Again I am joining Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday as she encourages garden bloggers to create fresh arrangements each Monday using materials found in our gardens.
A surprise flower, a lone sprig of the herb Tanacetum vulgare (Common tansy) with gold daisy-like buttons, was the starting point for this week’s vase.
Several blooms of Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ serve as focal flowers. Although I used ‘Yuletide’ last week also, choices are limited at this time of year. Besides, the heavy yellow stamens precisely echo the rich hue of the tansy.
Clippings of dark green cypress and chartreuse sedum feather out to soften the edges of the ceramic glazed container. Color and texture in the tips of the foliage accentuate the flowers.
Tanacetum vulgare (Common tansy)
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress
I missed last month but today I once again join Christina of Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD). To my dismay after many attempts I do not have deep or wide vistas where foliage is the main highlight, so I will concentrate on the foliage of individual plants.
After seeing how other gardeners rely on Brunnera, I added this silvery-leaved plant in spring and am pleased with the way it brightens up a dark corner. Its name is Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not).
Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower) is towering above the western border, adding welcome height and structure to that area.
Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) flowers profusely in spring but its foliage is attractive all summer. Here it is still covered in early morning dew.
The native Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) is forming flowers and will make a delicious meal later in the fall when the berries ripen to teenager purple.
The fern-like leaves of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) add nice textures to the border. This plant is very aggressive, but I have learned to be aggressive in pulling it out when it wanders too far.
Near the Tansy, something is eating the Ageratum. It has looked like this most of the summer. Most years I try to pull up the Ageratum so it does not overrun the border, but I have not been attentive enough to the garden this year. A few remain and the purple flowers will provide some relief to the autumn border. This is the first year the leaves have looked so poor.
In spring I began planting sedum in the hell strip between the sidewalk and the street where the grass refuses to grow. The sedum has not performed spectacularly but I think it is very slowly filling in. Before the homeowners association sends us a letter this fall telling us we need to replant our strip, I tried to get ahead of the game by also planting Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’ (Dwarf Mondo Grass) . It has been so miserably hot since I bought it last week I could only manage to get a small portion of it planted so far.
Also near the street is a small planting of shrubs encircling crape myrtles. I would very much appreciate it if someone can help identify this shrub. It is not one I love, but it requires very little maintenance and survives rain or drought equally well.
Visit Christina at Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for more Garden Bloggers Foliage Day features.
It is time to join Christina‘s Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), a monthly tribute to foliage.
Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ has been a rewarding addition to the garden this year and GBFD would not be complete without including it. The tips have deepened to a captivating, velvety red.
The leaves of this Wintergreen boxwood have taken on a bronze hue for winter.
This bronzing effect is a normal coloration change for this shrub, but it seems more noticeable this year.
The bluish-gray leaves of Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood) are unaffected so far by the cold.
This Ilex crenatea ‘Drops of Gold’ (Japanese Holly) was planted in front of the house in October. It lost some of its gold leaves from the stem tips a few weeks ago, but the plant seems to have stabilized now. It formed attractive, black berries, but only a few.
Mounds of Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion) catch late afternoon sunlight along the Southern side path.
A pot of mixed sedum adds texture and interest to a corner just inside the garden gate.
Fern-like leaves of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) offer surprisingly fresh greenery to the southwest corner.
Daffodils already are sending up leaves beneath the brittle canes of Lantana camara (Common lantana). The lantana will be pruned back hard in early spring.
This cheerful little mound of green is Iberis Sempervirens. Although Iberis died out in the meditation circle this summer, it is growing in several other spots around the garden. This one may be blooming soon.
This potted geranium’s leaf is punctuated with tangerine edges and strongly outlined veins.
Thanks to Christina of Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for hosting Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) each month. Check out her foliage observations and those of other GBFD participants.
Again I am joining Christina of Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD). I do not have deep or wide vistas where foliage is the main highlight, but will concentrate on the foliage of individual plants. Surprisingly some of the foliage in my garden appears nearly as it did in spring.
Aquilegia canadensis and Monarda didyma
Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) bloomed in mid-April and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) began the end of May. Both of these were cut back after blooming and Monarda has rebloomed in a few places. Here, grouped into bright- green triplets, the lobed leaves of Aquilegia have regrown into mounds of soft foliage through which opposite-facing and coarser-textured leaves of Monarda emerge on square stems. At the top of this image seed pods of Clematis (Spider Flower) are a clue that it is indeed August, rather than early spring.
Stachys byzantina and Achillea filipendulina
I pulled up lots of Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) during the summer and was more careful than usual to remove flowers this year before it could set seed. But here is Lamb’s Ear biding its time and sitting next to another rather aggressive grower, a dwarf Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow). The soft, hairy-textured silvery leaves of Lamb’s Ear contrast with the delicate fern-like leaves of this Yarrow.
Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’
This Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) spills out-of-bounds to soften the edge between the lawn and one section of the northeast border. The spear-shaped leaves are a pleasant grayish-green in color and are fairly aromatic.
I have trimmed this back several times this summer and while not evident here, it continues to form lavender-blue blossoms, though not as vigorously as when it first bloomed in early May. Another large mound of Nepeta, planted in the middle of this same border has been invisible most of the summer. It is surrounded by Echinacea and other taller plants and is essentially lost from view. I plan to relocate it toward the front of the borders where it can be seen and appreciated.
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
By mid-March Artemisia was forming slivery-green foliage that has added interest and contrast all summer. It flowered for several weeks from mid-to-late-June, after which I cut it back. The base of the plant is yellowing and looks a bit scraggly still, but these fresh new leaves are fine.
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’
Unlike many of the plants mentioned so far, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is one that has not already peaked this year and it is preparing to bloom. Its pale green, waxy-textured foliage is an interesting contrast to the other plants in the garden. This is the first time in many years this Sedum has been so poised and ready to make a statement in the fall. I attribute that to the plentiful rains during most of this summer.
Tanacetum vulgare and Salvia guaranitica
The foliage of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) has an even stronger fern-like quality than the Achillea. This is another rather tough-rooted spreader, but I have managed to contain it fairly well recently. Here it brightens up a dark corner of the border, along with leaves of Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue.’
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’
Each time I pass the yellow flowers with green centers of Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes,’ the strong shape and color of its leaves inevitably draw my attention. This leaf measures 10-by-7 inches.
Some plants in the Meditation Circle were chosen to withstand the hot, dry summers we have experienced in recent years. It is hard to prepare for every contingency. Though hot, this is a surprisingly wet summer that has improved the behavior of some plants and hurt others. Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ (Beardtongue) and Iberis sempervirens ‘Purity’ (Candytuft) have suffered the most. This time last year the Iberis formed a lush evergreen accent in the labyrinth.
Visit Christina at Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for more Garden Bloggers Foliage Day entries.
The garden is losing a sense of overall structure as autumn progresses, something I had planned to remedy when I started a renovation project last winter. Indeed there have been enhancements toward this end. The additions of a screening hedge of five ‘Blue Point’ junipers, a white picket fence enclosing the garden and a meditation circle with a labyrinth are all happy improvements. Still, the overall garden framework is and will be a work-in-progress.
Today I have set aside that larger view to concentrate on the textures that reveal themselves when one closely examines individual elements in the garden. With their leaves puddled around their bases or scattered into the neighbors’s yards, a river birch, a pair of crape myrtles and a Chinese elm prominently display interesting bark surfaces.
The rich green color and fern-like quality of tansy and yarrow leaves are lovely and welcome this time of year.
With mild temperatures in the seventies the yarrow continues to set buds, set off by the silvery narrow leaves of a nearby lavender.
Eastern red columbine adds garden interest year round. Though the colorful leaves are drying now they add contrast to the burgeoning hellebores leaves underneath.
Including plants of varying textures is a satisfying way to create garden interest and style. Looking back at my garden through the years, I find some textural combinations were planned arrangements, but happenstance is welcome in my world as well.
The fern-like leaves of tansy, narrow grass-like blades of tradescantia, unfurling softness of rose campion, and feathery wisps of artemisia provide textural contrasts to the structures of echinacea, phlox paniculata, sweet pea, and black-eyed Susan as well as to each other.