Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – April 2017

Today is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides. It’s been too busy around my house the past few months to blog regularly as my husband recovers from surgeries. (He is doing well and continues to get physical therapy to help him regain strength.)

But today I planned to join Christina in looking at the part foliage plays around the garden and as there still are a few hours before the day ends, here goes. I refuse to show a photo of the Italian cypress, one of three planted last fall, mown down in its youth by voles. [I discovered it simply leaning over the other day. How I wish there were an easy and practical solution for controlling those creatures]. So, here is more interesting foliage that caught my eye this week.

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) is looking great in the meditation circle.

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’  (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea) took several years to get established but is looking strong this spring.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

The soft silvery mound formed by Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ foliage is appealing in springtime.

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ at the southern side path entrance has tripled itself. Although it looks fine here alongside this Asclepias, it will soon tower 6 feet.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) and Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

This little beauty is Itea virginica ‘Sprich’ LITTLE HENRY (Virginia sweetspire). It was planted last fall (along with the fateful cypress vole fodder.) I have admired this shrub on other blogs and am looking forward to having it in my garden.

Itea virginica ‘Sprich’ LITTLE HENRY (Virginia sweetspire)

Shasta daisies have helped themselves to an entire border. I push back occasionally and pass along plants to friends, but the foliage is evergreen and in summer the flowers will be welcome, so for the most part I just enjoy them.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Visit Christina at Garden of the Hesperides for a look around her remarkable Italian garden and find links to foliage perspectives from many parts of the world.

12 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – April 2017

  1. Kris Peterson

    I’m sorry to hear about the voles, Susie! (They’re clearly worse than raccoons.) Nonetheless, all your fresh green spring foliage is lovely. I wish I could grow that penstemon (I’ve tried) but we do have Artemisia and Shasta Daisy foliage in common.

  2. Christina

    Amazing that voles could cause a tree to topple! I’m so sorry as the pencil form of the cypress would have been great in your garden. I also have Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’, but it always looks rather ragged, I think it needs more humidity which it would have in your garden, mine also gets infested with blackfly, one of the only plants I grow that is attacked. All your foliage looks lovely and fresh and healthy; thanks for participating.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The trees were still small, maybe a couple of feet. A year or so before you visited some much larger ones fell victim as well. The problem could be moles, which tunnel but supposedly don’t eat plants. I have both this year and they’re very active. My neighbors do also. My Artemisia looked ragged too but cutting it back severely brought it back.

  3. Pauline

    I’m so glad your husband is recovering, it is such a worry when they aren’t well.
    Your Penstemon digitalis Husker Red always look good in your meditation circle. I’m wondering if our mole is doing the same as your vole, to one of my pencil Cypresses, it is leaning and looking decidedly unhappy!

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Pauline, thanks for the good wishes. I’m keeping you and your husband in my thoughts as well. stay strong. I’m told moles tunnel but never eat plants. They like grubs and earthworms. Voles eat plants. I think they’re acting in concert at my house. Hope you find a way to protect your pencil cypress.

  4. theshrubqueen

    Spring is really coming along in your garden. Ruby Slippers is a new variety of Oakleaf to me and looks just lovely, is the fall color brilliant red? I had terrible voles in my previous garden and controlled them by rolling the lawn every spring, they left me alone after the first year but it had to be done every spring. Glad to hear your husband is doing well.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Yes, it feels like spring is hurrying too quickly. We had temps near 90 last week. Today we’re back to 54F though. The Oakleaf does have nice red foliage in fall. The moles and voles are living in my garden beds mostly and only incidentally in the lawn, so can’t really find a good way to treat them. I’m too squeamish to set traps.

      1. theshrubqueen

        It is always weird to me when it is hotter there! Especially in April. I would recommend planting some Miss Huff Lantana and getting a cat with a taste for wildlife for further vole abatement.

  5. Brian Skeys

    It is only when you look close at foliage that you realise how many shades of green there are. Huskers red is a favourite penstemon, sadly I have lost mine.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Brian, hope you can find a replacement for your Huskers red. It was the first penstemon I ever grew. Since then I’ve come to realize how many different penstemons there are, so am trying to add a few different ones.


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