Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – August 2014

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).

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

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.

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

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.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

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.

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

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.

Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)

Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)

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.

Ageratum

Ageratum

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.

Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana' (Dwarf Mondo Grass)

Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’ (Dwarf Mondo Grass)

Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana' (Dwarf Mondo Grass) and sedum in the devil's strip

Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’ (Dwarf Mondo Grass) and sedum in the devil’s strip

 

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.

Unknown shrub

Unknown shrub

Unknown shrub

Unknown shrub

Visit Christina at Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for more Garden Bloggers Foliage Day features.

25 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – August 2014

  1. mamadeyoung2012

    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

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      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.

      Reply
  2. Christina

    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.

    Reply
  3. johnvic8

    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.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      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.

      Reply
  4. Julie

    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.

    Reply
  5. Pauline

    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!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      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.

      Reply
  6. Annette

    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?

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      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.

      Reply
  7. bittster

    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!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      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.

      Reply
  8. Cathy

    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!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      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.

      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