When designing a garden layout many people will opt for plants that give a variation in colour of foliage rather than the solid green block of evergreen planting, such as one would see perhaps at a stately home. For good leaf colour when hedge planting one of the first to spring to mind would be Purple Beech as not only do you get the deep rich purple through the spring and summer months but also the stunning copper in winter. Staying in this vein the purple varieties of Berberis such as Rose Glow and Ottawensis Superba along with the Plum Varieties of Crimson Dwarf and Purple Leaved provide stunning colourful foliage as individual shrubs or hedging plants.
If a single colour is regarded as being a little boring then there are any number of variegated plants to choose from. Plants such as Silver or Gold Variegated Dogwood will make a tremendous impact as will similarly variegated Holly, which would make a wonderful specimen tree or planted in a row a very effective but colourful security hedge. The Elaeagnus Ebbingeii, Limelight and Pungens Maculata with their colourful foliage of grey-green and mixture of yellows and greens respectively and the Euonymus varieties of Golden, Silver and Bravo again provide a plethora of colour either as shrubs or hedging.
To diversify from the mid green of most hedging plants the beautiful apple green of Griselinia would provide pretty, colourful foliage and of course the Photinia Red Robin with its brilliant red new growth fading slowly to green is equally as attractive. For a low hedge or edge the silvery foliage of Cotton Lavender topped by the button shaped bright yellow flowers is a sight to behold.
If looking for more unusual ground cover with colourful foliage then Bergenia Cordifolia fits the bill with the bold red flushed foliage that turns to rich purple shades in winter. Periwinkle Major Variegata would also be superb with glossy green foliage blotched and margined with creamy white then topped with the purple blue flowers. For more of a statement in the garden one can plant specimen trees such as Hazel Red Majestic and the Purple Hazel for rich red and purple coloured foliage or the Golden or Purple Indian Bean Tree with the large buttery yellow and velvety purple foliage respectively.
Then of course there are the Maple trees, the Bloodgood, Dissectum Garnet and Orange Dream to name but a few. So as described it is not essential to have a ‘green’ garden even one with good autumn colour, it is possible to plant with colourful foliage for all year round.