I know, not a combination that you are likely to find in any books on garden design: but I was struck by this attractive juxtaposition, which I found in a Client's garden this year.
On the right of the path, a large Asparagus bed.
Now, we all know that Asparagus is a permanent crop, apparently it's quite desirable (despite the horrible smelly side-effect!) because it is one of the earliest fresh green veg crops of the year: we harvest it in “early spring”, which in real life means late April through May. Although personally, I'd call May “late spring”.... anyway, it's an early crop, and then we forget about it until autumn.
But look what lovely fluffy foliage it sends up!
And on the left, a Tamarisk: this is a deciduous shrub or small tree, which has the added benefit of producing pink flowers, usually in spring.
And look what lovely fluffy foliage it has!
Veggie gardens are not usually the most attractive of things, and when I first saw this garden (in winter) I was a bit surprised to find a bed of Asparagus out in the main garden, rather than tucked away in the kitchen garden section.
But once we stopped cropping the Asparagus, all became clear.
So there you go: a nice, interesting, and unusual combination of planting to give a lovely balanced effect throughout the whole summer.
And frankly, as I'm not at all fond of eating Asparagus - to me, it just tastes “green”, like eating pea pods or the stalks of broccoli - I might even start planting it in borders, just for the tall feathery foliage!