It's time for our Tuesday installment of a cool-season garden design idea from Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz, the Seattle-based authors of Fine Foliage.

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It's time for our Tuesday installment of a cool-season garden design idea from Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz, the Seattle-based authors of Fine Foliage. In case you missed last week's, find it here.

This week: To the point

Why this works: In fall when all of the ephemeral plants of summer fade, having the structure and stiffness of foliage that holds up to whatever weather Mother Nature wants to throw at it is appealing. The point-tipped leaves of Hellebore take the lead in this duo and bring an icy blue-gray sophistication when joined by typical autumnal color schemes. On counterpoint-, the small-needled spruce provides a tall, soft green backdrop.

Key players:

‘Silver Lace’ Christmas rose (Helleborus argutifolius ‘Silver Lace’) This sharply toothed, evergreen perennial has exquisite new foliage in spring and blooms with creamy-green flowers between February and April. Eye-catching silvery-blue bold foliage grows in shade to partial sun, 1.5 ft. tall X 3 ft. wide. Sunset Climate Zones 3b–9, 14–24

Dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca 'Conica') A formal cone shape needing  little care or maintenance. Surprisingly soft to the touch, this conifer is excellent in a container or landscape. Grows slowly in partial to full sun, 6-8 ft tall X 4-5 ft. wide.  Sunset Climate Zones A1–A3, 1–7, 14–17

Conditions: Partial shade, average well-drained soil

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