Once again it is time to be looking round the garden for any foliage which takes the eye. Everywhere there are signs of new life, leaves pushing upwards from the soil and leaves sprouting forth from bare branches. The leaves that I have been keeping an eye on these past few weeks are in the woodland.
These leaves hold such promise, the promise of lots and lots of lovely snakeshead fritillary flowers. There are already a few buds that have formed, I will have to put rusty pheasant on guard to make sure that they don’t get nobbled by ” you know who”. So far I haven’t heard him, but I will be listening from now on!
All of a sudden I noticed that these leaves had popped up on the alpine scree, they are the pink variety of Chionodoxa and you can already see some tiny buds emerging.
Just inside the entrance to the woodland, is a carpet of Cyclamen hederifolium, they make very good ground cover and are successful at suppressing weeds, although I’m glad to see that one clump of little snowdrops has managed to find a way through.
Across the other side of the path are some very different leaves of cyclamen hederifiolium, much more silver. Keeping them company is a hellebore leaf and some snowdrop foliage.
These thin, small leaves in the woodland show where we will have little white Narcissus Sailboat in about another month. I planted lots of these bulbs over a year ago, so they should extend the flowering season by another month.
At the far end of the woodland, on Snowdrop Hill, the foliage of English Bluebells tells me that they will take over when all the snowdrops have finally faded away for another year.
Nestling among the mossy tree roots of the giant Ash trees is Bowles Golden Grass, making pools of sunlight round the woodland. This seeds prolifically so has to be watched, I usually end up pulling half the clumps out and I always try to remove the flower stalks before they can set seed.
All around the garden, Day Lily leaves are pushing through and getting longer and longer, it makes me think that it won’t be too long before the flowers join them. In the mean time the leaves are a bright fresh yellow/green, so have a beauty all of their own.
There are a few evergreen leaves that still look good over winter and Phormium Yellow Wave never lets me down, it is always there, waving around in the breeze. It is looking quite pale at the moment, maybe it’s cold, but it always seems more yellow in the summer. This plant is now about 6ft across, so I think we can say that it has recovered from the harsh winter of 2010/11 when we nearly lost it.
This purple Phormium though is still only about a quarter of the size that it used to be. It has the height it used to have but it is much thinner than it used to be, I wish I was! It contrasts nicely though with Pittosporum Irene Patterson next to it.
This is another plant that I can rely upon 100%. It just sits there expanding each year. I planted this before I knew much about gardening, I just dug a hole in the heavy clay and put it in, it has never looked back. When I have taken pieces off and planted them with loving care with compost and leaf mould, they never seem to do as well as the parent!
At last, I have managed to get up to the top of the garden! This Carex has expanded a lot over the winter in the bog garden, it must be all the rain we have had!
A pillar of evergreen on the pergola, in the summer this has the most beautifully perfumed white flowers.
The Cardoon is doing nicely in the border by the field. It has appreciated me cutting the hedge back that was swamping it. I thought I had lost it at one time, but it was obviously just biding its time until it had a bit more light.
New shoots are now sprouting where they have been cut back in the autumn.
The new shoots start out green and then the leaves change to pink and white as the months go by.
This is my foliage offering for the month of February. We must thank Christina at My Hesperides Garden for hosting this meme each month, do pay her a visit to see other foliage which is catching the eye this month.
Hi Pauline, You have so much that is green and full of life! The “cousins” tender shoot is my favorite. It represents things to come! Summer, warm weather, sunshine and color everywhere…….
Sally, the name of the cousin of the Kiwi fruit eludes me, sometimes names just vanish, but then I will think of it a few hours later! The new shoots are all so full of promise of wonderful things to come. I hope our promised frost later in the week doesn’t spoil everything!
What a wonderful array of foliage you have Pauline. I love this time of year in the garden when things grow and change so fast you see changes on a daily basis. Makes me long for the Spring! I grew Bowles Golden from seed last year so am really looking forward to it spreading itself around a bit.
Everything holds a promise of spring Denise, although we are going to have a very cold week according to the forecast, so I hope everything will be ok. Bowles Golden Grass is beautiful, but with me, it is just a bit too free with it’s seed!
Your garden must be lovely and sheltered Pauline – it all looks so green and full of life! I do love seeing your woodland garden every spring. Love the grasses too.
It is quite sheltered Cathy, each flower bed is a shelter belt for plants further in the garden. When we first arrived it was open to the north and east winds in the winter and everything got burnt by the wind! The woodland is my favourite spot for about 9 months of the year, little did I know how important it was going to be to me when we bought the house.
Goodness, your garden is way ahead – lovely to see the actinidia buds bursting to life. I love the way it’s leaves change colour throughout the spring and summer. Do you prune it? I have the same reservations about dividing black mondo grass, but looks great in a mass.
I only prune side shoots away from the Actinidia Kate, when they are stopping light from getting in the window near where it is planted, apart from that, it is left to its own devices. My mass of Ophiopogon just gets bigger and bigger every year, it contrasts nicely with the gravel it was planted in, it must like the sticky clay underneath!
Your garden seems to be hurrying along and you have been busy. I’d like to add a Pittosporum this year. Would you recommend your Irene Patterson?
Yes Susie, I would recommend P. Irene Patterson, I like her so much, I have 2! She can be clipped to shape if you want to or left to grow “au naturel”. She does grow quite tall, but I keep mine to about 10 ft. If you want a small one with purple leaves, then P. Tom Thumb stays at about 3 ft, I would recommend him too.
I was saying to Cathy (Rambling in the garden) that I think the new shoots and fresh foliage is more a sign of spring than the spring bulbs which come over a much longer period. When the new shoots appear a gardener’s heart gives a little jump. Thanks for joining GBFD, you always have something fresh and beautiful to share.
The birds are singing Christina, and the plants shooting up, we all think spring is just around the corner, I just hope we don’t all get a nasty shock!
Lovely to see all that green…can’t wait to see my garden start to grow again…maybe in a month.
Hi Donna, I’m sure you will soon catch up with us and be green once more. At least you are able to have a rest over the winter, we have to carry on gardening as the weeds never stop growing!