This time of year it’s easy to over look the foliage while only focusing on those fabulous spring flowers. When that happens you can end up with a group of plants that have a similar leaf size and texture without realizing it, making the garden look less than stellar after bloom time.
Here’s a short list of some large-leaved, bold textured perennials that will break up that sea of fine texture. Take note that most are shade lovers. That’s because the leaves need a larger surface area to capture as much light as possible. Many also have longer stems that bring the leaves up above surrounding plants and into the light. Take a quick look and consider adding them to your go-to list for adding bold punch to the garden.
Aconitum napellus (Monkshood) Large open, cut-leaf foliage, prefers partial shade but can tolerate full sun with adequate moisture
Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle) Round gray-green, pleated leaves covered in small hairs, plant in full sun/part shade with moist soil
Brunnera macrophylla (Siberian Bugloss) A summer growing perennial with large, veined heart-shaped leaves, part shade to shade with moist soil – will scorch in full sun
Hosta Some have very large blue, green or variegated leaves, part to full shade in moist soil
Iris germanica Long wide blade-like leaves, full sun to part shade in well-drained soil
Ligularia (Golden Ray) Large dark green, rounded leaves with coarse teeth on long stems, partial shade and moist soil
Podophyllum (May Apple) Large, thin, light green umbrella-like leaves, part to full shade in the moist woodland
Rodgersia (Rodger’s Flower) Thick bold palmate leaves (seen above), plant in moist soil in full sun to partial shade, moist soil
Stachys byzantina ‘Countess Helen Von Stein’ (Giant Lamb’s Ear) Fuzzy, silver-gray leaves offer some great contrast, plant in full sun in well-drained soil