The photo at the right shows a vignette of White Lace Flower (Orlaya grandiflora) and a pink rose. Orlaya (see also close-up photo at the end of this article) is an annual. It's sometimes confused with Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota), which is a biennial. I prefer Orlaya, because it blooms the same year from seed and self-sows. The flower head is also more striking, due to the contrast between the large white petals around the outer circumference and the more delicate interior. The ferny foliage adds to its delicate appearance. Orlaya is not too fussy about growing conditions, preferring sun to part shade in average garden soil.

The shrub rose is of unknown origin, producing single and semi-double blooms. Your favorite pink shrub rose would look just as good. As with most roses, a location in morning sun with some shade in the afternoon is best. I feed my roses with a timed-release fertilizer once in the spring.

A BAKER'S DOZEN OF MY FAVORITE VIGNETTES

Japanese Forest Grass 'Aureola' (Hakonechloa macra)

Category: Perennial
Height: 24-36 in.
Spacing: 24-36 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a to USDA Zone 9b
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Foliage: Herbaceous
Water: Average Water Needs

2009 Perennial Plant of the Year

Image

Comments: Note how the color of the Forest Grass is reflected in the growing tips of the coleus. The reddish color is also a nice contrast with the pale yellows and greens of the grass.

Coleus 'Alabama Sunset' (Solenostemon scutellarioides)

Category: Annual
Height: 12-18 in.
Spacing: 9-12 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 10a to 11
Sun Exposure: Sun to Full Shade
Foliage: Herbaceous
Water: Average Water Needs

Read my article on Coleus HERE.

Golden Marguerite (Anthemis tinctoria)

Category: Perennial

Height: 18-24 in.

Spacing: 9-12 in.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 3a to USDA Zone 7b

Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Bloom Time: Late Spring to Early Fall

Foliage: Herbaceous; Silver/Gray

Water: Average Water Needs; Drought-tolerant

This plant is resistant to deer.

Image

Comments: In this combination, the bright yellow Marguerite Daisy plays off the light purple Larkspur. The white Larkspur adds an interesting accent.

Annual Blue and White Larkspur (Consolida ambigua)

Category: Annual

Height: 18-24 in.

Spacing: 9-12 in.

Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Bloom Colors: Blue, White

Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage: Herbaceous

Water: Average Water Needs

Kolomikta Vine 'Arctic Beauty' (Actinidia kolomikta)
Category: Vine
Height: 12-30 ft.
Spacing: 8-10 ft.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a to USDA Zone 8b
Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Light Shade
Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer
Foliage: Grown for Foliage; Variegated White
Water: Average Water Needs

Clematis 'Summer Snow' (Clematis fargesioides)
Category: Vine
Height:
12-20 ft.
Spacing: 8-10 ft.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 3a to USDA Zone 9b
Bloom Color: White
Bloom Shape: Single
Bloom Diameter: Less than 2 in.
Bloom Time: Late Spring to Early Fall
(continued in column at far right )
Image

Comments:
This is a white garden in late spring. Plants from the top: Kolomikta Vine (over arbor) and Summer Snow Clematis (top right), Giant Fleeceflower (large bushes on either side of arbor), Siberian Iris 'Gull's Wing' (either side to rear of grass clump), Variegated Miscanthus Grass, Diamond Frost Euphorbia (surrounding grass clump), Snow Crystal Alyssum (in front of Euphorbia, just above the stone border). Monochrome vignettes need to be fairly large to have the desired visual impact.

Click HERE to enlarge photo.

Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water : Average Water Needs

Giant White Fleeceflower (
Persicaria polymorpha)
Category: Perennial
Height: 4-6 ft.
Spacing: 4-6 ft.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a to USDA Zone 9b
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: White/Near White
Bloom Time: Summer/Fall
Foliage: Deciduous
Water: Average Water Needs

Siberian Iris 'Gull's Wing' (Iris siberica)
Category: Perennial
Height:
12-18 in.
Spacing: 12-18 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a to USDA Zone 9b
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Early
Foliage: Herbaceous
Water: Average Water Needs
Variegated Miscanthus Grass (Miscanthus sinensis)

Category: Perennial
Height: 6-8 ft.
Spacing: 36-48 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a to USDA Zone 9a
Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Silver/Gray
Bloom Time: Late Summer/Fall
Foliage: Herbaceous
Water: Average Water Needs
This plant is resistant to deer.
Diamond Frost Euphorbia (Euphorbia)

Category: Annual/Tender Perennial
Height: 6-12 in.
Spacing: 9-12 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 10a to USDA Zone 10b
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Blooms Continually
Foliage: Herbaceous/Evergreen
Water: Drought-tolerant; Suitable for Xeriscaping
Sweet Alyssum 'Snow Crystal' (Lobularia maratima)

Category: Annual
Height: Under 6 in.
Spacing: 6-9 in.
Sun Exposure: Full sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: All season
Water: Drought-tolerant; Suitable for Xeriscaping
This plant is fragrant and resistant to deer.

Bush Clover (Lespedeza thunbergii)

Category:
Perennial Shrub
Height: 36-48 in.
Spacing: 6-8 ft.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a to USDA Zone 9b
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Lavender
Bloom Time:
Late Summer to Mid Fall
Foliage: Deciduous
Water: Average Water Needs

Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus)

Category: Annual/Tender Perennial
Height: 6-12 in.
Spacing: 6-9 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 9a to USDA Zone 11
(continued in column at far right )

Image

Comments:
Here is another monochromatic garden bed, this one in shades of lavender. Plants, from the top, include Bush Clover, Periwinkle, and Sweet Alyssum

Click HERE to enlarge photo.

Read my article on Lespedeza HERE.

Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Pink/Lavender
Bloom Time: Early Summer to Fall;
Blooms Continually
Water: Drought-tolerant; Suitable for Xeriscaping

Sweet Alyssum 'Easter Bonnet Lavender' (Lobularia maratima)

Category: Annual
Height: Under 6 in.
Spacing: 6-9 in.
Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: All Season
Water: Drought-tolerant; Suitable for Xeriscaping

This plant is fragrant and resistant to deer.

Scented-Leaf Geranium 'Lady Plymouth' (Pelargonium)

Category:
Annual/Tender Perennial
Height:
18-24 in.
Spacing:
15-18 in.
Hardiness:
USDA Zone 9b to USDA Zone 11
Sun Exposure:
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
Bloom Time:
Blooms Repeatedly
Foliage:
Evergreen
Variegated
Aromatic
Water:
Drought-tolerant; Suitable for Xeriscaping

Suitable for growing in containers, both indoors and outside

Image

Comments:
This Scented-Leaf Geranium offers the perfect foil for a lovely coleus named 'Meandering Linda.' Note that the darker color of each coleus leaf forms the image of a lobed leaf which is echoed by the geranium. A hanging basket is the perfect home for these two companions.

Coleus 'Meandering Linda' (Solenostemon scutellarioides)

Category:
Annual/Tender Perennial
Height:
12-24 in.
Spacing:
9-12 in.
Hardiness:
USDA Zone 9a to USDA Zone 11
Sun Exposure:
Sun to Full Shade
Bloom Color:
Light Blue
Bloom Time:
Mid Summer to Fall
Foliage:
Variegated
Lavender/Burgundy
Water:
Average Water Needs

Suitable for growing in containers, both indoors and outside

Variegated Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)
Category: Perennial Shrub

Height: 36-48 in.

Spacing: 24-36 in.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a to USDA Zone 8b

Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Color: White

Bloom Time: Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage: Herbaceous; Variegated

Water: Average Water Needs

This plant is sterile but speads via underground runners.
Image

Comments:
This vignette combines Poppy Mallow and Variegated Knotweed. Poppy Mallow is a wonderful native vine that clambers through perennials and up into shrubs, never overpowering them and providing color when other perennials have spent their blooms.
Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe leiocarpa)
Category: Perennial Vine

Height: 18-36 in.

Spacing: 18-24 in.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a to USDA Zone 8b

Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Color: Magenta/Fuchsia

Bloom Time: Spring to Fall

Foliage: Herbaceous

Water: Drought-tolerant; Suitable for Xeriscaping

This plant self-sows.
Orienpet Lily 'Silk Road' (Lilium)

Category: Perennial

Height: 4-6 ft.

Spacing: 12-15 in.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a to USDA Zone 9b

Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Color: Fuchsia (Red-Purple)
White/Near White

Bloom Time: Early Summer

Flower Shape: Trumpet

Bloom Size: 6" to 12"

Water: Average Water Needs

Flowers are fragrant.

Image

Comments: Here an especially lovely and fragrant Orienpet Lily called Silk Road towers over a pot of Purple Fountain Grass.

Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum)

Category: Annual/Tender Perennial

Height: 36-48 in.

Spacing: 15-18 in.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 9a to USDA Zone 11

Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Color: Purple/Dark Purple/Maroon

Bloom Time: Early Summer to Fall

Foliage: Grown for Foliage
Herbaceous
Burgundy

Water: Drought-tolerant; Suitable for Xeriscaping

Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe leiocarpa)

Category: Perennial Vine
Height: 18-36 in.
Spacing: 18-24 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a to USDA Zone 8b
Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Magenta/Fuchsia
Bloom Time: Spring to Fall
Foliage: Herbaceous
Water: Drought-tolerant; Suitable for Xeriscaping

This plant self-sows.
Image

Comments:
Here is Poppy Mallow Vine once more, this time paired with yellow Anthemis, a particularly striking combination.

Golden Marguerite (Anthemis tinctoria)

Category: Perennial
Height: 18-24 in.
Spacing: 9-12 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 3a to USDA Zone 7b
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Time: Late Spring to Early Fall
Foliage: Herbaceous; Silver/Gray
Water: Average Water Needs; Drought-tolerant

This plant is resistant to deer.

Spotted Bellflower 'Elizabeth' (Campanula punctata)
Category:
Perennial

Height:
12-18 in.

Spacing:
18-24 in.

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 4a to USDA Zone 9b

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Color:
Rose/Mauve

Bloom Time:
Late Spring to Mid Summer

Foliage:
Herbaceous

Water:
Average Water Needs

This plant spreads via underground runners.

Image

Comments: The contrasting leaf shapes and textures of the Ostrich Plume Fern and Campanula Elizabeth provide a pleasing backdrop for the burgundy-spotted bells.

Ostrich Plume Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris)
Category:
Perennial

Height:
36-48 in.

Spacing:
24-36 in.

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 2a to USDA Zone 10b

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade

Foliage:
Deciduous

Water:
Requires consistently moist soil

This plant spreads via underground runners.

Heliopsis 'Loraine Sunshine' (Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra)

Category: Perennial
Height: 24-36 in.
Spacing: 15-18 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 3a to USDA Zone 9b
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Bright gold
Bloom Time: Mid Summer to Fall
Foliage: Variegated/Veined
Water: Average Water Needs

Geranium 'Rozanne' (Geranium)

Category: Perennial
Height: 18-24 in.
Spacing: 15-18 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a to USDA Zone 8b
Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Lavender Blue
Bloom Time: Summer to Early Fall
Foliage: Herbaceous
Water: Average Water Needs

Image

Comments: This vignette combines the golden color of Loraine Sunshine Heliopsis with the lavender blue of Geranium Rozanne and the white sprinkles of our native Flowering Spurge (much longer blooming than Baby's Breath). Leaves provide considerable interest as well: the ferny texture of Golden Tansy and the unique white leaves with green veining (see inset) of Loraine Sunshine.

Flowering Spurge (Euphorbia corollata)

Category: Perennial
Height: 24-36 in.
Spacing: 18-24 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a to USDA Zone 7b
Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Early Summer to Fall
Foliage: Herbaceous
Water: Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Golden Tansy 'Isla Gold' (Tanacetum vulgare)

Category: Perennial
Height: 24-36 in.
Spacing: 24-36 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 3a to USDA Zone 9b
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Bright Yellow
Bloom Time: Summer
Foliage: Herbaceous; Yellow; Aromatic
Water: Average Water Needs

Perennial Foxglove (Digitalis lutea)

Category: Perennial

Height: 24-36 in.

Spacing: 9-12 in.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a to USDA Zone 9b

Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Color: Light Yellow/Bright Yellow

Bloom Time: Late Spring/Summer

Foliage: Herbaceous

Water: Average Water Needs

Image

Comments: This vignette pairs perennial Foxglove with the relatively new and popular Angelonia. The colors follow the general scheme of many beds in our gardens: yellow/gold and pink/lavender/purple.

Angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia)

Category: Annual/Tender Perennial

Height: 12-18 in.

Spacing: 12-15 in.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 9a to USDA Zone 11

Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Color: Purple

Bloom Time: Late Spring to Frost
Blooms Continually

Foliage: Herbaceous

Water: Average Water Needs

Oriental Lily 'Stargazer' (Lilium)

Category: Perennial
Height: 24-36 in.
Spacing: 9-12 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a to USDA Zone 10b
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Pink/Dark Pink/White
Bloom Time: Mid Summer
Foliage: Herbaceous
Water: Average Water Needs

Flowers are fragrant.



Gloriosa Daisy 'Prairie Sun' (Rudbeckia hirta)

Category: Annual
Height: 18-24in.
Spacing: 12-15 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a to USDA Zone 10b
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Bright Yellow/Gold/Light Green
Bloom Time: Mid Summer to Fall
Foliage: Herbaceous
Water: Drought-tolerant; Suitable for Xeriscaping

Image

Comments: This vignette reflects the yellow/gold and pink/lavender color scheme in our gardens as well. The Gloriosa Daisy provides both a yellow and a gold while the Oriental Lily delivers shades of pink with a white picotee edge. The Coreopsis (partially obscured) continues the pink theme. The white Shasta Daisy adds interest and reflects the white picotee of the lily.

Shasta Daisy 'Aglaya'
(Leucanthemum x superbum)

Category: Perennial
Height: 24-36 in.
Spacing: 18-24 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a to USDA Zone 10b
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mid Summer to Fall
Foliage: Herbaceous
Water: Drought-tolerant; Suitable for Xeriscaping

This plant is resistant to deer.

Coreopsis 'American Dream'
(Coreopsis rosea)

Category: Perennial
Height: 8-12in.
Spacing: 12-15in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a to USDA Zone 8b
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Pink
Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
Foliage: Herbaceous
Water: Requires Consistently Moist Soil

Image

Comments: This larger spring vignette plays a bed of red Flanders Poppies against a sea of green grass, daffodil foliage, and hydrangea bushes.

Flanders Poppy (Papaver rhoeas)Category: Annual
Height: 12-18 in.
Spacing: 12-15 in.
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Spring/Early Summer
Foliage: Herbaceous
Water: Average Water Needs

Full size picture of White Lace Flower (<i>Orlaya grandiflora</i>)
White Lace Flower

Questions? Comments? Please scroll down to the form below. I enjoy hearing from my readers!

Sources for the plants in this article include your local nursery/garden center or "big box" store. You can also find online sources by entering a plant name into the DG PlantScout search engine. Click HERE for an example.

© Larry Rettig 2009