Foliage for February. GBFD.

I wasn’t optimistic when I went into the garden this morning to take photos of foliage for Christina’s foliage day, I know, I’m a day late, everything was looking very bedraggled after all the rain yesterday and overnight. Some parts of  the garden still haven’t been tidied since last autumn and they are just a horrible squishy mess, no photos there then! The first plants that caught my eye were the silver ones and the curry plant, Helichrysum italicum, was even smelling of curry, was it the rain that was bringing the perfume on the breeze?

Helichrysum italicum


Nearby, Convolvulous cneorum is looking as good as ever. It flowered in December and January when we had such warm weather, stopped flowering while we had all our frost and now buds are forming again – fantastic.


Not sure which conifer this is, but it always has such beautiful swirling foliage, the colour developing a more golden colour in the summer.


Lots of ivy in the garden to keep the holly blue butterfly happy, most of it is the ordinary green ivy which climbs up all our trees, but near the house I have managed to sneak in a few variegated ones ( hubby doesn’t like it on the house!) This one is in a very dark corner, under an arbour and shines out brightly, lightening the shade.

E. mellifera

Euphorbia mellifera is growing nicely, this is a seedling of one which died a couple of years ago when we had thick snow in Dec/Jan 2010. Will it be old enough to flower this year, I hope so, I have missed that wonderful honey scent wafting round the garden on the breeze.

P. longifolia

Pulmonaria longifolia has lovely long speckled leaves and the most gorgeous dark blue flowers, beautiful even when not in flower, with leaves which don’t seem to get mildew like the others later in the year.

C. hederifolium

Cyclamen hederifolium leaves are still contributing to the tapestry on the woodland floor, one here almost all silver and the other with lovely markings. Contrasting with them are the leaves of an epimedium which will need cutting soon so that we can see the flowers.

E. blackbird

Euphorbia blackbird is getting ready to flower, the bracts are such a lovely colour, contrasting with the leaves,  flowers are almost unnecessary.

L. variegated

The variegated laurel certainly stands out from its neighbours. It took me a long time to find the right spot for it, I think it was moved  3 times before it and I were happy, now in a very shady border, its travels are over!


New growth of Hemerocallis is contrasting nicely with Ophiopogon planiscapus nigrescens. Soon there will be lots more new growth everywhere.

P. Tom Thumb

Pittosporum Tom Thumb is a lovely little bush, not more than 2ft by 2ft and a super dark maroon colour to the leaves when they are mature. New growth comes through bright green then slowly changes colour.

P. Irene Patterson

Pittosporum Irene Patterson is like me, tall and overweight ! She can have a quick trim in a few weeks time, I just wish I could lose weight so quickly!!

A. italicum pictum

Arum italicum pictum has gorgeous leaves, small at this time of year and large in the summer. In the autumn , when the orange berries are formed, they are eaten by the birds and animals, which then help to spread the seed round the garden. They pop up in the most unexpected places and always look lovely.


Each year lately I think I have lost my Cardoon, but then,  up it pops, safely through the winter once more. It really likes soil that is much more free draining than mine, ignorance was bliss when I planted it almost 20 yrs ago! The leaves are really fantastic and when the flowers are formed, the bumble bees are literally wallowing in purple pollen!

So that is it for February’s foliage, lots more than I first thought there would be. If you are interested in foliage, then please go to  Christina’s blog at



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

14 Responses to Foliage for February. GBFD.

  1. Christina says:

    Hi Pauline, you do have a lot of lovely foliage. Convolvulous cneorum is obviously more hardy than it is usually given credit for; I was very worried about mine surviving when it was buried by snow. Your cyclamen have the most beautiful coloured leaves I think I’ve ever seen, and for sure I’ve never seen one that is totally silver. I’m also envious of the Pittasporum, not because it wouldn’t grow here, I’m pretty sure it would thrive but because I can never find one! Your link wasn’t working, I’ll try to fix it, but perhaps you can check when you receive this. Christina

    • Pauline says:

      Convolvulous cneorum is amazing isn’t it Christina, surviving when we think it will have given up! The foliage was better than I thought it would be after all our rain, thought there might be more new shoots to photograph, maybe next time.

  2. Christina says:

    OK, its fixed! Christina

  3. Alberto says:

    That Pittosporum Tom Thumb is amazing! I think they look ‘fake’ somehow in my garden, but I like p. tenuifolium and I think I will fit one of them somewhere, sooner or later!

    • Pauline says:

      Alberto, I like all the Pittosporum that I have, Tom Thumb is a super plant, looks a bit strange when all the new growth is bright green, but it soon changes! Do you have the Chinese Pittosporum tobira? We first met it when on holiday in Rome, it was everywhere, in pots, as hedges, but the perfume was absolutely amazing! My plant doesn’t look very happy, maybe not warm enough, maybe too wet, maybe just missing Rome!!

  4. wellywoman says:

    Wow such a great selection of foliage there Pauline. I love pittosporums but ours didn’t survive last winter.

    • Pauline says:

      Such a shame you lost your Pittosporum last winter WW, ours were looking a bit sorry for themselves, especially Tom Thumb, but thank goodness he soon recovered.

  5. Your foliage contribution just goes on and on, Pauline. I keep losing cardoons and globe artichokes on what is suuposed to beth mild east coast. So I was amazed to see your old one still going strong. Plants are a constant surprise aren’t they?

    • Pauline says:

      I should really try moving the cardoon to a better place Janet, but I daren’t, I’m sure it wouldn’t survive!, Maybe I ought to save some seed this year seeing as my plant is so old!

  6. Liz says:


    I always, always, ALWAYS forget about this meme…. Really need to do something about that – perhaps I’ll have a reminder on my calendar at work a few days before to remind me.

    Nice to see the Ivy, and the Cyclamen leaves – they are very pretty 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Cyclamen leaves are so pretty, and all of them so different Liz, according to Beth Chatto, no two are ever the same, just like fingerprints! Hope to see you taking part next month, I’m sure you must have lots of wonderful foliage!

  7. catmint says:

    Hi Pauline, love your incredible variety of hellebores. But I always think foliage is even better than coloured flowers because it is more subtle. It is amazing how many kinds of euphorbias there are, and also pittosporums. I’m not sure about the difference between cardoons and artichokes. All part of the thistle family I think. (want to write a post on them?) cheers, catmint

    • Pauline says:

      Cardoons Catmint, I think are used for their stems, whereas artichokes are used for their flower head, unless they are Jerusalem artichokes when their tubers are used in cooking! Sorry don’t know enough about them to write more, I just grow the Cardoon for its fantastic leaves and huge flower heads, as you say, like a thistle. I think the stems of the Cardoon have to be wrapped to stop the light getting to them, like celery, for eating, never tried it myself!

Comments are closed.