Silver is not a color you normally include in your perennial flower garden. We often get seduced by the bright reds, yellows, and oranges or the softer blues, pinks, and whites. But silver is a great color when used in combination with other flower colors. It has the ability to bring out the brightness of those louder colors or help accent the pastel colors. I often use silver-foliaged flowering plants in mixed containers of annuals or in my perennial flower border. Not only does silver contrast beautifully with other colors, but silver standing alone provides a soothing influence in a busy color-filled planting.
Here are some silver-foliaged flowering plants to try in your garden:
- Rose Campion: This is one of my favorite flowers. The silver foliage stands about 1 to 2 feet tall in a rangy form. Perched at the end of each stalk is a bright white or fuchsia-red flower. I love planting this perennial near shrubs with dark-colored foliage such as ‘Diablo’ ninebark or flowers such as ‘Black Negligee’ black snakeroot. The flowers and foliage pop against the darker backdrop. Rose campion often weaves its way into the adjoining foliage, offering surprising placements of the flowers.
- Artemisia: This diverse group of perennials ranges from small mounding plants to small bushy shrubs. Plants can have either thinly cut or lobed leaves, but they all share the silver foliage in common. Low-growing, mounding artemisias such as ‘Silver Mound’ look great in front of perennial borders. Taller versions such as ‘Silver King’ look beautiful tucked in among colored perennials such as bee balm, phlox, and echinacea.
- Lamb’s Ears: Lamb’s ears are low-growing perennial flowering plants that have broad-shaped green leaves covered in silver fuzz. When you rub the leaves, it really does feel like stroking a lamb’s ear. Lamb’s ears also have the added benefit of forming pink flowers in early summer. They looks beautiful grown in front of a border with other low-growing perennials such as creeping Jenny.