Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – March 2015

Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

It is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), an opportunity to notice the value foliage plays in the garden, as feature or support. GBFD is hosted by Christine at  Creating my own garden of the Hesperides.

This month I have been trimming back and clearing last year’s growth to make way for emerging perennials and bulbs. In the grace period before the acoustic imposition of air conditioners and lawn mowers begins, this a quiet time in the garden. Peaceful. There is space for birdsong and thought.

During this cleanup I welcome back old garden favorites, delight at greeting new additions from fall plantings, and occasionally panic upon finding things I cannot quite recognize as friend or foe.

Last April I purchased a lupine from a local garden center and placed it at the back of the border. It had a few blooms but I hope it is established now and will provide a better show. Its palmate whorls look fresh and eager.

Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) sits near the gate at the northern entrance to the garden. Recently I trimmed back all the brown stems from last year to find its gray-green new growth.

Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Catmint)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint)

Irises are among the old friends I look forward to each year. Suddenly strong new sword-shaped leaves have begun reaching upwards. These Iris germanica (Bearded iris) are cherished pass-alongs from a long-ago neighbor.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ began budding before I had time to prune it this year.

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

In autumn I planted Anemone coronaria (‘Admiral’, ‘Bride,’ and ‘Mr. Fokker’) and for a few weeks I have been happily watching the leaves emerge. I am afraid the voles have damaged many, but I cannot think how to negotiate a truce with them.

Anemone coronaria

Anemone coronaria

Last spring the buds on the Coral Delight Camellia were damaged by a cold snap, but this year its flowers are beginning to open. Actually there must have been one flower last year that made it as evidenced by this thick, hard seed pod that was still attached to the bush.

Camellia x 'Coral Delight' Seedpod

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’ Seedpod

Thanks to Christine at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for hosting GBFD each month.

25 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – March 2015

  1. Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening

    Nice display of foliage. I always enjoy incorporating interesting foliage into the garden for when the blooms fade and your lumpines and iris are a perfect example of this. It’s also so nice to see your nepeta sprouting new growth. It’s still pretty cold here and we just had another snowfall…so it is nice to see your garden underway!

    Reply
  2. Pauline

    It’s wonderful when all the new foliage starts popping up everywhere. Your lupin foliage is beautiful, it must contrast with everything around it. Spring is such a lovely season, everything fresh and new, there are times when I wish I could press a pause button!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      That pause button would be the garden gadget of the century Pauline! I’ve been trying to take a few minutes each day to just sit on bench in front of the meditation circle, listening to the birds and enjoying the new green that is springing up.

      Reply
  3. Christina

    Quiet in the garden is s spring and autumn thing here too, Susie. All too soon the diesel motors that pump water for irrigation of the fields around us are a 24 hour a day intrusion. The lupin foliage is nearly as lovely as the flowers, I do hope they will flower better for you this year, did you move them to the front of the border; I remember you saying that last year they were hidden at the back. Thanks for participating in GBFD this month. your Iris leaves look wonderful at this time of year.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Noise in the environment is something I wish we could better control. It’s difficult for birds to hear calls, etc. I didn’t move the lupine yet, but think I still might have time. What do you think? The garden looks flat right now but soon the lupine will be hidden again.

      Reply
  4. mattb325

    The lupin foliage looks great – it’s come along quite nicely so that is a fair indicator of healthy flowers! I love the catmint, it also does very well on my sandy soils, mine is in flower at the moment, but it do love its first green-grey shoots!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I like your prediction for the lupine flowers Matt. My catmint get tired looking by the end of the season. Nice you can keep it in flower as you head into autumn.

      Reply
  5. Chloris

    I love the fresh new foliage on lupins, specially when it has been raining and a raindrop collects in the centre. When I was a child I thought that fairies drank from it. I was always hanging about the lupins trying to catch a glimpse of them.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I know just how that raindrop looks on the lupine (maybe even have a photo). I don’t actually remember seeing them when I was growing up. You could do worse than hanging around lupines!

      Reply
  6. Cathy

    The lupin leaves are so pretty I would grow them just for the foliage if I could. Sadly they are a favourite treat for the snails here! You have put it into words so well… welcoming old friends, and the odd moment of panic when you can’t find something that should already be shooting. I know those feelings so well!

    Reply
  7. Suffolk Pebbles

    the shape of the leaves on your lupin is so attractive. It is nice to welcome back favourites in the garden and even more special when they have been gifted to you as in the case of your irises.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The lupine foliage is a real bonus and I do hope the flowers will be nice too. Yes, my garden is full of people–people who shared their plants over the decades. Susie

      Reply
  8. P&B

    Lovely Lupine! It looks beautiful even without the flower. I used to have it in the garden but have no idea what happened to it, it just disappeared one year.

    Reply
  9. rickii

    I’m enjoying your rhetoric as much as your visuals: “acoustic imposition”, case in point. A hearty YES to the lupine as a foliage plant. I even know someone who cuts off the flowering stalks so as not to distract.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Oh, glad you liked that phrase. I almost threw it away, Rickii. Doesn’t roll off the tongue very easily, but does capture my dismay with all the manmade noises in our little neighborhood. I couldn’t bear to trim off the lupine flowers.

      Reply
  10. Donna@Gardens Eye View

    It’s funny but in late fall many of my plants, especially natives, are putting on new growth so when the snow covers them they stay dormant. And when the snow melts they have a head start growing…I know this is true of my lupines as I saw them in late fall in the meadow.

    Reply
  11. bittster

    Lupines and iris have some of the nicest spring foliage out there in my opinion, beautiful photos of them!
    Shame about the anemones, I hope the voles don’t keep at it but I have to say what’s left looks extremely promising!

    Reply

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