There’s a new trend in gardening and it’s very close to art. Graffitiing your garden is all the rage, and it isn’t about spray paint in the slightest! There are a fantastic range of really quite well-behaved plants that are up to the job!
For easy going, low maintenance planting schemes in the garden, we no longer have to stress about flowering performance and longevity. Foliage plants are more in vogue than ever, and it’s possible for your whole garden display to depend on just foliage, without the need for a traditional ‘flower display.
This is a “graffiti garden”!
Shrubs which were previously thought of as ‘a little bit dull’ are now becoming popular. People no longer ask ‘yes, but what else does it do…?’ as they’re satisfied with the foliage enough, flowers are secondary! Foliage shrubs come in many different colours too. It’s a whole paintbox of fun, from purple to silver,
bright orange to golden.
Leucothoe ‘Burning Love’ for your Graffiti Garden
Leucothoe ‘Burning Love’ is the poster boy in our graffiti garden movement! Slender leaves shimmer and sparkle in ruby-purple tones.. Grow on a range of different soils, in any type of shade, now that’s versatile!
These shrubs are no more than 75cm, so can be used as a component in your ‘graffiti garden’ or in decorative containers. The leaves stay on all year round too, plants are evergreen. The colour simply intensifies each autumn,
so bright you may need sunglasses! The plants will flower in the spring too,
but hey, that foliage takes the starring role!
How was this plant created?
‘Burning Love’ Leucothoe was found by the Dutch grower Ron van Opstal. As many plant discoveries are, it was a chance finding. A large batch of Leucothoe plants were growing, but one stood out as brighter and more shimmering
than the rest, and that was ‘Burning Love’!
Ron kept a close eye on this plant, and noted that it’s autumn colour was especially rich for a Leucothoe too. It was at this point he knew he had a winning plant, and the plant had also stayed compact and well-shaped too. The result was a fantastic new shrub for container growing or mixed borders.
What’s different about this plant?
Leucothoe ‘Burning Love’ is a standout plant in the Leucothoe family, thanks to the slender foliage, ruby-red coloured and elegant with a somewhat oriental essence. The size is much more manageable than a standard Leucothoe too, with good-shaped plants. A fine specimen for container gardening.
Where can you plant Leucothoe ‘Burning Love’?
With such a vibrant look, Leucothoe ‘Burning Love’ is the perfect specimen for patios and gardens. This shrubby plant is very hardy, untroubled by pest and disease and is evergreen. Leucothoe prefer some shade, and can
tolerate a wide range of different soils.
The way I would use Leucothoe ‘Burning Love’ is to create a ‘graffiti garden’. I recently created a “graffiti garden” in my hometown of Ipswich,
as part of a regeneration project.
Where can you buy this plant?
Plants are available in garden centres across Europe, or by mail order from here
How to grow Leucothoe ‘Burning Love’:
Flowering time: April to May
Location: Borders, patio pots
Soil: Any well-drained soil
Light: Part shade to shade
Hardy: Survives down to -15C! Plant are evergreen.
Care: Prune in early spring, just to keep shape and tidy up!
Size: 75cm (30”) high x 75cm (30”) in spread
It can actually be quite easy to spot new plants, as nature often does the breeding work for you! Natural variation is referred to as a ‘sport’, or you may find a new hybrid has appeared in your garden by itself. To hunt down these new plants, it’s all about noticing differences.
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Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook – and writes a plant-focused Substack called Grow This, Not That.