While it’s tempting to temper the mood of dark foliage with a few lighter accents, there’s no denying the impact of a near-monochrome display of reddish-black flowers and foliage. Elderberry plus three to five of each of the other selections massed would be a stunner.
That’s an azalea? Yes, but this one’s about stunning reddish-purple foliage (flowers are insignificant). Partial to full sun.
Citrus and Cinnamon
Hot chocolate hued flowers and foliage are glamorous, but they need brightness to jumpstart their effect. Contrasting with brilliant yellows and oranges makes browns seem, well, browner. This would be a lovely combination for a bed, but also a large planter.
Finely textured, bronze-green leaves age to electric orange in the cool season. Partial shade to full sun
Persimmon and Pink
We’re not sure where the advice to never pair pink and orange comes from (“they clash!”) because this duo not only has dynamic energy, but also a glowing sort of warmth. Start with bluestem grass and then mix and mass the penstemon and coneflowers. All summer bloom!
Dense clusters of licorice-scented, large red-purple flowers, beloved by butterflies, that bloom all summer into fall. Full sun.
Iron and Ice
Greys are elegant neutrals that are most often used to change the temperature of other colors (they can be warming or cooling depending on the shade) but a simple palette of greys has a clean, crisp sophistication. Try this combo in a moonlight garden.
Striking blue gray, pencil-like, slightly curved leaves point upward and form a dense mat. Full sun.
Peaches and Plums
It’s pretty hard to go wrong with pinkish, peachy or apricot flowers, but these can fade without something to amplify their bluish or yellowish undertones. For that we turn to purples. Let this honeysuckle wind over a fence under-planted with roses and daylilies.