Tag Archives: GBFD

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – March 2016

The 22nd of each month is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) hosted by  Christina at Garden of the Hesperides.

Spring arrived officially this week and today’s photos, taken March 19, reveal the season is well underway. I thought Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ was lost after last summer’s extreme heat so was happy to see these brightly-patterned leaves.

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

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

What a pleasure to discover the fresh leaves of emerging plants or watch the evergreen ones recover from the harsh conditions of winter. Here are a few glimpses of the late March foliage.

Thanks to Christina at Garden of the Hesperides for hosting. (She may be away this month.)

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – January 2016

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

It is time again for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), but everything along the East Coast except for bird feeders is shut down for the weekend, courtesy of Winter Storm Jonas.

Predictions for here in Chapel Hill were for 4-6 inches of snow, but in early afternoon we are getting freezing rain and sleet, 29°F (-1.6°C). Conditions were not bad when I went out to get the newspaper this morning and snapped several photos, but now most of the grass is white and roads are icy and dangerous.

Foliage Day Panorama 2016-01-22

Foliage Day Panorama 2016-01-22

I am using panoramas to help me study and evaluate the structural elements in the garden. So many trees and shrubs have died and I am making plans to tackle a plan for improvements. 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.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – November 2015

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' (Ascot Rainbow Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ (Ascot Rainbow Spurge)

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

Admittedly, I am a spring gardener and even this month’s welcoming mild temperatures and mostly sunny days have done little to reignite my interest in gardening for this year; however, after an uninspiringly hot, dry summer followed by several weeks of rainy deluges in early autumn, November has ushered in a calming, peaceful charm to my little garden.

After a couple of light frosts touched the plants, some of the more delicate specimens quickly retreated. Overall there is still a generous amount of green, but Hydrangea macrophylla offers an embarrassed blush, having never flowered this year.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla

Artemisia in the side garden retains much of its integrity.

Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (Wormwood)

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Anemone coronaria had a fine blooming season this spring and early summer, then it completely died back. It has achieved fresh new foliage in the past month or so.

Anemone coronaria

Anemone coronaria

Iberis did not bloom well this year, but the green leaves have revived. Achillea is extremely aggressive but I like its fern-like foliage.

Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow) and Iberis sempervirens

Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow) and Iberis sempervirens

Planted in late spring this shade-loving Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba) survived the tough summer and is now forming berries.

Aucuba japonica 'Variegata' (Gold Dust Aucuba)

Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba)

Also in the shade nearby, the ever-so-slow-growing Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box) sports dark green foliage.

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

In several places Daffodils are emerging. I used to worry about this odd behavior but they always manage.

Daffodils

Daffodils

Foliage of Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ adds nice texture and color to the border. Only a few leaves at the top of the plant suggest a rainbow. I have not grown this plant before so perhaps it will continue  to develop richer colors in the leaves, but the variegation is already quite nice.

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' (Ascot Rainbow Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ (Ascot Rainbow Spurge)

A few branches of Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower) display red leaves, but most have simply turned brown.

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

More red leaves, these are from the dwarf Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers.’

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers' (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

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

I moved a lot of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ out of the meditation circle and into the borders.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

There are plenty of fresh gray-green leaves of Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) around the garden.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Yesterday I planted three Gardenia jasminoides (cape jasmine) purchased from a farmers market vendor. The leaves on these species gardenias are much larger, thinner and less glossy than my other gardenias.

Gardenia jasminoides (cape jasmine)

Gardenia jasminoides (cape jasmine)

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.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – September 2015

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

I am joining Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD, today. After such a hot, dry summer I have not enjoyed much time in the garden lately. I usually am sad to say good-bye to summer, but Fall begins here tomorrow and I find myself relieved.

The dogwood has limped through these hot days. It gets too much sun in its 14-year temporary (let’s just put it here for now) location. A nearby juniper that used to provide it shade had to come down several years ago, leaving the dogwood quite exposed until the replacement tree can grow large enough to become its protector. Yesterday I noticed the dogwood is starting to form fruit. When I took these pictures, I believe I heard a deep, tired sigh.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

After displaying its beautiful flowers in mid-July this Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily) put itself to work on the task of increasing the show for next year. This is the first year I have grown Blackberry Lily and it is easy to understand why it got its name. Big green pods formed by mid-August and now a month later, these richly black seeds have emerged.

Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily)

Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily)

Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily)

Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) is native to Southeastern United States. This is a deciduous shrub with loose, open branching. The magenta berries are less visible than in other Callicarpa species, but the cardinals, finches and other birds in the garden find them easily.

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) blooms its heart out in early spring. After being cut back to the ground it drapes itself again in soft, fresh green leaves, making an attractive ground cover.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Thanks to Christina for hosting. Be sure to visit her to see her featured foliage and find links to other foliage highlights of other GBFD bloggers.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – August 2015

Betula nigra (River Birch)

Betula nigra (River Birch)

Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides hosts GBFD on the 22nd of each month to highlight the importance of foliage in our gardens. The past week has been unusually busy with little time for the garden so Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) sneaked up on me this month.

In a side garden along the front drive Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed ) has formed long okra-like seed pods. There are two other Asclepius tuberosa in the main garden, but neither has formed the pods.  I cannot find a label for the shrub in the background—some kind of slow-grower, a juniper I think. Visible in the upper left corner is a Betula nigra (River Birch) that grows at the street just on the edge of our property.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

I like the river birch. It began dropping leaves very early this summer because of the drought. The shaggy cinnamon-red bark is characteristic of this native tree.

Bark of native tree Betula nigra (River Birch)

Bark of native tree Betula nigra (River Birch)

By the way a week ago in another part of the garden I saw my first Monarch(s) of the year. I usually see them in October here. Without a camera on two consecutive days, I watched one nectaring on remnant flowers of a Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes.’ There is something special about seeing the Monarchs that raises a feeling of gladness and appreciation.

I was recently complaining about how that Rudbeckia had been knocked over in a storm and needed to be cut back, but now I think I will leave it a bit longer.  A child of that one, the ‘Irish Eyes’ below is in the side garden just at the gate. It splayed over also after the same storm, but I managed to tie it up. It is not blooming much now but the foliage is still looking healthy. It received some extra water this summer because I was filling a nearby bird bath almost daily. In the background the river birch is visible again.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Silvery Dusty Miller has spread with wild abandon in the western border. It is easy to pull out when I finally decide “Enough,” so I let it roam this summer. It is not as attractive when it flowers so it is time to clip it back. Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is new this year. Fresh new leaves of Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) add softness to this area.

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' (Ascot Rainbow Spurge) and Dusty Miller

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ (Ascot Rainbow Spurge) and Dusty Miller

Thanks to Christina for hosting. Be sure to visit her to see her featured foliage and find links to other foliage highlights of other GBFD bloggers.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – July 2015

Aegopodium podagraria (bishop's weed) with Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes) caterpillar

Aegopodium podagraria (bishop’s weed) with Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes) caterpillar

I am joining Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD, today. Usually by this point in the summer everything is brown and crisped by the hot July sun. The days have been intensely hot and oftentimes storms have passed us by without providing any nourishing rain, but by watering selectively I have managed to keep the perennials and annuals from dying back this summer.

Years after accepting and planting a friend’s offering of Aegopodium podagraria (bishop’s weed), I discovered it is invasive, so when visitors admire it I have gently refused their requests to share. Yesterday I found a colorful Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillar among its leaves.

I plan every year to tackle eradicating it but other areas of the garden get my attention instead. The variegated version that I have is supposed to be less problematic, and honestly, except for the guilt, it has made a wonderful ground cover along the narrow northern side of my house.

Aegopodium podagraria (bishop's weed) with Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes) caterpillar

Aegopodium podagraria (bishop’s weed) with Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes) caterpillar

Aegopodium podagraria (bishop's weed) with Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes) caterpillar

Aegopodium podagraria (bishop’s weed) with Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes) caterpillar

Note: This summer I have enjoyed seeing and trying to identify butterflies. I have photographed quite a few yellow and black Eastern Tiger Swallowtails (Papilio glaucus) this month. When I looked up this caterpillar and discovered it to be a swallowtail I thought it was the Eastern Tiger that I had been seeing so often; however, when captioning my images into WordPress I finally realized I had two different swallowtails. The caterpillar is Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes).

The elephant ears in the blue planter have recovered since the last time I showed them, although they still scorch from the hot sun and they stay thirsty. They are uncooperative when I photograph them but they look nice against the Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ (Blue Point Juniper) hedge.

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Black Coral’  (Black Coral Elephant Ear)

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Black Coral’ (Black Coral Elephant Ear)

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Black Coral’  (Black Coral Elephant Ear)

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Black Coral’ (Black Coral Elephant Ear)

Another ground cover I like, Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper) has lived up to its name and has spread across a path into a well-behaved section of Sedum.

Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper) creeping into Sedum

Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper) creeping into Sedum

Planted in March this Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ (Ascot Rainbow Spurge) tends to be lost among the running perennial Dusty Miller. The Dusty Miller needs to be reined in and sheared back. In spring this bed was full of columbine and the rainbow effect of the Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ foliage stood out better.

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' (Ascot Rainbow Spurge), perennial Dusty Miller

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ (Ascot Rainbow Spurge), perennial Dusty Miller

There still is plenty of Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) spreading itself around. Its leaves look fresh and green.

Liriope muscari, perennial Dusty Miller, Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Liriope muscari, perennial Dusty Miller, Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

perennial Dusty Miller, Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

perennial Dusty Miller, Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Another Euphorbia  purchased this spring has lovely color. It is called ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge).

Euphorbia 'Shorty' (Shorty Spurge) with Iris leaf

Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge) with Iris leaf

Euphorbia 'Shorty' (Shorty Spurge) with Iris leaf

Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge) with Iris leaf

Many insects like this dragonfly seem to gravitate to the flowers that are spent or the foliage that is brown, at least when I am trying to photograph them. This is a female (males have the white tails) Common whitetail or long-tailed skimmer (Plathemis lydia) perching atop an iris leaf. In the background is airy foliage of Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow).

Common whitetail or long-tailed skimmer (Plathemis lydia)

Common whitetail or long-tailed skimmer (Plathemis lydia)

Thanks to Christina for hosting. Be sure to visit her to see her featured foliage and find links to other foliage highlights of other GBFD bloggers.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – June 2015

A second post today—time again for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides.

Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)

The foliage of three Daphne odora shrubs in the mixed hedge along the front porch has made a significant recovery. After the harsh cold winter their leaves were very brown and I worried they would not survive. Now it looks quite healthy.

The river birch (not pictured) has been losing leaves for a month because of the dry weather and high temperatures. The front lawn is littered with them, making it look more like autumn is coming.In front a low compact hedge of Carissa Holly surrounds a crape myrtle on either side of the walkway. This area has not received any supplemental water, meaning it is holding up pretty well. The fescue lawn should recover but not until fall.

Ilex cornuta 'Carissa' (Carissa Holly) and Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

Ilex cornuta ‘Carissa’ (Carissa Holly) and Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

In back of the house where I have been watering, the garden is a mixed story. A new planter featuring Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Black Coral’ (Black Coral Elephant Ear) looks very sad. All the plants were designated for full sun, but Euphorbia Diamond Delight is the only one living up to its name.

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Black Coral’  (Black Coral Elephant Ear)

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Black Coral’ (Black Coral Elephant Ear)

Foliage on Hydrangea macrophylla understandably shows distress from the sun. But I am surprised to see the leaves of Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy) looking sunburned as well.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hylotelephium telephium 'Herbstfreude' (Autumn Joy)

Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy)

Here are a sample of other plants around the garden whose foliage is looking healthy this week despite the weather.

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