As far as foliage is concerned, no , it isn’t a washout, it means that the foliage is nice and lush, not dry and struggling like it usually is in August. This month is trying to be the wettest August on record I think, with hardly a day going by without a deluge. While wandering round to take my photos, I noticed that autumn tints are starting to show their different colours, which seems rather early, but there are also lots of contrasts looking very happy together. Let’s start with an autumnal feel, though I’m certainly not ready to let go of summer yet.
Amelanchier lamarckii has lost it’s summer greeness and is looking decidedly autumnal.
Cheating a bit because new growth on this fern, Dryopteris erythrosora, is this colour all year.
One of the hydrangeas in the back garden has decided to change leaf colour.
Darmera peltata is joining in and starting to change.
The cherry tree by the front entrance just has this one branch that has turned a wonderful colour.
Now for some contrasting foliage, which is where my interest lies.
In the gravel garden at the back, contrasting foliage is everywhere. Here we have the large purple leaved Cotinus with the small glaucous leaves of the Eucalyptus contrasting with the red foliage of Heuchera Rio.
In front of the arbour in the gravel area are the purple disected leaves of an Acer, 3 contrasting Heucheras in the strawberry pot with the lovely leaves of Melianthus Major behind. There is another Heuchera and on the far left Astelia Silver Spear, but I think all the rain has washed the silver coating of the leaves away!
In the bed round the dead oak, Viburnum plicatum Maresii contrasts nicely in colour, shape and texture with Pittosporum Tom Thumb.
My recently clipped “ginger jar” is solid, dumpy and firmly anchored in the ground. Stipa gigantea next to it is wafty, always moving, light and airy, a complete contrast. I love them both.
By the front of the house, more contrast from Lonicera, Baggesens Gold, which needs a haircut, it will be done soon, cuddling up to one of my conifers with different leaf shape and colour.
In shade by the front door are more Heucheras, this time the dark Obsidian with Lime Marmalade. This combination lasts for months.
and finally I will end with foliage that is just looking good at the moment and couldn’t be left out.
The area that I made for my Meconopsis, is nearly all foliage at the moment with just the hydrangea flowering, but I hope that you will agree that the Heucheras, Hakonechloas, Brunneras and Hellebores make an interesting combination.
My little blue Festuca never changes much, always looking good by the large pot.
Also never changing in the gravel area is the Phormium Yellow Wave. This has grown beautifully over the years and makes quite a statement at the entrance to the shady arbour.
We even have some new foliage on the roses, looking very springlike with all the rain.
When deciding what to plant in my borders, I definitely take into account what the foliage will be like with its neighbours, what will the plant be like when it isn’t flowering, will it be interesting for months on end. Then of course, I go and break my own rules all the time, and buy something just for its beautiful flowers. It’s like trying to create a living 3 dimentional jigsaw puzzle which keeps growing!
Thanks go to Christina at My Hesperides Garden for hosting the monthly Garden Bloggers Foliage Day meme. Do pay her a visit to see other foliage from around the world.