a bit taller than pachysandra, reaching about 1 foot in height at maturity. And whereas pachysandra exhibits fleshy, oblong leaves, liriope resembles a grass. Liriope puts out a spikey flower, but its true value is as a versatile foliage plant, amenable to a sunny location or to partial shade.
Read article: Liriope
On Page 2 we'll look at some taller foliage plants....