Most of the garden is green. Sure, there are many colorful flowers but most leaves are green. To get the most out of your container planting, perennial borders and the landscape as a whole--employ plants with leaves that are not just plain green.

Many opportunities await the creative gardener. Plants that feature bronze, silver, chartreuse or patterned leaves present many options for combining them with flowers. They can highlight and harmonize with the colors of the flowers.

Coleus, for example, come in a wide variety of intriguing colors and patterns. Some varieties have solid colored leaves that may be red, lime green, orange or mahogany. Other varieties have leaves that display patterns incorporating two or more colors. The possibilities for creative combinations are vast.

It's easy and fun to try out new color combinations. Bronze leaves enrich red or orange flowers effectively. Silver-gray leaves bring out the best in pastel and white flowers. Chartreuse foliage is effective both with pastels and with more intense jewel-toned flowers. Patterned leaves with stripes or contrasting edges and veining add pizzazz to any grouping.

As you shop for annuals perennials, as well as trees and shrubs, look beyond the flowers themselves to enhance the complete picture in your garden.