Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – October 2013

It is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) and well into autumn, the garden overall remains fairly green. A few perennials are still flowering, but this topic is about signs of the season other than flowers.

The cones left standing after flower petals drop bring a new round of enjoyment to Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes.’ This plant bloomed from late June through September. Now its wide leaves and tall stalks continue to add height and interest to the garden’s Southern entrance.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Just inside the gate is a grouping of Dutch lavender that was heavily pruned back late last winter after it had become very overgrown and woody. The lavender did not bloom much this year but it filled out well and looks more shapely. I use this lavender as a small shrub against the foundation of the house.

Lavandula x intermedia 'Dutch' (Dutch Lavender)

Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender)

Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper)

Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper)

A small pot of Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper) planted in the spring has yielded a good amount of growth.

I am experimenting with this ground cover  in the garden, but with an eye to using it as a partial replacement for grass in the front lawn strip between sidewalk and street, if it survives the winter. (And subject to Homeowners Association approval, unfortunately).

I cannot decide if I like it though—almost seems a bit weedy from afar. Up close I think the texture is wonderful and though flowers are not the focus for GBFD, Blue Star Creeper does actually bloom too. (Click image for close-up.)

This weekend a friend gave me some Elfin Thyme to try also. She has had great success with it in her street/sidewalk strip. Since I do not yet have approval for replanting the grass strip, I planted the Elfin Thyme yesterday in the meditation circle.  There now are three different kinds of Thyme there, on of which also has a small-textured leaf that reminds me of Elfin.

Thymus serpyllum 'Elfin' (Elfin Thyme) and Thyme sp.

Thymus serpyllum ‘Elfin’ (Elfin Thyme) and Thyme sp. in the meditation circle

In the northwest corner of the garden shockingly purple berries are now easily visible on the American beautyberry. This plant is still small but from others I have noticed lately, it may soon outgrow this spot.

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Thanks to Christina for hosting GBFD on the 22nd of each month. Visit her at Garden of the Hesperides to discover what foliage displays she and other garden bloggers are featuring today.

15 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – October 2013

  1. Pauline

    Your Dutch lavender is beautiful, a super foliage plant for the time when it isn’t flowering, I also like your Elfin Thyme, does it smell the same? Fantastic berries on your Callicarpa, they are set off by the leaves turning golden, very pretty.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Oh yes, glad you asked. I forgot to mention the Elfin Thyme is quite fragrant (unlike the other Thyme next to it in the photo). It should be nice to have along a path.

      Reply
  2. Christina

    The colour of your Callicarpa are so vibrant Susie, I wish I could grow this shrub. Thank you for joining GBFD again this month; I especially like your use of Thyme varieties to add different heights to ground cover. Christina

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Perhaps some micro-environment in your garden could host the Callicarpa. I think it’s pretty tough once established. The Chinese version has prettier berries and form I think. I do hope the Thyme will fill out well. Thanks for hosting GBFD.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks very much Judy. I love to bring in lavender to use as filler for little displays of flowers–whatever’s blooming looks good with the lavender.

      Reply
  3. Annette

    I once had a thyme lawn which I loved to bits and the insects did too, but it didn’t last very long. What’s your experience with thyme? Callicarpa americana is a pretty shrub.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I once had thyme growing between paths at another house and I was everything one could hope for but I’ve only had partial success with it in this garden. The Elfin Thyme has done great for my neighbor so I’m hoping I can piggy-back off her success.

      Reply
  4. Cathy

    I thought I recognized that creeping plant and looked it up….. Yes, I have just planted one! Only mine was called Pratia pedunculata, with a note that it may also be called Isotoma fluviatilis!
    I’m hoping it will flower all summer, as the label has promised. A very interesting little plant. And the Beautyberry is so pretty – very enviable!

    Reply
  5. bittster

    Your groundcover experiment seems to be working out well, I do like the thymes as groundcovers but never knew some kinds were non-fragrant, something to keep an eye on! What a difference on the near and far views of the blue star creeper, really does seem like two different plants!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Wouldn’t you think I would have trusted my sense of smell when I bought Thyme–instead I trusted the incorrect label only to be disappointed. That Thyme never was fragrant in the meditation circle around the stepping stones, so I’m adding some more different ones as remedy.

      Reply
      1. bittster

        It does look nice though, such a soft low carpet. I never had much luck with thyme, maybe it’s time to give it another try. I better be careful, it might be a gateway plant into rock gardening or herb gardens…..

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Janet. I think the lavender responded well to being cut way back. It had become very woody. I found the original label for it too when cutting it back so now I know it is Dutch lavender. The thyme has been rewarding at times, challenging at others. I hope to eliminate the need for all the brown mulch in the meditation circle. Thanks for commenting today.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s