October 16, 2013
Drama from Dark Coleus at Temple Square
Dark-leaved coleus (Solenostemon) were used to great effect in many of the annual gardens at Temple Square. In this garden outside the historic Assemby Hall, burgundy coleus mixed with magenta geraniums, pink impatiens, lavender nierembergia, lavender salvia and coral fuschias.
Another view of the area shows a great variety of annuals that are tied together with the repeating dark coleus.
A shady area with cafe seating featured this dark coleus brushing up against the large leaves of caladiums in a sea of white and red impatiens. Coleus are known as shade plants, but I also saw them growing happily in areas that received intense high altitude sun during much of the day.
I loved the way the brownish tones of the coleus echoed this brown pavilion. These gardens felt connected to the surrounding architecture.
Above you can see how well the texture of the purple fountain grass (Pennisetum) plays off the bold leaves of the coleus. Several types of coleus play nice together as they echo some colors and change up others from plant to plant. Various impatiens, annual vinca and nierembergia show up at the edges of the shot.
A 'Black Lace' elderberry (Sambucus) adds more dark drama to this corner of the flower bed, along with more coleus, pink begonias and ornamental grass in the bottom right corner. These gardens are an inspiring example of how to use foliage and flowers together to create some magic.