Plants with silver or grey leaves will add a lovely romantic effect to your English garden. They are a great addition to a white garden, as the leaves will give the effect of white even when the other plants aren't flowering. They can also be used to create a moonlight garden because moonlight will reflect off the light colored leaves. During the day, they look best near dark leaves of evergreen shrubs such as box or yews.
Silver leaved plants combine well with almost any flower color, but look especially good paired with plants with pink or burgundy flowers.
Here are a few to try. They all prefer full sun.
Stachys or Lamb’s ears are a classic old-fashioned plant. The large, floppy leaves really look like rabbit ears. It is low-growing and therefore good for the front of a border or as edging along a path. Kids love to rub the soft, furry leaves.
Lavenderhas silvery leaf stalks that set off the purple flowers beautifully.
Dianthus or garden pinks ( not carnations) have a wonderful fragrance and are ideal for edging a path or in clumps at the front of a border. Their thin, grassy leaves combine well next to wider-leaved plants.
Santolina chamaecyparissus or cotton lavender has lovely silvery grey ferny leaves that are set off in the early summer by small yellow button-like flowers. It prefers a dry place in your garden and can be used as a low hedge or neat edging as it can easily be clipped into shape in the spring.
Artemisia or Wormwood has lacy silver leaves and looks good all summer. This is grown for the leaves as the flowers are insignificant. It does have rather a strong and some would say unpleasant fragrance, but you usually only notice it when you rub it. It loves a dry spot. There are several types ranging from low mounding types such as ‘Silver Mound’ to the tall ‘Powis Castle’.
For a taller plant try Perovskia atriplicifolia or Russian Sage which has silver leaves and stems with delightful lavender flowers that bloom through summer and into late autumn. It tolerates drought well.