Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – May 2016

It is time again for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides.

Near the back steps, a passalong dahlia is preparing for its second year in my garden, courtesy of Libby at An Eye For Detail. The foliage looks strong and flowers are forming. I neglected to dig the dahlia last fall so am relieved to see it made it through the winter.

Dahlia

Dahlia

In the upper left of the image above, fragrant Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) is inconveniently growing up through where the garden hose is stored and needs to be reined back. In front of the monarda, a few dark red leaves of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) are visible. Also here several plants of Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) are pushing upwards through some impertinent clover and a ground cover of Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft). Foliage of Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) peek through as well. The Aquilegia’s last remaining red flowers nod their heads.

Here is a closer look at the Echinacea and Aquilegia, with seeds formed on Iberis. The textures were not planned but do look interesting together.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

The other side of the steps features a long, sunny border fronted largely by Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy).

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Across the garden in its shadiest corner, several Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) responded well to the recent rains and have grown substantially. Their multi-hued foliage is rich and full for the moment. Meanwhile Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not) finished blooming, but the smaller silvery, patterned leaves add a bright pop to this planting area (lower left of image). In back at left fern-like foliage of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) and sword-like iris leaves add height and texture.

Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' (Coral Bells)

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

In a small nearby border with a bit more sun grows more Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’. Its companion Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ has similar coloring. A stand of self-seeded Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) with long green, leathery leaves gives a change in texture and color.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue) and Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' (Coral Bells) with Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) and Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) with Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Silvery shades of Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and soon to bloom Lavender complement more leaves of Bearded Iris.

Bearded Iris, Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear), Lavender

Bearded Iris, Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear), Lavender

Four Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ have been planted for about three years. Most are finally getting some size and buds are forming.

Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty'

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

One of the August Beauty gardenias has been eclipsed by its aggressive neighbors.  Soon the monarda will explode with red, inviting hummingbirds to sip its nectar, and dark pink flowers will grace the echinacea. But for now this spot is a relaxing green with Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ providing white accents—a cool, calm, peaceful interlude.

One Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty' has become swamped by surrounding plants.

One Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ has become swamped by surrounding plants.

Thanks to Christina at Garden of the Hesperides for hosting. Read her foliage update and see more links to foliage perspectives from many parts of the world.

20 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – May 2016

  1. Christina

    Thanks for this very interesting post highlighting all the lovely textures in your garden at present. The fresh greens do make the garden feel cool whereas the silver leaves dazzle in the sun, I love the textures in the image of the silver foliage. Thanks for joining GBFD for May.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Christina, I have been so focused on flowers this spring it was nice to step back and pay attention to the tapestries created by the foliage.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Lamb’s ear is rampant this year because I’ve done very little tidying. It’s blooming now in some places so I’ll just leave it and enjoy it for a while.

      Reply
  2. Tina

    You have some very nice combinations, the columbine, candytuft and coneflower are pretty together, as is the lovely grey grouping of the lavender, Lamb’s ear and iris. The ‘Big Top Bronze’ is a beauty, as well.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you Pauline. I think participating in GBFD has made me more conscious of how the foliage colors and textures can work together.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The rain has given me a good excuse to be lazy about the garden this year. I can’t let it go much longer as too many plants are competing to overrun the borders. the rain and the cooler spring has been wonderful though overall.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Beth. The winter was fairly mild and short. Still the dahlia suffered frost heave. There were tubers visible above ground that rotted but enough made it to survive.

      Reply
  3. Kris Peterson

    Your foliage is as healthy and beautiful as your flowers, Susie. I love that Heuchera. It’s not a species I’m familiar with and, noting that it also doesn’t appear in my western garden guide, that signifies that it probably won’t survive here.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Very kind Kris. The heuchera seems to do much better with generous amounts of rainfall. Thought I’d lost them last summer during our drought and heat wave.

      Reply
  4. rickii

    I tend to look at things that are foliage-only plants when foliage posts roll around. This was a nice departure, featuring the foliage of plants that will soon burst into bloom.

    Reply

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