A mix of blowsy purple nepeta and bright leaved 'Worcester's Gold' caryopteris and some dark red dianthus make a nice combination in close. I planted these randomly, and did not intend this effect, but here it is, and I like the complexity.
In this longer shot, the clumps of nepeta frame a little opening out into the sunny yard and the look is simplified and symmetrical.
My Cotinus coggyria 'Grace' is a young smokebush, trimmed back this spring so it will not flower. No big smoky plumes of frothy flowers, I just wanted the foliage. It has complex brown and maroon and iridescent shimmery leaves that are different colors at different times of day.
Here it is in the garden on an overcast day. I love the contrast with the blue 'Montgomery" globe spruce. Up close it is interesting, but from a distance in lower light it positively glows.
A little blob of red rose sits at the front of the big garden surrounded by the paper birches. It is a 'Drift' dwarf rose, and it is remarkable for the mass of red flowers, but not all that interesting up close. Just some red massed flowers, and they are a little bright.
Seen tucked in under the other plants, however, it is just the right note, a red punch and not too big.
And here is the longer shot of the big garden by the birches, with the Drift rose calling to us.
Close up and far away, the garden changes. It changes in the different light from dawn to late evening. It changes when the wind blows. It is altered under a burden of dew or rain.
I love the complexity of seeing it in so many different ways.