Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – May 2014

Hard to believe how quickly May is rushing by, but it is once again time for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides. This monthly focus is a chance to consider the role foliage plays in creating an interesting garden. My garden is not strong on having year-round structural interest, but at this point in spring the borders are filling out nicely.

There is nice fresh growth on the passalong Hydrangea macrophylla , but it blooms on old growth. I have read several places they will not be blooming this year because of damage from our cold winter. This was shared by Jayme last year and it did have a few gorgeous flowers last summer. I was looking forward to a bigger show this year, but gardening demands patience and the bigger show is being rescheduled for next year.

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

This plant is also from Jayme last spring, Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box). It is still very small and seemed not to have made it through the winter, but it certainly came around after the weather warmed up. These shiny, bright leaves are much improved over how they looked a couple of months ago.

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

I mentioned Amaryllis in the post yesterday featuring flowers, but its dew-coated stately leaf and fat bud are interesting too. The fine leaves of Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow) and dark red stem and leaves of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) bookend this Amaryllis.

Amaryllis

Amaryllis

Tendrils and buds of  this passalong Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea are always a welcome sight. This variety does not have a fragrance but will have lovely pink flowers.

Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea (Pink)

Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea (Pink)

Tendrils of Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea (Pink)

Tendrils of Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea (Pink)

Hemerocallis (Daylily) are gaining size suddenly. These came from a daylily farm in Fayetteville, NC which my daughter and I visited a few years ago with one of my sisters. I love the plants in my garden that have a little memory.

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ in front of a large stand of a passalong, woody-stemmed Chrysanthemum bring green lushness to the southern border and the promise of later color.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Newly planted this year, the foliage of Hydrangea arborescens Incrediball ‘Abetwo’ looks very healthy. It is planted in front of an old-fashioned rose.

Hydrangea arborescens Incrediball ‘Abetwo’

Hydrangea arborescens Incrediball ‘Abetwo’

After seeing so many great specimens from other gardens I made it a point to add Brunnera this year. After blooming very well, Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not) is set to lighten up a dark corner of the garden with its bright leaf color and pattern.

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not)

I wonder if anyone else grows Tansy? A coworker gave it to me years ago and it started becoming a thug. Yes, she warned me it would spread, but I did not understand at the time that when someone giving you a plant speaks those words, it is imperative to heed the warning. I cannot get rid of it, but lately it has just shifted around here and there, not causing too much problem. The foliage is attractive and it has little yellow flowers later. Oftentimes I am actually fond of it.

Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)

Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox) is pushing up into the morning light. These are planted in several spots around the garden, most of which are much sunnier than this particular protected location. The dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea is visible in back.

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) is growing well in many spots, preparing to take over the floral display as the iris and columbine wind down.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

The foliage of Baptisia australis (blue false indigo) is a soft, gentle green that remains attractive for a few weeks after the flowering time. Baptisia also forms interesting bluish black seed pods.

Baptisia australis (blue false indigo)

Baptisia australis (blue false indigo)

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) had beautiful white flower clusters for weeks, but now is going to seed. (Actually I have since trimmed this back to encourage it to fill out.) This Iberis is surrounded by Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue).

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft)

A large clump of Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy) has filled the front of a border next to the back steps. Behind it stands Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow) with lots of airy, feathery leaves. Completing this area, English thyme is just entering bloom and boldly patterned leaves of Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage) dance above.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

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

18 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – May 2014

  1. Chloris

    Lots of lovely healthy green foliage in your garden Susie. I love the Brunnera.
    Tansy is invasive as I learnt to my cost. I planted it because as a child I loved The Tansy Fairy in Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies book.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Chloris, I looked up The Tansy Fairly and sure enough, it looks just like mine. I can’t find much to indicate tansy is invasive here, but it’s one of those plants you can’t just pull up easily–takes a lot of work.

      Reply
  2. Pauline

    You have such a lot of beautiful fresh green foliage, your garden is breathing a sigh of relief that your dreadful winter has passed! This is a wonderful month for foliage, finding if favourites have survived the winter and welcoming them back into the garden.

    Reply
  3. Christina

    Thank you for joining in againthis month Susie. You have so much lovely foliage; the Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ is a real star – so beautiful it doesn’t need flowers at all! I hope you Gardenias survived your cold winter, you have mentioned them so I am worried you lost them.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      This month GBFD was valuable to help me take inventory. Thanks for hosting it. I think I’ve lost two gardenias. The others seem ok but don’t know yet if they’re going to bloom this year.

      Reply
  4. Cathy

    That Brunnera is stunning! I have tansy in my rockery and it hasn’t spread at all! (I rather wish it would as it is lovely!) Your post has made me realise how pretty some of the foliage on flowering plants can be – Echinacea for example, and Hydrangea too. Thanks Susie!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you Cathy. I’m excited about the Brunnera. It seems to have taken hold pretty well. I read tansy spreads into disturbed areas so perhaps you can encourage it to spread by working the soil nearby. (If you’re sure you want some more!)

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I’ve never grown the annual sweet pea, but I’ve had the passalong everlasting one for many years. Unfortunately, it has no fragrance though.

      Reply
  5. bittster

    You have a good eye for details, I love the dew on the amaryllis photo especially!
    I have an “isla gold” tansy which is a yellow leaf version. It’s one of my favorite plants and doesn’t seem to spread much at all. I’m sure the straight green is a much different story!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you. I liked that amaryllis image also. I looked up isla gold–looks nice. Don’t know exactly what tansy I have but it is not listed as invasive in NC so I’ll just keep an eye on it and enjoy.

      Reply
  6. P&B

    I have the same problem with Hydrangea here too. The old stems have no leaf buds at all but there are new shoots that have come up from the base. I love your ‘Bloggers Foliage Day’. I play a little guessing game with the leaves you post before I read the names. Really fun.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Sorry about your Hydrangea too–that’s disappointing but at least they should have another chance next year. Glad you have turned foliage day into a game. Please join in next month if you have time. I’m sure Christina, who hosts, would be delighted and I know you have some interesting foliage to share. Susie

      Reply
  7. Barb

    I was researching Shasta Daisy on the web and I found your site via the pictures on this page. I have two plants I planted last year, and if memory serves, they are Shasta daisies, but they haven’t bloomed yet this year and it’s August 1st. They look like the picture of Leucanthemum x Superbum Shasta Daisy you have on here, the leaves are broader and shinier than other Shasta daisies I have planted. Are they supposed to bloom late in summer, because I’m still waiting? The plants are quite bushy, but no flower buds have formed yet.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Sorry your Shasta daisies aren’t blooming yet. I’m not sure what your problem might be. Do make sure they are getting enough sun (full sun in my zone 7b garden). Normally Shastas bloom in June and continue into fall if you deadhead them frequently.

      Reply
      1. Barb

        Thanks for replying. The Shastas are planted on east side of the house, so they get the morning sun. They’ve grown bushy there so seem to be doing well except for blooming. Maybe they still will bloom this year. I live in Ohio zone five.

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