Thanks to Christina, we are now focusing on the foliage in our gardens. Flowers are everywhere and it is hard to focus on the leaves, but some of them are so beautiful, it is a shame they get overlooked in summer.
Alchemilla mollis always catches the eye after a shower of rain, or even a thunderstorm which we had the other night, complete with lightning.
Miscanthus malepartus makes a lovely fountain shape, not flowering yet, but it will be soon. In front the purple leaf belongs to a Cotinus which has flopped in all the rain, a bit of staking needed. This is part of the crescent shaped bed round the dead oak.
I think the veggie beds are producing some of the best foliage at the moment. The courgettes leaves are huge and so prickly when I come to cut the courgettes, maybe someone could breed a courgette without all the prickles please?!
The runner beans are just starting to produce the lovely beans which we enjoy so much, but there is so much foliage we have to go searching for them.
The sweetcorn is growing nicely and the leaves are looking very healthy, unlike the maize being grown on the field next door which don’t look good at all. The tassels are forming so we can look forward to enjoying a few cobs in September.
Rhubarb foliage is still getting bigger and bigger, I suppose I will have to stop pulling it soon even though it is still producing lots of lovely stems. When do you stop pulling your rhubarb?
Acanthus mollis by the entrance to the pond area has been absolutely fantastic this year, so many really huge leaves have been produced after all the rain of last winter.
Somewhere in the middle of all this foliage is the pond! Ignoring C.Lucifer at the bottom left, the foreground foliage is from Pontederia which will have blue flower spikes later in the summer. The huge dock like leaves at the back are from the Inula helenium which has formed buds but they haven’t opened yet. The tall grass at the left hand side is Miscanthus sinensis variegata.
In the bog garden there is this little area which consists of just foliage. Starting at the bottom left and going clockwise are a golden leaved Carex, the Japanese Painted Fern, Rogersia and Astilbe.
Behind Lucifer, please try to ignore him, is a black leaved elder, Sambucus Black Lace, which needs pruning otherwise it will be far too tall. We take out 1/3 of the older wood each year to keep it to about 10ft tall.
Our poor Horse Chestnut trees are suffering again from the moth that burrows its way between the two layers of the leaves. I’ve noticed that it is only the bottom 1/3 of the foliage that is affected, higher up the leaves are ok, thank goodness. Maybe the moth can’t fly very high.
Darmera peltata behind the alpine scree is obviously getting enough moisture this year, last year the huge leaves just flopped and looked dreadful. The previous people planted this and I have tried in vain to move it to the bog garden, so it will just have to stay.
This fern, Asplenium scolopendrium Crispum by the bridge into the woodland, always catches the eye with its wavy edges, it looks so happy where it is, with Bergenia foliage to the right and astilbe foliage to the left. It looks even more beautiful because it is all wet with the rain!
Adiantum pedatum or the Maidenhair fern, now has company from an unknown hosta. The hosta was given to me by a friend years ago and was planted about 8 ft away, slowly it has crept forward until now it is beside the path in the woodland. I hope it decides to stay there as I think the two plants look nice together.
Look what I found in the woodland when looking for foliage to photograph, Cyclamen hederifolium, I’m not ready yet for these flowers, I always consider them an autumn plant!
And it wasn’t the only one! Summer is rushing by at an alarming rate.
Back to foliage. The Japanese Painted ferns that I planted recently in the woodland seem to have settled in well.
Also recently planted in the woodland is Heuchera Lime Ricky. I think he likes his new home too.
In the gravel area at the back is almost a carpet of Ophiopogon planiscapus nigrescens, well a rug anyway!
Also in the gravel area is Phormium Yellow Wave. This used to be such a big plant until the cold winter of 2010/11 when I thought it had died, it has struggled for the last couple of years but I think it will make it now, I hope so.
In a pot, standing in the gravel area is my Aeonium Zwartcopf, it is quite a big leggy plant now so I think I will have to take cuttings and start again.
Many thanks to Christina at My Garden of the Hesperides for encouraging us once more to look at our foliage and not just our flowers. Do pay her a visit to see other foliage from around the world.