Throughout the years, Liliana has also incorporated shrubs into the landscape, including hardy roses—such as ‘Champlain’ and Carefee Delight (Rosa ‘Meipotal’)—a ‘Diabolo’ ninebark and a ‘Hakuro-nishiki’ willow (Salix integra ‘Hakuro-nishiki’). However, she says the stars of her late-season garden are the ornamental grasses: “They’re a big asset because of their sheer volume.”
Various types of Miscanthus, sedges (Carex spp.), fescues (Festuca spp.) and Panicum come into their own once Liliana cuts back summer-blooming perennials. “The Miscanthus carries into the winter,” she says. “If we get a heavy snowfall, it falls over, but in a couple of days, it’s blowing around again.”
A border at the side of the house features more of the hard-working golden Japanese forest grass, which snakes its way through a collection of hostas—which Liliana has also become enamoured with because of their low maintenance—that includes Hosta sieboldiana and ‘Blue Wedgewood’. Here, a variegated ‘Emerald Gaiety’ euonymus, ostrich ferns, Solomon’s seal and an Arctic willow all thrive in the shade cast by the house and one of the towering pines; even the usually sun-loving smoke bush is doing well here.
When designing her garden, Liliana is conscious of creating a show with a mix of colour, texture and size. “I like the interplay of all three,” she explains.
She welcomes the arrival of autumn as an opportunity to shift her focus from flowers to foliage. “People often tell me they want this bloom in that colour when I’m designing for them,” says Liliana. “But I urge them to think of foliage colour, too. I go after texture in the fall. That’s what creates impact.”
The one thing Liliana doesn’t get in the autumn, however, is a rest from her horticultural labours.