Archive for the ‘foliage follow-up’ Category

Foliage Follow Up: new leaves springing up

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Berberis thunbergii purpurea

My focus on foliage this month is all about newly emerging leaves. The branches of the Berberis thunbergii purpurea have acquired a hoary coating of lichen. I’m not sure how healthy it is for the plant, but I do like the way it sets off the tiny, colorful leaves.

magnolia leaf bud

I spent many years mistaking these small buds on the magnolia for flower buds (false hope springs eternal). Now that it has finally graced us with blooms the past two years, I can recognize them for what they are. The flower buds have a fuzzy surface, while these are smooth.

tree peony

Peony foliage is super satisfying from beginning to end. Here a tree peony, ‘Chinese Dragon’, begins to unfurl.

Alchemilla mollis and herbaceous peony

Herbaceous peonies come up from the ground bright red, there on the right, while Alchemilla mollis captures water droplets in its pleated leaves on the left.

Oxalis ‘Klamath Ruby’

The new leaves of Oxalis ‘Klamath Ruby’ are folded up, showing the purple that will be harder to see once they open fully.

Hydrangea ‘Wave Hill’

Tender little poufs of leaves decorate the tips of Hydrangeas’ otherwise bare branches. This variegated lacecap is ‘Wave Hill’.

noid Hydrangea

Another Hydrangea, this time noid mophead that blooms in a heavenly shade of blue.

Erythronium

You can see why these are called trout lilies when you look at the markings on the leaves. I have several Erythroniums but this is the best of the lot. When it blooms, the pagoda blossom will be creamy ivory in color. I wish I knew its full name so that I could order more.

variegated sedum

Sedums are some of the first things to poke their little noses above ground.

Euphorbia ‘Excaliber’

Euphorbia ‘Excaliber’ pleases me most right now, when it looks almost like a ground cover with beautifully patterned leaves.

Acanthus spinosa

Hard to believe that Acanthus spinosa will soon dominate this berm. I have to dig up several of the outliers each spring just to keep it from swallowing everything else. Plenty to share, and it is one of my favorite plants in the garden. Now I’ll send you to Digging, where Pam can connect you with other foliage fans, as she does each month on the 16th (I’m obviously late, but Pam is forgiving (she is a gardener after all).

foliage follow-up, January edition

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

textural composition

I’m liking the textural effect of this composition. The planting along Delusional Drive is coming along. Some editing will soon be in order due to my impatient nature. I think Grace referred to it as “cramscaping”.

heather

The heathers almost look like they are in bloom, but it’s just because I didn’t do any cutting back. What I really like about it is the coloring of the new growth.

Juniperus procumbens ‘Green Mound’

This is a very common Juniper, Juniperus procumbens ‘Green Mound’, but I love the way it mounds and creeps (8″ tall by 6′ wide, so look out, neigboring plants!). There I go again.

noid yucca

I love the way this noid yucca catches the light. I think I need a couple more of these in this border so that it doesn’t look like an afterthought.

Cryptomeria japonica spiralis ‘Granny’s Ringlets’

Cryptomeria japonica spiralis ‘Granny’s Ringlets’ is slow growing so far, but will eventually reach ten plus feet…oh dear.

Delusional Drive 2012

The drive winds from the road to our house, so it is impossible to get a wide shot of the whole thing. This is what one section looked like in 2014.

Delusional Drive 2014

Here it is, taken from the same spot, today. Softened by fog, but not much I can do about that.

looking back

Looking back from the other direction.

further back

And stepping back further you can see the extension that is sparser. I add some each year, to eventually line the entire drive with a border that is almost exclusively evergreen and foliage dependent. A few of the shrubs, most noticeably Ceanothus and Arcostaphylos, do flower, but that is almost incidental to my intent. That is why I decided to focus on Delusional Drive for this winter installment of Pam’s Foliage Follow Up.

when foliage is the star

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

NOID maple

I guess this is some form of Japanese maple, picked up for a pittance. In its youth, it flamed out with beautiful color. Not so much last year, so I will be curious to see what happens as temperatures drop. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the lacy leaf shapes on bright red stems.

another NOID maple

Another younger maple with similar origins is coloring up nicely. You can see why I hope that it will not become more blasé with age.

Cotinus ‘Purple Robe’

Unlike so many leaves that deepen and darken, the Cotinus ‘Purple Robe’ lightens from its inky purple summer attire to coppery tones now.

Euonymus sachalinensis

Looking at the shapely, colorful foliage on the Spindle Tree (Euonymus sachalinensis), I can’t really fault it for failing to produce the dangling fruits which I formerly viewed as its reason for being.

crape myrtle

A crape myrtle earns its keep with this display.

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Ophiopogon planiscapes ‘Nigrescens’

While the black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapes ‘Nigrescens’) changes color not one whit (and who would ask it to?), it does produce pearlescent berries to add to the fun.

Callicarpa bodinieri ‘Profusion’

Speaking of berries, it would be hard to top the aptly named Beautyberry (Calicarpa bodinieri ‘Profusion’).
Berberis thunbergii purpurea

Or Berberis thunbergii purpurea, wearing its berries like jewels on opera night.

Gaultheria procumbens

Pluck one of these berries, pop it in your mouth and see why Gaultheria procumbens is called Wintergreen. I often buy these for porch pots during the holidays. They make good ground cover, so I never have too many of them.

Crocosmia

Seedheads left behind when the Crocosmias stop flowering make startling bouquets indoors or out.

Castor Bean

Each of the little burry balls on the Castor Bean Plant holds three seeds, ensuring that this favorite will show up somewhere in the garden next year.

Yucca ‘Bright Edge’

Unlike everything else in this post, Yucca ‘Bright Edge’ makes no concessions to changing seasons. That’s OK. I am perfectly satisfied by its perseverance, maintaining its spiky splendor whatever the weather throws at it.

See what Pam has up her sleeve for this October edition of Foliage Follow Up.

This week’s fave: Polystichum setiferum ‘Pumoso multilobum’

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Polystichum setiferum ‘Pumoso multilobum’

My favorite of all the ferns, Polystichum setiferum ‘Pumoso multilobum’ swirls in a way that has caused it to be compared to a whirlwind. As it matures, it becomes fluffier. I have two of these, and they anchor the woodland bed.

frn035.jpg

It’s really hard to capture the dynamic nature of this plant in a photo, but trust me: it has more than a little personality.

frn036.jpg

I keep stepping back to try to give you an idea of its presence in the woodland. I give up! It simply needs to be seen to be believed. Come on out any time and I will introduce you to this, my favorite plant in the garden this week. Check out Danger Garden for Loree’s fave of the week, and be sure to see the comments for links to others’ choices.

For more information about my personal fave, go to Great Plant Picks.

 

September Song

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Isn’t that the one that goes: “The falling leaves drift by my window”? Not much of that going on around here yet, but some are beginning to take on the burnished tones that shout “Autumn”

Acanthus spinosa

One such is Acanthus spinosa, shown here with one of the remaining flower spikes.

Acanthus spinosa with Acaena inermis ‘Purpurea’

When those leaves spill over the Acaena inermis ‘Purpurea’ (a ground cover that is evergreen, or should I say ever-purple), the effect is fine, if fleeting.

tree peony foliage

The foliage on the tree peonies is just beginning to turn. If weather conditions are right, they will blaze out.

Poncirus trifoliata

Glowing fruits on the Poncirus trifoliata ‘Flying Dragon’ are getting backup from a tinge of color beginning to kiss the leaves.

Cornus kousa

I’m especially fond of the little red fruits that form on all of the Cornus Kousas. Color will soon follow.

Hebe ‘Quicksilver’

One of the few Hebes that is easy to grow, ‘Quicksilver’ sprawls over a gravel bed with Chasmanthium latifolium hovering over it.

culinary sage

Culinary sage dresses up the herb garden.

Foliage Follow Up is at your doorstep: just click here to land on Pam’s blog and she will take it from there.

FFU • the July version

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Autumn fern and Persidaria ‘Lance Corporal’

Surrounded by a sea of Persicaria ‘Lance Corporal’, Dryopteris erythrosora, or Autumn Fern, is looking the best it’s ever looked.

Miscnthus ‘Frosty Morn’

The things I came away from the ANLD tour wanting were all foliage plants. Here’s one: Miscanthus ‘Frosty Morn’.

Selaginella kraussiana

And another: Selanginella kraussiana, or Pincushion Spikemoss.

Kalanchloe bahariensis

The Kalanchloe bahariensis that I’ve had for a long time is looking kind of leggy, so I bought a new one to fill in. It is labeled the same, but is wartier than the big one. Any opinions on that?

Berberis jamesiana

These berries are what attracted me to Berberis jamesiana. I happened upon one at Dancing Oaks at just this stage, not knowing that they would eventually turn red. Now I cut some for bouquets when they turn this pearlescent pale yellow with just the faintest blush.

NOID succulent

Shame on Portland Nursery for failing to identify this beyond “succulent”, but bless them for continuing to surprise us with new ones.

Lady Fern?

I gushed over the lady ferns at the Cecil & Molly Smith Garden, and I think that’s what’s volunteering here and there around R&R Ranch (correct me if I’m wrong). This lady is welcome to invite all of her friends.

Macleaya cordata

I adore the shapely leaves of Macleaya cordata, or Plume Poppy. Flowers? What flowers?

prostrate sequoia

The prostrate sequoia is starting to go vertical. What’s up with that?

Eucalyptus pauciflora ssp niphophila

R cut away all the suckers coming up from the base of Eucalyptus pauciflora ssp niphophila, so now we can see the silken trunk.

Thanks again, Pam, for inviting us to gush over foliage every month.

foliage follow-up: Stachyrus salicifolius

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Stachyrus salicifolius

I was faced with a delightful dilemma: how to use a generous gift certificate at Portland Nursery. We should all have such problems, right? Well, it’s not as easy as it sounds. I wanted it to be something really special, and it took three trips before something finally clicked. On the day that the stars aligned, I had spent the early part of the day on the ANLD pre-tour. Showy tall pots had been a theme running through all of the gardens, and a plant that had been on my want list for ages showed up looking every bit as seductive as the photo I’d been carrying around.

new pot grouping

I started with the plant: Stachyrus salicifolius. It’s hard to capture in a photo, but the growing tips of those long, willowy leaves have a reddish tint. When I spotted this pot, the first thing I noticed was how the color matched those growing tips. It wasn’t until I got it home and started potting it up that I noticed how the carved relief of the pot echoes the leaf shapes. Then I started finding other pots to add to the grouping.

Drimys lanceolata

Terra cotta pots mix well, especially this one containing Drimys lanceolata with deep red bark.

the collection

Stepping back, I’m really liking the whole collection. Thank you, Marilyn, for the wonderful gift. Putting this all together is the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

succulent bowl

Another gift (can you believe my good fortune?) We had a Dads’ Day BBQ, and this was a hostess gift. We really should entertain more often. Some of the plants I recognize and others are new to me. I love the crowded composition with many textures and colors. It’s a look I only rarely come close to accomplishing, and then only after the arrangement has had a chance to grow into lushness.

Pam Pennick at digging gives us all the gift of a forum for foliar appreciation mid-month, each and every month. Thank you, Pam.

focus on foliage…yes, even in May

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

path at Joy Creek

And even at Joy Creek, where the explosion of blooms is darn near overwhelming. You can point a camera in some directions and be greeted by a tapestry of greens like those surrounding this pathway.

Arisaema urashima

Or you can train your sights on a single leaf like this Arisaema urashima, shading its dark, hooded cobra-like flower.

Podophyllum pleauntum

The mayapple, Podophyllum pleauthum uses its giant keaves to shield the blossoms so well that you have to get down and look under to see them.

NOID leaves

Still at Joy Creek, I was attracted to these mounds of foliage, but could find no marker. So, all you Sherlocks out there: any ideas? This just in: Peter steered me to Acanthus balcanicus, which I think is the right answer.

R. edgeworthia ‘Bodnant’

Another puzzlement arose at the Rhododendron garden, where the sign read edgeworthia ‘Bodnant’, but these handsome crinkly leaves bore all the earmarks of a Rhody, including lovely, thick endumentum. I think they must have neglected to start the label with “R.”. Peter to the rescue yet again: it is indeed R. edgeworthia ‘Bodnant’.

fern and hosta

The combination of ferns and hostas worked perfectly in a woodland setting with filtered light.

I saved out some of my favorite foliage shots from other posts to feature in Foliage Follow up, hosted, as always, by the incomparable Pam Pennick at Digging. You won’t go wrong by heading over there to see and be directed to more fab foliage.

not to be outdone…foliage follow-up

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Juniperus communis ‘Gold Cone’ new tips

This is when the new tips frost the evergreens. This is Juniperus communis ‘Gold Cone’ up close

‘Gold Cone’

Here it is again, with several different ground covers picking up the bright chartreuse. Off to the right is some wine colored foliage for contrast.

new heuchera foliage

Speaking of winey foliage…the emerging leaves of this Heuchera are shiny and fresh.

Heuchera ‘Marmalade’

In that same bed, where Heucheras thrive, ‘Marmalade’ adds its peachy tones…

ferns

and ferns continue to multiply.

Acanthus mollis new leaves

More shiny new leaves, this time Acanthus mollis in the woodland shade.

Photinia

With the breezes blowing the new growth on the Photinia, it’s like watching flames dancing.

spiral leaves of tulip

This tulip is a gift from Linda and I can’t tell you its name, but I love the spiraling shape of the leaves.

two sedums

I like the way these two sedums cozy up to each other, with Hebe ‘Quicksilver’ reaching in to give them a little pat.

Rodgersia aesculifolia

Pushing up through the woodland duff, Rodgersia aesculifolia will eventually reach giant proportions as it goes dark green.

Rodgersia Bonze Peacock

At long last, Rodgersia ‘Bronze Peacock’ is starting to put in an appearance and I can quit worrying about it. Not so, I fear, for ‘Night Heron’, which seems to be a goner.

Calluna vulgaris

I have a hard time keeping the heathers straight, but I think this one might be ‘Red Fred’, judging by the red of the new tips…much more pleasing to me than later flowering. Nature has a way of soothing the pains brought on by ugly acts of humans. Pam has said it better than I can, so visit her for her words of wisdom as well as her healing Foliage Follow-up…and let’s focus on the wonderful folks who sprang into action to help the afflicted in Boston.

Lawn Gone! is a good read

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Lawn Gone! by Pam Penick

Pam is well know in blogging circles for her blog, Digging, and for hosting the monthly meme, Foliage Follow-Up, where the non-flowers in our gardens are given their just due. The idea of turning the American obsession with grass into an earth-friendlier approach has been gathering steam for some time. Here we have a practical guide to the whys and hows of the grassless revolution.

Many of Pam’s followers have already sung the praises of the book’s fine photography, supporting the ideas for alternatives to traditional lawns. They note that the book breaks down the planning and execution of lawn replacement into easily identifiable choices and steps. I second all that. Where I diverge, and feel that I have something to add to the conversation, is this: Pam is a wordsmith. She is highly readable. Scattered throughout the text are gems like this:

‘Devil’s Shoestring’ (Nolina lindenhameriana) puddles on the ground like a shrugged-off party dress.

So by all means, read this book for the useful information it contains, but do not fail to revel in the language. It will deliver every bit as much literary satisfaction as the novel on your bedstand.