Cascading Perennials

Design a simple plant palette with bold, architectural plants. For shade or sun, these plants complement any modern garden style.

While many gardeners in the Pacific Northwest seek a complexity and style closer to that found in nature, there are other garden styles whose character is much simpler. Modern garden design, in particular, favors a limited plant palette and bold, architectural plants. A modern garden design using architectural plants (strong in shape and form) works well with mid-century homes and simple hardscaping materials
(e.g., concrete or metal).

Featured Shade Plants


Disporum cantoniese ‘Night Heron’

Disporum cantoniese ‘Night Heron’ emerges in spring with dark mahogany stems that resemble bamboo. It tall slender form and shiny green summer leaves add a lot of structure.

Height: 4-5 feet.

Athyrium niponicum

Japanese painted fern (available in a number of varieties) adds good color and texture.

Height: 1.5-2 feet.

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’

Black mondo grass is clean and modern in appearance and ties the combination together with its neutral color.

Height: 1 foot.

Featured Sun Plants


Yucca filamentosa ‘Golden Sword’

The Yucca filamentosa ‘Golden Sword’ has wonderful structure and color making a great focal point in the garden, year-round.

Height: 2 feet.

Eryngium ‘Big Blue’

The Eryngium ‘Big Blue’ also has an unusual architectural structure and an additional shocking blue color.

Height: 2-3 feet.

Sedum ‘Angelina,’

Sedum ‘Angelina,’ an evergreen ground cover, ties the combination together with a bold chartreuse/gold color that burnishes towards orange in winter.