There is no doubt that on a hot July day, it is extraordinarily restful to the eye to come across a swath of large leaves amidst all the visual bustle and vibrancy of flowers and smaller leaves. We almost require them, in order to make it all work: they act as an anchor, a backdrop and a foil, and it is easy to overlook this when planning a border.
There are so many choices for foliage, but the bergenia in my photograph (B ciliata) has already given me much pleasure in March, when its beautiful little pink flowers were out and the foliage was nowhere to be seen. Now, in midsummer, its huge hairy leaves are hard to beat. Alongside the bergenia is hosta plantaginea var. japonica which bears fragrant white flowers in the summer and unusually it will grow quite happily in the sun.
Many of the larger euphorbias are terrific foliage plants, and seem never to look tired or past their best.
Ah, I nearly forgot the eggshells, they are the latest in my anti-slug armoury, and in the case of the hosta in the photograph, they seem to be doing the trick, which can’t be said of many others!