For the past two Tuesdays, we've brought you killer cool-season planting ideas from Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz, the Seattle-based authors of Fine Foliage. This week: Containers!

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For the past two Tuesdays, we've brought you killer cool-season planting ideas from  Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz, the Seattle-based authors of Fine Foliage (find them here and here). This week: Containers!

Lemon with a twist

Why it works: Yellow is not a unique color in the world of foliage but when splashed with raspberry it takes on a whole new personality. ‘Delta Dawn’ coral bells takes center stage with its colors being repeated by the vibrant mirror plant. Acting as a foil to these bright colors are the upright dark green yew and strappy black mondo grass. The fan shaped foliage of the mukdenia will become increasingly crimson as temperatures drop and the red wintergreen berries stud the lower tier like maraschino cherries in a cocktail. Delicious!

Key Players:

‘Delta Dawn’ coral bells (Heuchera ‘Delta dawn’) – golden yellow foliage with striking red veins makes this evergreen, mounding perennial a highlight in the shade. To 12” tall and wide. Sunset Climate Zones 1–9, 14–24

‘Evening Glow’ mirror plant (Coprosma repens ‘Evening Glow’) – this boasts glossy green leaves with a striking gold variegation and fabulous rusty tones in fall and winter. In colder climates consider this a small annual but is hardy in Sunset Climate Zones 14–24 where it will form a large evergreen shrub to 5’ high and 3’ wide. Suitable for full sun or part shade

Red-leafed mukdenia  (Mukdenia rossi ‘Crimson Fans’) – a relatively new addition to the foliage world, this perennial is an autumn star. The foliage emerges green and matures to bronze before turning vivid crimson in fall. White spring flower complete the display. 1’ tall x 2’ wide.  Sunset Climate Zones 2A–9, 14–24

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) – a creeping, evergreen groundcover for shady areas with white flowers in spring followed by bright red winter berries. To 6” high and 2’ wide.  Sunset Climate Zones 1–7, 14–17

Conditions: Part shade, average to moisture retentive soil

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