August Foliage GBFD

Some of the foliage in the garden has started to take on autumnal tints, but I am not ready for autumn yet!  This first one is a photo of the leaves of Geranium Spinners


lamium orvala

Lamium orvala is getting redder and redder as the weeks go by.


Mahonia Charity has taken on some beautiful hues, whether this is as a result of all the rain, I don’t know, but it looks beautiful.


Such a beautiful pale blue on the leaves of this Elymus which is now starting to seed gently around the garden. The grasses don’t seen fazed by all the rain.


Pheasant tail grass, or as I knew it, Stipa arundinacea, but now goes by another name which I can’t find at the moment. This seeds around rather too much for my liking but is easy to pull out where not wanted.


These Rhododendron leaves are showing where the white covering on the new leaves is being washed off by our persistent rain.

Rhododendron showing indumentum

If the leaves are turned over, you will find that some of them are covered with a lovely surface of felt/velvet, called indumentum, which are tiny hairs.

Darmera peltata

Usually by now, Darmera peltata has collapsed in a heap through lack of moisture. It was already here when we moved here and it has been planted in ordinary soil. It is a bog plant and should be in much wetter soil, but it copes. This year it is showing me how it should be if only it had plenty of moisture all the time. I have tried moving it a couple of times but it has its massive roots under rocks so I think it will have to stay where it is.


This fern was only bought this year when we visited Bowden Hostas and it seems to be enjoying its new home. Carrot Fern is the common name of Onychium japonicum and it contrasts nicely with the hostas around it.


Miscanthus variegatus is still making it impossible for me to walk round the far side of the pond, maybe I ought to have it in a corset? The yellow daisy flower in the background is Inula helenium, it grows to about 10ft!


Sorry, don’t know the name of this large succulent, bought it one year when the garden was open to the public for a focal point in a border, each year now I wonder where to put it as it is getting bigger and bigger. Moving it into the conservatory each winter is becoming more and more of a problem.

Stipa gigantea

Good old Stipa gigantea really comes into its own when the sun eventually shines.

Miscanthus sinensis Strictus

Miscanthus sinensis Strictus has horizontal bands of yellow, makes a change from all the vertical stripes. This was bought as Zebrinus but as this one is so upright I think it must be Strictus.


Now to the downside to all our rain. Most of the plants have responded by growing twice as tall, forming twice as many flowers, it has been wonderful. But there are a couple of plants that are decidedly not happy. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has killed a house plant through overwatering and I’m sure  this has happened to this variegated Weigela. The left half looks as if it is dying with just a shoot on the right which seems ok. Might have to try cutting it all back to see if it shoots again next year or do I just wait, do let me know what you think.


The honeysuckle over the arbour in the back garden was supposed to provide shade from the sunshine ( ha ha) its just as well it wasn’t needed because it has dropped most of its leaves and the flowers are pathetic.


Here’s a closer look at the bare stems, usually at this time of year the perfume from this corner of the garden is amazing, nothing this year unfortunately and there should be so many leaves to protect us from the damaging sun. We shouldn’t be seeing bare stems like this until winter, will it survive, who knows, will just have to wait and see with fingers crossed. Water does drain down to this part of the garden so the poor honeysuckle was probably sitting in water for days on end earlier in the year. Bog plants can cope with excessive water but the rest need oxygen getting to their roots or they will die.


I will finish with a photo of lush foliage, my favourite of this lot, Pontaderia, in the pond. In a few weeks this will have small blue poker like flowers, but it was the sun shining through the paddle like leaves that caught my eye.

The foliage this summer has been lush, huge and jungle like in places. We have had to cut back so many times where paths have become obstructed with plants flopping over them. Having so much rain, I think there are bound to be casualties, we will have to wait and see.  I think  the benefits to the garden certainly outweigh the deficiencies and would say, yes, we certainly need rain, but maybe not so much all at one time!

Thanks to Christina at for hosting this months GBFD, please visit to see how the unusual weather has been affecting us all.


This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to August Foliage GBFD

  1. Christina says:

    I love all your beautiful foliage. I was especially struck by the Pontaderia, the light shining through them is amazing. My Weigela also suffered, I thought it had died all the leaves turned brown and crisp but just a little watering and fresh leaves are growing so I think you’re correct that yours is suffering from too much water (I’m beginning to understand much more the water requirements of different plants). I ould leave the plant until spring and then cut back any dead wood and then probably it will also need a bit of pruning into shape too. But you might be surprised and like mine new leaves might grow from where it appears dead. Wait and see is a good gardening axiom. Christina

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks for your advice Christina, us gardeneres have to be a patient lot don’t we, wait and see is good advice! The honeysuckle used to be visited by lots of moths in the past, hope they can find something else to visit for their fix of nectar. I must have been passing the Pontaderia at just the right moment to catch the leaves looking so beautiful in the sunlight, which seems to intensify the colour. Just had to dash in and get the camera!

  2. pbmgarden says:

    This is a wonderful post. You have featured such an interesting variety of plants–I am particularly drawn to your Carrot Fern and Hosta combination.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks PBM, when I first saw the Carrot Fern at the nursery, I felt it was so different from any of the ferns that I already had in the garden, and just had to have it!! It contrasts so well with the hostas round it.

  3. everything in moderation, too much of anything causes harm, some beautiful foliage Pauline, I like the Pontaderia with the sun behind it and the Stipa, when I was at BC garden I wondered what this lovely blue flowered plant was so looked it up, yes her’s were in flower when I was there in early August,
    sorry about the dead/dying looking plants, I recently said in a comment to Christina that plants can die from too much water if the roots can’t breath due to flooding, it’s been mentioned several times this year on both the radio gardening programmes I listen too,
    if the Darmera was there when you moved in then it has survived a long time so must be happy if not in the perfect place, the blue lime grass is a lovely shade of pale steel blue and I like the geranium and mahonia foliage colours, Frances

    • Pauline says:

      I think the South East has had a lot more sunshine than we have Frances, that’s probably why Beth Chatto’s Pontaderia were flowering before ours, lovely plant but it does get rather big! I’m hoping the honeysuckle and weigela might recover, it will depend on what sort of winter we have, fingers crossed. The Darmera has usually given up the ghost by July and the leaves have had to be cut away because they look such a mess, such a different story this year.

  4. I do love pontaderia, wonderful plant, but it is that shot of the ferns against the hosta leaves that I fell for. You have some lovely grasses too! Happy GBFD.

    • Pauline says:

      I’m so pleased Janet, with how my new fern has grown, and the yellow/green colour shows up so well against the hosta. Also a super contrast of texture between them. The few grasses that I have seem to do well, but grasses that like well drained soil soon succumbed to the wet here and weren’t seen any more!

  5. Hi Pauline, My favourite in this post has to be the Pontaderia. The light illuminating the paddle-shaped leaves is a great photo. I also really like the giant leaves of your Darmera peltata. That is a really statement making leaf!

    • Pauline says:

      What a difference Jennifer, that a bit of sunshine makes, when it shines through flowers and leaves. It has the same effect as sun through a stained glass window, absolutely beautiful!

  6. Anna says:

    Looking at geranium ‘Spinners’ I think that it would be worth growing for the foliage alone Pauline. Now whilst your lamium orvala looks “redder and redder” mine is looking deader and deader – I am most envious! I am not sure what the best course of action is as far as you variegated weigela. I have one too but it seems to be unperturbed by the excessive wet stuff.

    • Pauline says:

      The Weigela Anna, is planted in what is usually ‘normal’soil which is next to the bog garden. The bog garden is formed by an underground stream which also has the overflow from the pond coming into it. This is the first year we have ever known the pond overflow and the excess water came accross the lawn and the border where the Weigela is. There was water standing for quite a few days and this happened a few times when we were being inundated with rain. I think it was standing in water for far too long. Sorry to hear that your lamium isn’t happy, maybe it will sprout again in the spring, don’t be too quick to replace it.

  7. wellywoman says:

    So much I loved. Never seen pontaderia before and it’s stunning. The light on the stipa is beautiful and I love the sculptural succulent. Sorry I can’t help with identification. I must ask though how on earth have you got hostas that don’t look like doilies? I think I’m going to try nematodes in the garden next year.

    • Pauline says:

      WW, I have a hosta by the front door that looks like a lace doily, all the others are looking fine with maybe one or two holes. I put this down to all our blackbirds, we have at least 2 families, our thrushes and our hedgehog ( he keeps leaving messages on the lawn !). With all the rain, what are normally quite large leaves, this year they are HUGE! Looking forward to the Pontaderia flowers, should be flowering by now, will make do with the foliage in the meantime.

  8. Had to get rid of our Pontaderia, beautiful vibrant blue flowers, but it was taking over the WHOLE pond. Mystery plant looks like an Aloe. Does it flower for you?

    • Pauline says:

      My Pontaderia is now flowering Diana, just a week after being photographed, lovely flowers. Hopefully mine won’t take over the pond as it is in a basket in the water so should be reasonably easy to split when the time comes. Thanks for coming up with the name of Aloe for my plant, so far it hasn’t flowered, not in the 4 yrs I’ve had it, would it need more heat than we have do you think?

  9. debsgarden says:

    I love your Pontaderia! Also your carrot fern! We also have had a lot of rain and the jungle is encroaching. My variegated weigela is looking puny, too, but I believe its brown edged leaves were caused by the extremely hot, dry June we had prior to the rains of July and August. I am hoping it is not a fungus or virus. As for yours, I would cut back any dead stems and reshape the rest into a pleasing form, then see how it regrows.

    • Pauline says:

      Deb, poor Weigela seem to be suffering, the world over. Thanks for the advice, I think it is going to be a waiting game to see how many plants succumb to the extremes that we have all been having. I’m now a bit worried about the Mahonia that I showed which has a red leaf, all the other leaves are now decidedly yellow. not looking good. Hope your Weigela makes it!

  10. Cathy says:

    It really highlights the lovely colours and textures when you focus specifically on them, doesn’t it?

    • Pauline says:

      Over the years Cathy, I have come to realise the importance of foliage in the garden, we have it far longer than the flowers and lovely textures can be created. Thanks for stopping by, I will now pop over for a wander round your garden!

Comments are closed.