from The Weatherstaff PlantingPlanner – intelligent garden design software
Silver-leaved plants often cope well with hot, dry summers. Their silvery, often hairy, foliage reflects the sun’s heat and helps the plant to conserve water. Silver-leaved plants can be attractive focal points in the garden, but they work well with other colours too, making them useful highlight plants in any colour scheme.
Many traditionally Mediterranean plants are silver, of course, such as the glorious olive tree, silvery-grey leaves dancing against deep blue skies and evocative of sun-drenched Mediterranean landscapes. Some, in the list below, though not traditionally from this region, would suit a Mediterranean garden border, due to their tolerance for sun and limited rainfall.
1. Convolvulus cneorum
A small evergreen shrub, 60cm tall. The elegant white flowers are funnel-shaped and the narrow, silvery leaves are evergreen. Prune lightly after flowering.
2. Aromatic Artemisia
From mid-summer to autumn, rather insignificant flowerheads appear, but Artemisia is grown primarily for its beautiful aromatic foliage. Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Silver Queen’ has narrow, deeply divided, silvery foliage, borne on upright stems.
Cutting back the flower stems will make the plant less inclined to flop, and also helps to reinvigorage the foliage colour. If not cut back or supported by other plants, it may need staking.
3. Santolina chamaecyparissus
S. chamaecyparissus – cotton lavender – has silvery-green, narrow, finely divided leaves. Bright yellow, button-like flowers are carried on long, slender stalks in mid- and late summer.
The flowers are enjoyed by bees. The woolly, aromatic leaves act as a moth repellent.
4. Stachys byzantine
A mat-forming perennial spreading by rhizomes to make good ground cover. The strokeable, velvety leaves are grey-green, felted silver. Between early summer and early autumn, upright stems carry clusters of woolly, purple-pink flowers.
Stachys likes well-drained soil in full sun. It is tolerant of poor soil conditions. Its flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies.
5. Scented Lavender
The jewel of Mediterranean planting schemes, gloriously scented lavender. A traditional favourite, lavender is a bushy, evergreen shrub, grown for its wonderfully fragrant summer flowers and aromatic foliage.
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