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Am I looking for a unicorn?

FoxwillowFoxwillow Posts: 50
Can anyone help me find something that will work for my border please?

I’m looking for a silver leafed plant for a very moist border in full sun in the north east of England. It’s clay soil boundaried by blocks so spends quite a bit of time waterlogged. 

Ideally it will be:

Silver leaves but a light glaucous blue suggestion would also be appreciated 
Evergreen preferred 
Not an annual
60 x 60cm maximum 
Flowers would be a nice addition but not essential: the colour scheme for the border is cool so white, pink, blue, purple flowers 

I’ve got several plants that seem to love it (Physostegia, lobelia, ajuga) but they’re all quite dark leaves and I’d like to brighten things up a bit. I’ve got Artemisias Powys Castle and Abrotanum further up the bed where it’s moist but better drained. 

I’d love to find something which will thrive but I’ve managed to kill a couple of things so far.  Am I looking for a unicorn?



  • zugeniezugenie Posts: 834
    Looking for a variegated leaf plant might be easier, silver leaves usually means they like well drained soil!

    there’s an ajuga that has cream variegated leaves :)
  • zugeniezugenie Posts: 834
    You can get blue toned hostas though! But not evergreen
  • FireFire Posts: 18,054
    On the whole, I think silver leaved plants tend to be the most drought tolerant. But maybe someone will know an evergreen bog plant with glaucous foliage.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    Unless you can improve the drainage of the area, then you're going to be limited to the aforementioned Hostas [ and not all will enjoy full sun] and similar plants which will tolerate soggier conditions, like Ligularias, but they don't have bluey foliage. 
    You might have to widen your choices a bit. 

    Silver foliaged plants won't care for that type of site. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 10,166
    Is there any reason why the site can't be improved? Fix the drainage problem and you'll have your pick of plants.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,130
    One of the variegated euonymus may be worth considering
    They're easy to trim to size whenever they need it

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 4,024
    I suggest hebe 'Quicksilver' or Hairy canary flower which I have in my garden.
    But, like others have said most silver / grey plants don't like wet feet in the winter!
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • FoxwillowFoxwillow Posts: 50
    I know silver plants generally prefer a drier soil but there’s always an outlier and I’d hoped someone might know it. Variegated is a possibility, and I do have a (very slow growing, not quite sure what type) Euonymus in the bed. 

    I’ve improved the soil with a lot of grit, sand and compost but the problem is that the narrow point of the bed just fills up with water because of the patio and clay under the lawn. I could look at land drains but it seems a bit excessive just because I want a brighter plant to break the colour up a bit.

    A hosta might be a fallback.  There is bound to be one that would love the conditions.  The sedge is a good call. I love my Carex Everillo which is growing happily at another damp spot. 

    I suppose I could always just move a pot there instead if it comes to it 😊

  • FireFire Posts: 18,054
    The sedge is a good call.

    Thanks and good luck!

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