Foliage for July GBFD.

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

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

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?!

Runner beans

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

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.

Pond area

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.

Bog gharden

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.

Sambucu Black Lace

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.

Chestnut tree

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

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.

Harts tongue Fern

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 perdatum

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.

Cyclamen hederifolium

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!

Cyclamen hederifolium

And it wasn’t the only one!  Summer is rushing by at an alarming rate.

Japanese Painted Fern

Back to foliage. The Japanese Painted ferns that I planted recently in the woodland seem to have settled in well.

Heucher Lime Ricky

Also recently planted in the woodland is Heuchera Lime Ricky. I think he likes his new home too.

Ophiopogon planicapus nigrescens

In the gravel area at the back is almost a carpet of Ophiopogon planiscapus nigrescens, well a rug anyway!

Phormium Yellow Wave

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.

Aonium schwarzcopf

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.

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

26 Responses to Foliage for July GBFD.

  1. AnnetteM says:

    Apart from your poor old Horse Chestnut your foliage is looking wonderful and healthy. I particularly like the Asplenium scolopendrium Crispum. I have just the place for it in my shady garden.

    • Pauline says:

      We have so much shade Annette, that ferns were the first plants that I bought when we moved here. I had never realised that there were so many beautiful ones like the Asplenium, I really like all its ruffles! The poor Chestnut trees are suffering again this year, when the leaves first come out , they look beautiful, but by July they are all looking dreadful. Apparently Blue Tits have been seen pecking at the leaves, making a hole and eating the grub inside, I don’t think my blue tits have got the message yet unfortunately!

  2. Christina says:

    Thank you for joining in again this month Pauline. I know you have a lot of wonderful flowers but you have so much fantastic foliage that your garden would be perfect even with out the blooms. The Japanese painted fern is gorgeous. My Acanthus have died back now despite the cooler summer but they are in a very dry spot under the mulberry so I can’t complain and it won’t be long before they put on their new foliage. Yet again I didn’t cut the flowering stems off so will be inundated with seedlings! Do you have that problem?

    • Pauline says:

      So far Christina, I haven’t seen any seedlings of the Acanthus, so far I have always managed to cut the stems as soon as they look past their best. They are spreading by underground runners, I wouldn’t want seedlings as well! The Japanese painted fern gets better each year, adding interest to dark corners.

  3. Alain says:

    You have some beautiful foliage in your garden. Asplenium scolopendrium Crispum is particularly impressive.
    I don’t know what to make of my own Darmera peltata this year . The knobby roots are very firm and seem healthy but the plant did not produce any foliage. Have you ever see this happen? I will wait till next spring to see if it comes back.
    Pontederia is native around here but you don’t see a lot of it.

    • Pauline says:

      No Alain, your Darmera is a mystery to me, mine has always had flowers and leaves each year. It has such thick roots or rhizome like structures which I just can’t move, I would like to plant it in the bog garden, but it is going to have to stay where it is.
      I am very fond of the Asplenium with its wavy edges, it catches the light and always looks so shiny as if I had been polishing it!

  4. Angie says:

    Lovely foliage. I was given a tiny rooted piece of Darmera last year and wow – what a size it’s got already! I hope I’ve chosen the right spot for it, I’d hate to be having the same trouble you are having Pauline.
    Everything looks very lush, no doubt the recent rains have helped. It all looks great and I’d doubt I could pick a favourite, or two or three…..!

    • Pauline says:

      Angie, I hope the Darmera doesn’t grow too big for you!! It is a lovely plant with the flowers coming first before there is any sign of the leaves, then in the autumn the leaves turn a lovely colour.
      Dare I say it, we need more rain, if only we could turn it on at night time then everyone would be happy! I think the underlying clay helps to keep the foliage looking lush for quite a long time as long as the plants put their roots down deep to find it!

  5. Cathy says:

    I love the big leaves of Acanthus and the Darmera. They look even better when wet. The rain has really made everything look so lush Pauline!

    • Pauline says:

      The rain last winter Cathy, has a lot to do with the size of the leaves this year I think. The Acanthus leaves have never been so huge before, I just hope we have some more rain before they wilt in all the heat we are having!

  6. rusty duck says:

    I came across Acanthus again at Trebah and was tempted, just need to find a spot big enough first! Including the veggie garden in a foliage post is a great idea, I didn’t realise just how beautiful courgette leaves are.

    • Pauline says:

      It will have to be a big spot Jessica, because it certainly does spread! A lot of the leaves this month are looking a bit tired, that’s why the veggie leaves look good, because they are getting watered every day! We’re supposed to get rain tonight, I do hope so because the garden certainly needs it!

  7. Love the ophiophogon rug! And yes, aren’t the prickly stems of courgettes unpleasant. A lovely array of foliage as ever. I have a Cunning Plan to make room for some miscanthus in my back garden, I miss them, such wonderfully architectural fountains of foliage.

    • Pauline says:

      I love my rug too Janet, I wonder if it will reach far enough to be a carpet one day! I bought one little plant when we first moved here, didn’t even improve the soil and it has just spread. Bits have been taken off and planted in other parts of the garden, none of them do as well as the first plant.
      Yes, the Miscanthus foliage is so architectural isn’t it, looking good for months before it flowers.

  8. Annette says:

    It looks so lush and happy, guess you’re not lacking in rain, do you? You should stop picking rhubarb by 27th June…that’s what they say anyway as otherwise the acid does reach harmful levels and the plant can’t gather enough strength for next year. I love the Malepartus, great grass, and your grass-fern-combination looks good too. Well, all looks great 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      We are desperate for rain Annette, we had a tiny bit last week, but we have had non stop sunshine for nearly 2 months now! This is when I say, thank goodness we are on heavy clay, the plants must have got their roots down deep otherwise they would be wilting.
      We had some rhubarb last week, we are still alive, thank goodness, but I won’t pick any more, thank you.
      How do you pronounce Malepartus? Male part us or Malee partoos? I never know how to pronounce it!!

  9. I agree with your assessment of the Alchemilla Mollis Pauline, it looks so lovely scattered with raindrops. You have some beautiful foliage on your plants and those Japanese Painted Ferns are just gorgeous, I may have to investigate them as an addition to my shady area.

    • Pauline says:

      We have rather too much Alchemilla mollis Paula, it is very generous with it’s seed, I never seem to cut it back soon enough! The Japanese painted ferns certainly bring interest to dull, dark corners, each frond is so beautifully marked. I’m sure they would love your shady area.

  10. Frank says:

    What a nice foliage selection for this month, I love those ferns especially the wavy edged one. Is your header new? I love it.
    I agree with you on the cyclamen. I don’t even want to think of mine blooming yet, I hope they stay underground for another month at least!

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Frank, my header is new, so glad you like it. It shows the area at the top of the garden where you go through the pergola to the fruit and veg and the planting this side of the pond. Crocosmia Lucifer has spread himself so much you can’t see the gate!
      I wasn’t ready to see cyclamen flowers yet, it seems far too soon, summer has a lot more to deliver before I’m ready for autumn!

  11. catmint says:

    You are an amazing gardener, Pauline. Either I didn’t know or forgot that you grow veggies as well! Keep enjoying your summer garden.

    • Pauline says:

      I keep rather quiet about the veggies Catmint, as I’m not very good, compared to lots of other people that I’m in touch with! It is just a small area at the top of the garden, through the pergola, where there are a few fruit bushes as well. The fruit almost looks after itself, apart from watering, we are enjoying all the fruit at the moment.

  12. Hey Pauline,

    What a beautiful bevy of glorious garden imagery, but I would expect no less of a gardener who was the 7th to sign up for GBBD.

    What a beautiful bevy of beautiful imagery that captured me immediately with the mollis image. Smart of you to remind us some of our most dramatic foliage displays are to be found in our veggie gardens.

    Please visit me to see my first GBBD presentation which has one heck of a back story to it.

    Best, Patrick

    • Pauline says:

      You’re too kind Patrick!
      I have to admit that the garden is looking rather stressed at the moment, we have been having non stop sunshine with high temperatures (for us!) for nearly two months now, we are desperate for rain, can you believe it?! The veggies get watered every day so they were the best examples of foliage for foliage day. We have a water meter so have to pay for every drop of water we use, so all watering (except veggies) is done from water buts full of rain water which are rapidly running out, it must rain soon!
      I will pop over immediately to your post for GBBD, I don’t know how I missed it!

  13. Anna says:

    The horse chestnuts at the top of our lane are suffering in the same manner Pauline. It’s so sad. A prickleless courgette plant would be a most desirable state of affairs. Do let me know if you come across one 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Such a shame about all the horse chestnut trees suffering. I keep reading reports that blue tits and great tits are now pecking holes in the leaves and eating the grubs, but the message doesn’t seem to have reached my birds yet!
      I always seem to have a rash on my arms when picking courgettes, maybe I’m allergic to them!

Comments are closed.