Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – January 2013

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

It is a sunny but cold day. Frigid temperatures moved in today and are expected to remain for the rest of the week.

Today I am joining Christina of Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD). It always seems repetitious to post foliage from the same few plants but perhaps that illustrates a good point. These are year-round workers in my little garden.

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge) grows in a pot on the patio where I plopped it last spring. It has done pretty well there but I still hope to get it planted in the ground one day.  In the future I plan to rely on small shrubs and perennials, such as this Euphorbia, in my pots, with maybe an annual or two for color. The planters seem much more cost effective and long-lasting this way.

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

I am partial to silvery-leaved plants and Artemisia has been a reliable one for the borders. This is Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood). It needs some new companion plants as it seems rather solitary at the moment.

Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (Wormwood)

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

In a span between the back garage steps and the southern entrance to the garden is a five-foot long hedge of Lavender. Although it did not bloom very well last year, the silvery leaves provide year-round interest in this dry area. Spilling over across the slate path, the lavender has become quite woody in places and needs to be trimmed back, but I am guessing now I should wait until after it blooms in spring.

Lavender

Lavender

Along the Southern side path that leads to the garden are more silvery plants. On the left are drifts of Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion), a rather old-fashioned plant. Though I have grown it for many years I do not see Rose Campion used frequently in other gardens around here. In the summer this path is filled in with Cleome. Originally it was lined with a small mixed shrub hedge that succumbed to severe drought a few years ago.

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Just at the lower right side of the path Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) is creeping back. I used a heavy hand with it last year and removed many plants, as it had spread too aggressively. In this part of the garden, which can seem a bit dark in the winter, the silvery foliage of Lamb’s Ear and Rose Campion is welcome. These plants are easy to grow and come back every year (or more accurately, never really die back).

The blue slate stones need to be readjusted and the entire garden needs a good mulching. Where does that mulch get to? It seems to just evaporate.

Please visit Christina at Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for more Garden Bloggers Foliage Day entries.

12 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – January 2013

  1. Christina

    You make a good point about the plants that work hard all year. You also have the lovely Euphorbia blackbird which I haven’t managed to get to grow. We share so many plants which I find very interesting. Christina

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Christina. Although our summer humidity can overwhelm some of the Mediterranean plants, quite a lot do very well. It is interesting how many we have in common.

      Reply
  2. paulinemulligan

    I agree, the plants that work the hardest are the ones that get shown on our posts time and time again, where would we be without them! Your euphorbia Blackbird is beautiful, I have a little plant of it planted in the garden, it isn’t as far on as yours, but hopefully when the weather gets warmer, it will catch up. Your silver plants look really lovely and must brighten up your garden in the winter, sadly my heavy clay isn’t suitable for them, they soon die!

    Reply
  3. pbmgarden Post author

    You might be surprised how much clay there is around here too. I did bring in a lot of special plant soil to build the perennial beds when we first moved in. The clay soil is supposed to have a lot of nutrients but it certainly can be a challenge.

    Reply
  4. Cathy

    I often catch the birds picking at my mulch, and it gets distributed to places it isn’t needed, like the lawn! I do like lamb’s ear, and your lavender is looking very healthy. The pale silvery foliage of the plants you’ve featured are lovely for contrast.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Bet the Redwing is a beauty. I really love red so will have to remember that. This is the only euphorbia I’ve ever grown and I like it. I’ve read it can cause skin irritation so I’m waiting to see if this cause me problems. So far it hasn’t needed any care particularly.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Glad to know another gardener who enjoys this plant! My mother’s elder cousin was my gardening “mentor” and she passed along many old-fashioned favorites. Rose campion was one of the first plants she gave me so I have a nice memory of her when I see it–plus it’s tough and survives pretty well.

      Reply

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