Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – April 2014

Northern Border View Facing West

Northern Border View Facing West

Yesterday was Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides. Though it will be a day late I want to join in the monthly focus on foliage as early spring is a time of year when I especially enjoy the foliage in my garden.

Spring marks a joyful point in an incredible cycle of nature, one I experience with new wonder each year. Fresh growth and tender green hues rejuvenate my gardener’s spirit as the perennials emerge and the borders transform from mostly soil to mostly plants.

The northern border has filled in seemingly overnight after some nice warm days. Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint), trimmed heavily a few weeks ago to remove last year’s growth, makes a nice low plant for the front edge of the border. This border is filled with Iris germanica (Bearded iris), Iris sibirica (Siberian Iris) and Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris).

Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Catmint) and Iris in Northern Border

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) and Iris in Northern Border (looking toward west)

Below and to the right of the catmint is a path with a patch of mixed sedum. The sedum overwinters well and I will soon be relocating much of it to the devil’s strip between the sidewalk and street in front of our house where grass does not like to grow. (Architectural Review Board application was approved.)

Mixed Sedum

Mixed Sedum

In my garden there are lots of silvery leaved plants. I enjoy the color and texture of these Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) and Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and especially in early spring the Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood) is beautiful.

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) and Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) and Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (Wormwood)

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Creeping Lemon Thyme overwintered in this pot along the southern side path. Stems of Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) is aggressively exploring this bed.

Creeping Lemon Thyme and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Creeping Lemon Thyme and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Planted last spring Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William) promises to perform better this year. It is looking vigorous, unlike last year.

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)

A generous patch of woody-stemmed Chrysanthemum is a welcome sight, a pass-along plant from my garden mentor many years ago.

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ will reach 6 feet tall but for now it makes a large clump of green near the gate of the southern entrance. I need to find time to divide this.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

To the right of the rudbeckia, just as the path turns the corner toward the gate to the main garden, sits a Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ loaded with buds after a heavy pruning in late winter.

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

Visit Christina at Garden of the Hesperides to see what foliage she is highlighting this month and find links to other participants.

19 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – April 2014

  1. Christina

    Thank you Susie for joing in GBFD again this month. you’re right spring is full of flowers but more, it is full of GREEN, all kinds of green! You have a lot of Iris, mine are just beginning to bloom. I don’t know Iris tectorum, I’ll have to look it up.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Iris tectorum is a pass-along that I received and have since passed along frequently. Last year when my garden was part of our neighborhood’s little garden walk, it was the most asked about item. I have seen it in a lot of the old Chapel Hill gardens.

      Reply
  2. Pauline

    Your first photo shows the wonderful contrast of your sword shaped iris leaves against your other plants. Spring is such a wonderful time of year to appreciate all the different shades of green, a real tapestry.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Julie. Sorry to hear the slugs like your Rudbeckia. I haven’t noticed a problem with snails on that in particular but this year I am seeing quite a lot more snails than usual.

      Reply
  3. Annette

    Isn’t wonderful to see things coming up so full of life and passion after the winter? What a difference it makes! Like all your foliage…I have Walker’s Low as well but nomen is definitely not omen 😉 Happy gardening, Susie

    Reply
  4. Janet/Plantaliscious

    I love the contrast between the mass of spiky iris leaves and the soft billow of the nepeta – and boy do I envy you that nepeta! We have too many local cats for me to get away with it, it would just get sat on! Everything looks so fresh and healthy, and that rudbekia is monster, good luck dividing it, looks like hard work…

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Those sword-like leaves of iris are thrilling to me and they rise up so quickly. The nepeta is great but I do find it is mashed down sometimes–never really thought it might be neighborhood cats. The rudbeckia may have to wait another year to be divided.

      Reply
  5. P&B

    So lush! I don’t know how you feel, but for me, my garden at this time of year makes me feel like a good old friend has come back to visit. Your friends look very happy to be there and with a friend who cares.

    Reply
  6. Cathy

    The iris leaves do look fabulous even before the flowers appear – they give so much contrast and structure, and the fresh green as everyone else has said is just wonderful. Do you cut back your thyme over winter? Some of mine looks quite straggly, so maybe I wasn’t brutal enough with the shears…

    Reply
  7. bittster

    So nice to see everything coming up so fresh and lush. I always say I’m going to get some more Powis Castle, but then see a picture and realize I didn’t. It looks great mixed in with the rest of your plants.

    Reply

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