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