Foliage Day.

Christina @ Creating my own garden of the Hesperides, is hosting this Foliage Day meme so that we can appreciate the beauty of foliage and see which foliage is still looking good after the summer. When planting a new border I am always conscious of trying to make pleasing groups with contrasting colour, shape and texture of leaves so that when plants are not in flower they are still interesting and contrast with their neighbours. As yet our autumn tints are few and far between and here in the UK a lot of foliage is starting to die down but we still have plenty  which is in good condition and worthy to be photographed. I think foliage is the backbone of the garden, flowers come and go, but foliage is with us much longer and sets the flowers off beautifully. Lots of ferns have already collapsed for the winter, but there are a few that are still adding to the overall scene. This fern contrasts with the hellebore next to it and the variegated vinca and lamium.


Sango kaku

The 3 acers that we have are still waiting for cooler weather before changing colour, but I thought Acer Sango kaku was looking lovely with the sun shining through the leaves and contrasting beautifully with the bay bush behind it which forms a solid shape for 12 months of the year.

Maidenhair fern

Adiantum venustum is a  hardy fern but looks so delicate, sometimes this survives all winter.


Cotinus is still not showing any of its autumn colour when it will turn much more red.


I could say that this is a very rare silver leafed oak, but must confess that it is a seedling with mildew contrasting with the green around it!


This Ajuga growing between the paving hasn’t decided if it should have green or purple leaves.

B. Jack Frost

Brunnera Jack Frost looks good even when not in flower.This is planted next to some daylilies and hellebores so there is a contrast of colour shape and texture.

B. Rose Glow

Berberis Rose Glow will become much more red in a few weeks, when it will almost match its berries. Purple leaved plants have to be used carefully, they sometimes just look like a black hole in the border from a distance.


A few Hostas are still standing, most have collapsed already. Sharing the same space with the hosta is a Cotinus and a couple of geraniums, making a pleasing group.

E. griffithii Dixter

Euphorbia griffithii Dixter is beginning to show its autumn tints and you can just see the leaves of Cortaderia pumilla and Berberis Red Pillar behind, more contrast.

Acanthus mollis

Acanthus mollis still looking as if it is spring.

P. Red Baron

Persicaria Red Baron living up to its name, must find a new neighbour for it, the Libertia grandiflora which was next to it died last winter.


Hydrangea leaf beginning to turn colour.


Cornus alba sibirica Westonbirt turning its autumn colour of burgundy. These leaves stay burgundy colour for at least a month, when they then fall to reveal their bright red stems which we  enjoy all winter.

G. magnificum

Geranium magnificum turning red, just a taste of what is to come.

Buddleja with Stipa

Silver foliage here from a Buddleja with Iceberg rose and Miscanthus Stricta in the background. I think the rose looks lovely with the foliage of the buddleja, can anyone come up with a silver leaved rose?


My last one for this month, Viburnum Onondaga in all its autumn finery, hopefully next month we will have lots more autumn tints as the weather is supposed to be getting a lot cooler.

Thanks to Christina for hosting this meme, why don’t we pop over to     to see lots of other foliage.


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14 Responses to Foliage Day.

  1. Christina says:

    Thanks for joining in with such a brilliant post Pauline. I love the foliage combinations you have. Interesting how, Cornus alba sibirica Westonbirt, the Hydrangea leaf and Persicaria Red Baron are all the same hot pink. What a lovely autumn colour – not everything is red and orange in autumn. I’ve added the link to your comment. All you have to do is righthand mouse on the post name and choose copy link place and then control V at the end of the comment. Christina

  2. Alberto says:

    Pauline you have some really good plants there! Some of them are in my wishlist since a while now but I’m waiting to have some more shadow in my garden (for brunnera I mean). I nearly bought berberis red pillar last sunday, what do you reckon? I’d like it amongst roses.
    Euphorbia griffithii looks great in fall, doesn’t it?

    • Pauline says:

      I think Berberis Red Pillar would be lovely with roses Alberto, especially pink ones. Looking forward to all our lovely autumn tints, then it looks as if all the lights are switched on in the garden, so different from summer.

  3. So many beautiful colours and shapes. You have reminded me how much I crave a Sango kaku of my own. I really like the cotinus + hosta combination, I may have to pinch that. I also really like your two ferns, not a form I have in my garden currently.

    • Pauline says:

      Janet, I think Sango kaku is a beautiful tree, it will turn a pale yellow in a few weeks time and then the young branches stay a lovely coral coloue through the winter – what could be better! Thanks for visiting.

  4. Lovely foliage. I have a Sango Kaku and don’t think there is a minute in the year when it isn’t ornamental.

    • Pauline says:

      I agree, Carolyn, Sango kaku is wonderful all year round. it looks especially beautiful each afternoon when the sun shines through the leaves.Sorry I’m late responding to your comment. found you in my spam pile, how did you get in there?!!!

  5. Cyndy says:

    You have so much beautiful foliage – the farther along I get, the more I prefer interesting foliage to blooms. I grew and loved that coral bark maple at the last garden, and you remind me I’d like one to keep me company at the new place – 4 gorgeous seasons!

    • Pauline says:

      I agree with you Cyndy, we have foliage for much longer than flowers so it pays us to make it as interesting as possible ! A. Sango kaku is a super little tree, wouldn’t want to be without it.

  6. Some lovely images of colour combinations and contrasts. Looking at your post I’m reminded how much I like the patterns of the foliage on the Brunnera Jack Frost. We used to grow it in our last garden, Now if I could just find a space….

    • Pauline says:

      I can see you getting your shoe horn out Janet, to fit Brunnera Jack Frost into your already beautifully planted garden, just as well it doesn’t take up much room!

  7. as usual Pauline you have a wonderful array of plants, I’ve noticed enticing glimpses of your plant’s foliage in your flower posts it nice to see it in it’s glory, so glad you joined this meme, Frances

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Frances – ever since reading Beth Chatto’s book “The Green Tapestry” 20 yrs ago just as we were moving here, foliage has been very important to me as it lasts so much longer than flowers.

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