Boxwood balls in a line, a hot orange fothergilla, and pink hardy mums.
Boxwoods are 'Tide Hill' and will continue to be little buns in a row low to the ground. Mums are the pretty 'Sheffield Pink' variety, and are not your average mums. The fothergilla is 'Mt. Airy'.
I used to have three 'Mt. Airy' fothergilla shrubs in a group anchoring this border at the end of the gravel garden. One was lost, I forget from what cause, another was almost lost in the drought this summer so I moved it to a damper spot, and this last one remains.
But even by its lonesome the single fothergilla makes a nice orange pop against the soft pink mums.
Hardy mums (Dendranthema, Chrysanthemum, take your pick, it's confusing) are not your typical gaudy round shaped things that are set about in pots everywhere in fall, and that don't last til the next season.
These are lower, more open looking mums and they not only last season after season in the ground, but they spread and multiply. I now have them in multiple spots in different gardens.
Some years 'Sheffield Pink' is a soft peachy color with golden centers. This year they are a clear pink with yellow centers. They happily nestle inconspicuously among other plantings, not looking like much until autumn arrives, and then they shine.
I moved a small blue green 'Silberlocke' Oriental spruce into the spot where one of the now departed fothergillas had been. You can barely see it peeking up behind the mums.
It will get much larger and denser, and then won't that be a sight? Hot orange and pretty pink backed by cool silver in a grouping of different heights and shapes, making this corner of the gravel garden something to behold in fall.