I missed last month but today I once again join Christina of Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD). To my dismay after many attempts I do not have deep or wide vistas where foliage is the main highlight, so I will concentrate on the foliage of individual plants.
After seeing how other gardeners rely on Brunnera, I added this silvery-leaved plant in spring and am pleased with the way it brightens up a dark corner. Its name is Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not).
Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower) is towering above the western border, adding welcome height and structure to that area.
Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) flowers profusely in spring but its foliage is attractive all summer. Here it is still covered in early morning dew.
The native Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) is forming flowers and will make a delicious meal later in the fall when the berries ripen to teenager purple.
The fern-like leaves of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) add nice textures to the border. This plant is very aggressive, but I have learned to be aggressive in pulling it out when it wanders too far.
Near the Tansy, something is eating the Ageratum. It has looked like this most of the summer. Most years I try to pull up the Ageratum so it does not overrun the border, but I have not been attentive enough to the garden this year. A few remain and the purple flowers will provide some relief to the autumn border. This is the first year the leaves have looked so poor.
In spring I began planting sedum in the hell strip between the sidewalk and the street where the grass refuses to grow. The sedum has not performed spectacularly but I think it is very slowly filling in. Before the homeowners association sends us a letter this fall telling us we need to replant our strip, I tried to get ahead of the game by also planting Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’ (Dwarf Mondo Grass) . It has been so miserably hot since I bought it last week I could only manage to get a small portion of it planted so far.
Also near the street is a small planting of shrubs encircling crape myrtles. I would very much appreciate it if someone can help identify this shrub. It is not one I love, but it requires very little maintenance and survives rain or drought equally well.
Visit Christina at Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for more Garden Bloggers Foliage Day features.
Great post and timely as you show severai plants I’ve been considering; the brunnera to lighten up a monocromatic spot near a bench… the oooh- love it’s versility-can’t find it at the nurseries-ophiopogon j. ‘nana’ to create a carpet under a fussy weeping maple. A red Aquilegia sounds fab for an area where I’ve begun introducing red and I’d not yet seen an image of a Callicarpa that hadn’t been dressed up for a catalogue or photo shoot-good to see it stands up to promises. The pollinators absolutely love my ageratum so I plant it each year for them…can’t say I’ve seen the leaves damaged like that…bean leaf beetle (if a veggie garden isnearby) or, my current plant marauders, the hated japanese beetles? Lastly, could your mystery plant be a small shrub/ground cover type of ilex/inkberry? Again, I enjoyed today’s post
Thanks for your comments. I definitely recommend the brunnera. Not sure where you’re located but I found ophiopogon at Southern States in Carrborro, NC. It would probably work well under your maple. I’m concerned the spot where I need it may get too much sun. Thanks for the ageratum and shrub suggestions–I’ll check them out.
An interesting appraisal of the foliage on your garden, Susie. Thank you for joining in again this month, your unknown shrub might be some kind of pittosporum but I’m not sure.
Thanks Christina. That shrub has always been a mystery. It has glossy leaves, some of which seems pointy, a bit like a holly.
Great post! I might suggest ‘Carissa’ holly as your mystery plant. I have one growing well in full sun and from your photograph it looks quite similar. You may want to go back to my first GBFD in June 2014 to see a photo which includes it for comparison. When I lived in Chapel Hill, I was always able to find dwarf mondo grass at Home Depot, and our local one here always seems to have it…all summer. I used it between paving stones. Given time it really does form a tight mat of greenery; I learned that it does much better with a bit of shade.
It might be the ‘Carissa’ holly. Mine is only about 3 feet tall (13 years) with minor pruning. Yours looks bigger. I appreciate that name and will look for some more images to verify. Thanks. I’ve heard the dwarf mondo grass can fill in slowly, I’ve been separating it into small plugs but probably should go ahead and plant each container with dividing.
That’s an interesting unknown shrub, a rounded and a pointed leaf on the same plant. I have just planted more Brunnera in a shadier spot, it’s a lovely plant when it flowers too. Have a lovely weekend.
Julie, I think the brunnera flowers are what first attracted me to that plant. Love the blue. Hope you have a great weekend too!
Your Brunnera is beautiful, it’s such a super plant for shade, brightening everything around it.
I hope your Ophiopogon soon grows and keeps the ” planting police” happy!
Thanks Pauline. I’m sure I saw Brunnera in your garden and then others last year, so had to get some. I still need to get the rest of the Ophiopogon planted soon so it will have time to fill in some, but it’s been too hot.
Lovely foliage. I didn’t know that Callicarpa berries are edible. How do you eat them?
Sorry for the confusion. I meant the birds would find the berries and eat them Chloris. I wouldn’t try them, but I did find an article that says they can be made into jelly. I can’t vouch for it but see more: http://www.eattheweeds.com/beautyberry-jelly-on-a-roll/
Oh right the birds. They don’ t really look very edible I don’ t think I would be tempted to try them.
Your unknown (and unloved?) shrub looks great and makes such a neat cushion and contrast to the crape myrtle. What a beautiful alternative to box and it’s evergreen, no?
Thanks Annette. Someone helped me ID this (underappreciated?) shrub as ‘Carissa’ holly. It has survived here much better than box would have and yes, it is evergreen–a nice plus.
That brunnera looks great for late August, I really don’t know why I never added one! How does it handle dry spells, or too much sun?
I like your holly too. It makes a nice evergreen lumpiness that I just can’t duplicate in my own colder zone, everything here want to either overgrow or gets too thin and ratty…. never that healthy green mound.
Your sedum does look to be struggling but I would be even more frustrated if the association chimed in. It’s bad enough to know a plant’s not happy where you put it, I would think it’s even worse when someone point it out!
The brunnera survived the dry spell and came back looking nice after we finally got rain. It doesn’t like too much sun (probably gets too much here but I don’t have a lot of shade). My husband’s idea is green astroturf–seems like the only thing really suitable for that strip between the street and sidewalk.
I do like the look of your evergreen shrub. I like my box trees which are similar and find them very easy to care for too, but it’s nice to see an alternative. And the Brunnera is magnificent in the shade, really shining out!
Thanks Cathy. It’s certainly useful to have some shrubs that are dependable. I’ve lost so many other kinds during the last 13 years here.
What a glorious photograph.
Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it Ann.
Your foliage is so green healthy and well trimmed…love the unknown shrub.
Thanks Donna. Seems like the shrub might be ‘Carissa’ holly. It’s nice to put a name to a face (or shrub).
I’m glad to know what that shrub is because I want to get one for my back garden. I like the look of it!
Hope you can find one of these shrubs then Felicia. These ‘Carissa’ hollies are easy growers.