Springtime foliage in April for GBFD.

Lovely new foliage is appearing on all the trees and shrubs now, in just a couple of weeks, bare trees have turned to such beautiful shades  of green. The fresh greens of the hedges in all our lanes is such a delicate shade of green and there are so many different shades in the garden too. I’ll start with a long shot taken from just outside the back door, in this view, there are hardly any flowers, but I hope it still looks interesting.

View from backdoor

Philadelphus coronarius Aureus

Philadelphus coronarius Aureus in the back garden,  is making a big splash of colour with its new leaves. This has grown quite a bit sideways and must be pruned back as it is getting in the way of the lawn mower, but it will be pruned once it has flowered.

Tapestry of Dicentra, henerocallis etc.

A tapestry effect formed by Dicentra, Hemerocallis, Rhododendron, Milleum effusum Aureum and Pulmonaria.

Heuchera withStipa arundinacea

A purple leaved Heuchera with Stipa arundinacea. Also contrasting with the Heuchera is the foliage of an allium.

Heuchera, Stipa and narcissus foliage

Another heuchera with another clump of Stipa arundinacea contrasting with the blue/grey foliage of narcissus.


Lovely new growth on Pieris variegata contrasts beautifully with the old variegated leaves, who needs flowers when the new leaves are as beautiful as this?

Acer Collage jpg

Having really stunning bracts protecting the new leaves is Acer Osakazuki. The bracts are the colour that the leaves turn in the autumn and the flowers which you can see drooping down are the same colour. A few years ago I planted some seed and now have two tiny trees which turn the same colour as their parent in the autumn.

Stipa arundinacea

Stipa arundinacea contrasting with  foliage to the right, left and behind. This seeds freely in this bed and some have to be removed  each year otherwise it would take over.

Dicentra with martagon lily

More Dicentra, this time with a Martagon Lily and at the front is the foliage and flower bud of Meconopsis cambrica, the Welsh Poppy.

Meconopsis Lingholm

Another Meconopsis, this time M. Lingholm, the beautiful blue poppy which should be flowering in a few weeks.  The foliage is so hairy you can stroke it!

Acanthus mollis

The foliage of Acanthus mollis has been fantastic all winter with us not having a frost. Usually it collapses into an untidy heap, but this year has just kept on growing.

Pittosporum Tom Thumb

Pittosporum Tom Thumb with a ladybird. The new growth on Tom Thumb starts off green but soon turns dark purple. This variety stays small, it grows to about two and a half feet high.

Lysimachia ephemerum

Lovely new foliage of Lysimachia ephemerum emerges this beautiful colour but soon turns green.

Brunnera Jack Frost

Such a beautiful plant, Brunnera Jack Frost always features in Foliage Day and Bloom Day. The leaves are so beautiful and stay like this till autumn.

Matteuccia struthiopteris

With the morning light shining through it, I think the fern Matteuccia struthiopteris looks beautiful. This fern really likes the moist soil in the bog garden.

Astilbe, saxifrage and veronica

Astilbe, saxifrage and veronica mingling together to make a pleasing pattern.

Asplenium scolopendrium

Asplenium scolopendrium is slowly unfurling, looking almost snake like.  This fern puts itself around the garden and seems very happy here, contrasting with other leaf shapes.


Colourful foliage of Spirea  japonica Goldflame stays for a long while but eventually changes to pale green.

Pieris Forest Flame

Pieris Forest Flame, still a small bush but if it grows much more it will need moving.

Unknown tree in front garden

I seem to remember that this tree is a cross between a Copper Beech and an English Oak to mark the wedding of Winston Churchill and his american bride Clemantine. As you can see, the leaves are the colour of the copper beech but the shape of an oak leaf. The pretty flowers are hanging down and later fruit is formed which look like beech nuts, but they seem to be sterile unfortunately. Can anyone help with its name?

Box balls

We can still see the box balls, they will need cutting back before they get hidden by all the foliage of the roses round them. About twenty years ago they were just tiny cuttings, now they are so solid you could almost sit on them.

Cardoon and other silvers

A few silvers together, the main one is a Cardoon, on the right is some foliage of an Hemerocallis, to the left is a geranium, looking rather silver. In the front is a lily with double feverfew.


Lambs Ear or Stachys are next to more hemerocallis and a wild Arum seems to have got in on the act, must remember to move it as they are everywhere.

Euphorbia griffithii Fireglow

Euphorbia griffithii Fireglow moves around a bit in the border by the field, You can tell that I haven’t weeded this border yet -apologies!

Lemon balm

Lemon balm seeds around everywhere so I have to be strict with it, here it is nestling up to knapweed, Centaurea, which has lovely deep blue flowers in the summer, they look nice together. We quite often keep the lemon balm under control by making a lemon tea from it or some lemon ice cream, it’s good when you can eat your enemies!

Libertia peregrinans

In the border by the back door is Libertia peregrinans with Fuchsia Genii behind, they are almost the same colour but there is a contrast in the shapes. There is also some Ophiopogon and  Festuca glauca.

Colchicum and Fuchsia Genii

At the other side of Fuchsia Genii is a clump of Colchicums. At the moment the leaves are very lush, but when the flowers come in the autumn, the leaves have all died away, hence their common name of Naked Ladies.

Pittosporum Irene Patterson

Pittosporum Irene Patterson has very pretty leaves variegated with white, some leaves are almost all white. It is flowering at the moment with its chocolate brown/maroon flowers. This forms quite a large shrub.

Heuchera, millium effusum aureum

Heuchera with Millium effusum aureum and Narcissus foliage looking quite pretty together at the moment, it might be another matter when the narcissus leaves start to die back!

Adiantum venustum

Looking oh, so delicate in the woodland is the hardy maidenhair fern, Adiantum venustum. This pushes up through a carpet of foliage of Cyclamen hederifolium. When the fronds first appear they are brown but soon change to green with black stalks.


Just starting to unfurl its leaves is a Cotinus bush, it is planted next to a Euonymous which has climbed up the hedge behind it and is now at least 10ft tall. The Cotinus gets cut back every few years to keep its shape, plus also the leaves are better when it has had the chop!

Euphorbia melliferra

Euphorbia melliferra is flowering at the moment wafting honey perfume over the garden when the wind is in the right direction, especially in the evenings. The foliage is evergreen here, so even when the flowers are over and the flowering stems have been cut back, the bush still has presence.

Actinidia kolomikta

Climbing the wall beside the dining room window is Actintidia kolomikta, a cousin of the Kiwi Fruit. The variegation is just starting to appear, leaves are partly splashed with white or pink, the white will eventually turn pink, but while it has both colours, it is very pretty.

Long view through to back

I will finish with another long view, this time through the Rhododendron bed to the back garden. There is a path way through this bed to help with weeding etc, so I quite often look up and this is what I see. Apart from just 2 pathetic flowers on the rhodo bush, this view is just different shades of green. In the background on the right is a yew bush, then to the left by the archway to the woodland is an Acer with feathery foliage, next to Philadelphus coronarius aureus. Right at the top you can see the new fresh leaves coming on all the chestnut trees, the oaks and ash have still to wake up from their winter sleep.

The 22nd of the month is time for us all to look at and appreciate the foliage in our gardens.  Christina at My Hesperides Garden is good enough to host this meme each month, please pay her a visit to see foliage in gardens around the world.


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April Flowers for GBBD.

This month of April is rushing by without giving me a chance to catch my breath and enjoy all that it has to offer. No sooner does one lot of plants come into flower, than another is pushing forward, trying to be the centre of attention. Trying to appreciate  them all is almost impossible.

I’m starting with a small flowered ground cover, Claytonia virginica, which has almost white flowers, striped with pink. It seeds gently around, all mine seem to be in semi shaded borders where they show up nicely. They have spoon shaped succulent leaves and grow from tiny black tubers. They never seem to come up in the same place twice, I’m always pleased to see wherever they decide to put themselves.


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Who’s looking over our hedge?

Some of you may remember me writing a couple of posts about the land next door, in the grounds of what was the village school,  being sold for development, click here and here if you would like to read  about how I was trying to protect our dormouse habitat. This post is an update on how the building is going.

This is the view taken last August before the building could be seen over the hedge.

This is the view taken last August before the building could be seen over the hedge.

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It’s Blossom Time again.

The garden has been producing wave after wave of flowers, snowdrops, crocus, narcissus and now it’s blossom time once more. Time to lift up our heads and look above head height at all the flowers that are open at the moment.

Cherry tree

By the entrance is a cherry which the previous people planted, it has two seasons when it stands out, now with all its lovely blossom and then later, in the autumn when the leaves turn a delicious orange/red.

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Through the window.

When starting the garden here, many, many years ago, I felt that whichever part we were doing had to look right from inside the house as well as from outside. So many times, I would mark things out, usually with a hosepipe, then rush back inside to see if it looked ok, if not, then back outside, move the markers a bit and try again. Eventually when I was satisfied with the shapes I had marked out, grass could be cut back, (everywhere was just grass to start with, except for a few shrubs) soil improved and planting started.
We’ll start with a view from the landing window, the shape of the border had been decided by the previous people and filled with shrubs. This is how it stayed for a good number of years until I decided to make the front half into the Bee and Butterfly border and the back half  where we have the silver birches and red stemmed Cornus in the winter., something of interest for 12 months of the year.

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The Woodland in March. EOMV.

The white of the snowdrops has changed into the yellow of the narcissus, which means that the woodland looks totally different now that the warm sunshine has finished off the flowers of the snowdrops and crocus. Each day when I come for a wander, I find something new which has opened overnight, but also, looking with a critical eye, I’m thinking of what I can add to make it look more interesting in certain places where all the early flowers have faded.

The first view is the woodland border from the back garden.

Woodland border

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Shhhh…. don’t tell the Pheasant!

I keep hearing the pheasant on the field next to us, I start getting worried when I hear him in the garden, I am really worried when I hear him in the woodland. So far I have chased him 3 times out of the woodland, what a noise he makes then. Why all this bother some of you may be thinking? Last year just as all my snakeshead fritillaries or Fritillaria meleagris, were coming into flower, he decided they would make a very tasty breakfast and started eating them, or just taking a bite out of a few of them. However, this year, so far,  the fritillaries seem to have escaped damage and are now opening and looking as they should, thank goodness!

Snakeshead fritillaries

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St. Patrick, King Alfred and friends.

This year St. Patrick is just a week late, last year he was a whole month late, presumably  because of the ice and snow that we had last March.  St. Patrick has only just started to open, but better late than never. With a sudden drop in the temperature over the last few days, flowers seem to be on hold for the moment, as if they don’t want to open any further, just in case.

St. Patrick

St Patrick has arrived!

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Foliage for March. GBFD.

The beautiful warm sunshine that we have enjoyed for about two weeks has unfortunately gone, the wind has turned from the warm south and is now coming from the icy north! The warm spell has meant that new growth has been popping up everywhere, I hope that it doesn’t regret it when temperatures drop to near freezing at night. I keep reminding myself that at this time last year we had snow and freezing temperatures, so we haven’t done too badly this month with the warm spell that brought an end to all the awful rain which lasted for months.  At last, our garden is drying out and at we have been able to cut the grass and clear away all the dead foliage from last year, what a difference just doing that has made!

Newly emerged foliage of Meconopsis Lingholm, so hairy you could stroke it.

Newly emerged foliage of Meconopsis Lingholm, so hairy you could stroke it.

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March Flowers for GBBD.

For over a week now we have had lovely warm sunshine, it has been wonderful working in the garden without a coat and feeling the sun on my back once more. Bit by bit, all the tidying jobs that we weren’t able to do because of the non stop rain over the winter, are now getting done. I think I can say that half the garden is looking nice and tidy. If the lovely weather continues, then maybe in another week I will have a tidy garden once more! The sunshine has made such a difference to the flowers, lots are now flowering, but most of the snowdrops are now over, they don’t like the hot sun! I will start with G.Baxendales Late, the only one that is still looking bright and perky.

G. Baxendales Late

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