Time again for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides.
This very hot, dry May has been a tough month for the garden. A sprinkling of rain on Thursday brought scarcely enough drops to acknowledge. Temperatures at least are cooler and the weekend is forecast to be sunny and beautiful.
Trying to make a positive comment as she walked along the borders the other day, one honest neighbor suggested, “I bet this was really beautiful last week.” Indeed the garden is moving past is best for this year, but there are a few places where May foliage stands out. Any water droplets on the leaves are probably from nearly daily hand waterings.
I like the loose feathery texture of Liatris spicata ‘Floristan Weiss’ (Gayfeather). Two of these planted in the northwest corner this year they are beginning form flower spikes.
There is a mostly sunny garden, but I protect a few shade-loving plants by situating them under a large juniper in the southwest corner. Heuchera, Hellebore, Brunnera, Phlox divaricata. Tansy, with its ferny foliage, prefers full sun, but underground rhizomes keep it spreading into this area anyway. Similarly, it seems Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue,’ which can take sun or part shade, is spreading in close around the silver-leaved Brunnera.
Also in this area is a pass-along Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box), which after several years now is still very tiny. I look forward to its fragrance when it decides the time has come to bloom.
Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba) was added in spring and has adapted well. It may soon get too large for its location but I purchased it because its foliage is nice for flower arrangements, not actually because I had the appropriate space.
Moving down into the southern border Daylilies and Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ make a nice paring. Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower) nestled under the artemisia by its own desire.
A spring addition to the garden Camellia x ‘Koto-no-kaori’ shows some yellowing of foliage, but seems to be settling in well along the back fence of the western border.
Nearby, Gardenia jasminoides ‘Frost Proof’ looks happy also and seems poised to bloom.
Dusty Miller makes a nice ground cover that spreads itself around easily, but is easy to pull out.
The exact name of this passalong is a source of curiosity. I have not been able to identify it definitely. Christina once suggested it could be simply a fine-leaved artemisia. Someone else suggested Jacobaea maritima (Silver Ragwort) formerly Senecio cineraria. That one looks more like one that is commonly sold as an annual around here. Whatever the name, at this time of year it looks its best, whether forming a large patch of silver or photobombing a new-this-spring Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow.’
Maybe hundreds of Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) volunteers are vying for a spot in the garden.
Anemone coronaria provided a huge boost of color in early spring. I have not quite known what to do with them now so have just been letting them die back. One of two flowers still pop up, but mostly the seed heads are are providing the interest.
Two large specimens of Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ are zipping upward and outward. This one is against the fence in the western border. Another one fills a corner at the southern side path entrance.
Visit Christina at Garden of the Hesperides for a look around her Italian garden and find links to foliage perspectives from many parts of the world.