Details Landscape Art designs and builds some of the most beautiful gardens in Sonoma County. Why are we so successful? One of the reasons is the selection of plant material. And it’s not so much the individual plants we choose, but rather the plant combinations we put together. We do like to mix heights, textures and bloom seasons, but we also factor in color and contrast, both flowers and foliage.

Matanzas Grasses

Most flowering shrubs bloom for about a month or six weeks, which means they are out of bloom for ten or eleven months of the year! So the color and texture of the foliage is really important -especially when seen with other adjacent plants.

Some examples of plant combinations we like to use are as follows:

-Coleonema ‘Golden Sunset’ with Berberis ‘Roseglow’ – evergreen gold foliage with deciduous burgundy leafed barberry

-Lomandra with French Lavender with Pennisetum Orientale – see photo above

-Westringia rosmariniformus with Design-a line Cordyline – large evergreen grayish green shrub with spiky bright red in foreground

-Red Dragon Japanese Maple with Butterfly Japanese maple with Pieris ‘Temple Bells’ – see photo below

Matzen Shade Garden

Plant color groups (foliage):

Burgundy/red: Berberis, Red Dragon, Crimson Queen and Tamukeyama Japanese Maple,  Design-a-line Cordyline

Gray-green: Pineapple guava, Rosemary, Westringia, Lavender

Gold: Coleonema, Euonymus, Sedum ‘Lemon Coral

Dark green: Lomandra, Euonymus microphylla, Sarcococca ruscifolia

Silver green: Tulbaghia ‘Silver Lace’, Pittosporum ‘Marjorie Channin’,

Orange/gold/red: Nandina compacta, Firepower, Moon Bay, Gulfstream


So it’s more than just picking plants – pick plant combos for dramatic effect !