Garden Bloggers Foliage Day, Garden blogging, Garden Meme

Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day

When the Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day post by My Hesperides Garden popped up on my WordPress Reader, Christina’s opening words “…I encourage you to look at the foliage in your garden and give it the appreciation it deserves”, encouraged me to go out in the garden this afternoon and take a look.   It is all too easy to miss what is under your nose.

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I have had a battle growing Alstroemeria in my garden, thanks to the snails and slugs, so during the summer I dug up a clump and put it in a pot.  Despite the frost and snow it is looking good, which I am delighted with.

dsc_0120Although I have a large Choysia outside my kitchen door it was only this afternoon that I saw it was in flower!

Now I find  Agapanthus an interesting plant.  I have both deciduous and evergreen varieties.  The deciduous ones are beginning to poke their shoots through, the frosted ground doesn’t appear to deter them.   The evergreen Agapanthus in the open south facing floor bed has some of its bottom leaves going mushy but I know from experience it will pick up once it starts to get warmer.   The ones in the bed next the house, where it is sheltered, are looking very happy.

I am not usually one for plant collections but I am always drawn to Heuchera at plant fairs and am seriously contemplating in buying a few more this year.  I like their names and have ‘Marmalade’ and ‘Berry Smoothie’ on my list.  Annoyingly I have lost the name tags for the ones above.

The ferns in the shady part of the garden haven’t died back this year so no photos of those triffid-like fronds uncurling, although I expect if I were to cut them back I would be treated to some.

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Moving around to the more sheltered south facing side patio, the Pieris is covered with small cream bell-shaped flowers in large branched clusters that are supposed to appear in the spring but have been on the plant all winter.

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Another good foliage plant that I always forget to use it the Olive.  This little tree I bought from the local market last year for £10, a plant of similar size was on sale in M&S for £25 – bargain!

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Finally, I couldn’t leave this post without a lovely  Polyanthus.  I have a number of them in the new flowerbed and regardless of the frost and below zero temperatures they survive undaunted.  I do have some true Primroses, they have slightly larger and longer leaves which have gone floppy in the cold and the flowers are yet to appear.

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Walking around the garden, however, I had the feeling that spring is definitely in the air.  In case you are wondering the chicken wire is to deter cats, squirrels and foxes from digging up the bulbs.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – February Foliage

Gosh I am on a roll!  Having not written anything on the blog for three months, all of a sudden I have found things to blog about again.  This is my third blog post in as many days – readers will be suffering from Hurtledto60 overload if I am not careful, so I will keep this post short.

What gave me incentive today for this post?   Garden Bloggers Foliage Day : GBFD.   This is a monthly meme hosted by Christina at My Hesperides Garden.

I was listening to the gardeners questions program on local radio this morning and was pulled up short when I heard “We are almost in March”. Crickey where did that time go, it seems only yesterday it was Christmas.   March means the beginning of Spring and with it brings new life and foliage into the garden.   So walking around this morning with camera in hand I found the following foliage:

Peony.   I have always loved the way the peony leaves appear, looking like tiny fingers unfolding.  Maybe they are crossing their fingers that the conditions are just right to produce a good amount of flowers this year instead of the meagre two blooms last year.

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Aquilegia.   Sometimes I think the fresh new rosettes of the Aquilegia are more exciting than when it is in full bloom.  There don’t seem to be as many Aquilegia in the garden this year, usually they are everywhere.  However, most had reverted to their natural state and were a boring dull pink so maybe now is the year to introduce new ones.

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Hydrangea.  I bought a white hydrangea last year and it lives in a large pot on the side patio and produced the most enormous flower heads.  It is now bursting with new bright green foliage and is going to be a splendid plant in its second year.

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Fennel.    The new fennel leaves are small and fluffy and, to me, look like little trees.  This is an old plant and grows to about 6 foot every year.  I often wonder if it is about time to dig it up and cook the bulbs but I think perhaps in view of its age, it may not be such a good idea and I will just let it remain in its architectural glory during the summer months.

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Then, of course, there is the hardy foliage that lasts throughout the winter months giving constant green hues to the garden.   These include:-

Euphorbia

_DSC0890 (1024x683)Eyrisium (Wallflowers)

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Ferns – I am sorry I do not remember what these two are called, maybe someone can help me out with this please.

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Not only has my blog writing mojo come back, so has my photography mojo – hurrah!!

Thank you Christina for hosting this meme and I hope those reading this will hop over to your blog and take a look at your exciting and interesting mediterranean garden.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day

Garden Foliage Day : 22 April 2012

Here we are almost at the end of April, and time again to take a look at the foliage in the garden.  This last week of torrential showers, has brought absolutely everything on by leaps and bounds.   It is amazing what a good drenching can do for plants and trees alike.    The one drawback to all this rain is that the grass is growing too and my lawn sounds like a sponge when I stand on it, so mowing it out of the question at the moment.

The Aquilegia are really making their presence known all around the garden, with it’s different coloured leaves according to the variety.  There are a couple of almost lime green plants that really stand out but most are the usual green.

I know I have mentioned this before, but I do appear to have a lot of plants in the garden that start with the letter “A”,  this is not intentional at all, it is only when I started to write about them this dawned on me!   To add to the “A” list the Astilbe have spread themselves in the damp north-facing bed down the right handside of the garden.  They are excellent value, because they love this spot and the dried flowers remain upright in the Winter, giving some archtecural height.   Judging by the amount of leaves that have come through this year there is going to be an excellent show of pink feathery flowers.

The hardy geraniums are filling out and at the moment are still neat mounds.   A lady I work with said she uses old wire hanging baskets, placed upside down on her geraniums and it helps keep them neat and tidy.  At just under £1.50 for small wire baskets from Wilkinsons, this definitely an idea I will try this year.

I need to keep an eye on the Geraniums (Cranesbill) in the bottom bed because they are going to choke the Astrantia if I am not careful.   Just behind the Astrantia, the Agapanthus are looking in good form, having made it through another Winter and at the back of the border is a Ballerina Rose – this is a very pretty rose with hydrangea type flowerheads.   I love the variety of green tones in the bed at the moment.

I have a feeling that this year is going to be a really good one for the Peony in the side bed, it now is so thick with leaves I am having to add extra support.   I am sure it is so very advanced because I covered it through the Winter with a cloche, the peony in the bottom bed is only just now sending up long shoots.  I love the pinkish hue to the leaves and the almost burgundy edging they have.

The Fennel is now about a foot high and will eventually reach about 6 foot, I love how the new leaves look fluffy and soft, like miniature pine trees.

I thought I had lost a number of my lavender bushes but this little one was having none of it, and to prove me wrong is producing lots and lots of new leaves, so I will only have a couple to replace this year.

The Hostas are particularly slow in making an appearance this year but hopefully in May there will be a good show for the next Garden Bloggers Foliage Day.

Thank you Christina from Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides who hosts this monthly meme.   Please hop over to her blog and take a look at lots of foliage posts.  It is always so interesting to see what is happening in gardens all around the World.

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Garden, Garden Bloggers Foliage Day

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – March 2012

This post follows hot on the heels of last week  Foliage and Raindrops.  Why?  Well, Christina at Hesperides Garden invited me to join in her meme on the 22nd of each month, called Garden Bloggers Foliage Day.    It has taken a little bit of thinking about, my first thought was that it was very soon after “Foliage and Raindrops” and then I realised I had very few photos to upload.

I had a small amount of time this morning before leaving the house at 7:40 so took my camera out to capture foliage.  When I looked around I thought what little there was in the garden in the form of foliage.

I have ACANTHUS or BEARS BREECHES –  a fabulous architectural plant, but also an absolute nightmare when you decide you don’t want it taking over the garden.   In the late summer is produces tall spikes with white and purple flowers and then the seed pods explode and scatter, this means that there are bits of it coming up all over the place.   This is exacerbated by roots send out runners, so when you pull the plant up if there is the smallest piece of root left behind, hey presto, more Acanthus the next year.  It also regularly gets mildew in the Summer.   All that said, I do like to have some of it filling the gaps.

There are  lots of shrubs and plants in the garden but they all flower at their respective times, therefore, strictly speaking they are not counted as foliage, or are they?  This got me thinking and as usual I turned to Google for the true definition.

fo·li·age  (fl-j, flj)

n.

1.

a. Plant leaves, especially tree leaves, considered as a group.
b. A cluster of leaves.
2. An ornamental representation of leaves, stems, and flowers, especially in architecture.
According to that description, flowers do count,  or does it mean that the foliage i.e. leaves and stems (foliage) together with flowers make an ornamental representation.  I think it is open to interpretation, but maybe I am just confusing matters.

Wandering around the garden early this morning , I added FERNS to my list.   I never think to add them to flower arrangements but perhaps I should try and remember this year, especially the evergreen Cyrtomium Fortunia, which appears to have doubled in size over the Winter.

 With my eye firmly on the clock and conscious I had a train to catch, my last photo was of a very poorly looking CAREX, I can’t remember what it is called but in the Summer it is usually a lovely blue/grey grass.  It desperately needs all the old grass removed and possibly a re-potting.
Having thought that I had very little actual foliage, the more I thought about it the more I realised that I do have a good selection, it is just that it is all still waiting to burst its way through the soil, they include:
  • Hosta 
  • Brunnera
  • Fennel
  • Euphorbia
  • Pulmonaria
  • Heuchera
  • Lavender

All of which will be visible for the next GBFD on 22 April, also the evenings will be lighter making it more conducive to photographing the garden after work.    Thank you Christina for your invitation and I hope that next month I can do better justice to your meme.