Is August a Washout. GBFD 2017.

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.


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12 Responses to Is August a Washout. GBFD 2017.

  1. Christina says:

    I’m very envious if all your rain, although we have had a little now it is too little to do much good. The colour combinations of all your foliage really prove that taking care to think of foliage as well as flowers really pays off. I especially like the Obsidian and Lime Huerchera together. All silver foliage looks green after a lot of rain as the tiny hairs that make it look silver are all lying flat against the green leaf allowing the green to show, they will all return to looking silver when it dries out. Thanks for joining GBFD always, your contributions are always welcome.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks for solving the mystery of my Astelia Christina, I was thinking they would stay green for the rest of the summer. I wish we could send some of our rain towards you, but I think it is going to north Europe. I’m really enjoying the effects of my different Heucheras this year, there are so many new ones being brought onto the market, we are spoilt for choice.

  2. Sally says:

    Hi Pauline, You’ve been so thoughtful in using color in your garden. So interesting and beautiful. I hadn’t thought about Heuchera in pots. You’ve given me a few ideas. I love them and am trying to get as many kinds as I can!

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Sally, its good to know that you like Heucheras too! They come in such tempting colours these days and certainly brighten up shady corners.

  3. AlisonC says:

    You have some lovely things and I particularly like the Heucheras. The acid green one is very striking and your ginger jar looks fab. I’m hoping autumn holds off for a bit longer.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Alison, Heucheras are rather a favourite at the moment. Trying to hold back autumn is like holding back the tide, I think autumn will win wether we want it to or not, once it starts it will just keep coming!

  4. Susie says:

    Interesting to see your foliage is taking on autumn color Pauline. Love that photo of the cherry. And we all seem to admire the contrasting heucheras. Take care.

    • Pauline says:

      The colours are increasing every day Susie, maybe they are triggered by the shorter days, as the temperatures seem the same. Yes, the Heucheras seem very popular, there are some wonderful colours on the market now.

  5. Frank says:

    What a range of plants you have! I mean I knew that already but to see all the varied foliage put together at one time it really shows.
    I’m a little jealous of all the less hardy plants such as the eucalyptus and pittosporum. They really give a unique effect.
    Those heuchera can be addicting. Such a variety have come out in the last few years it’s hard to stop at just a few.

    • Pauline says:

      Playing with foliage is one of my interests Frank, as we have foliage with us far longer than flowers, which are the icing on the cake!
      Buying lovely Heucheras is so tempting, it is hard to stop when faced with such a choice.

  6. snowbird says:

    Goodness, autumn certainly is creeping in, I’ve noticed that around here too, lots of leaves coming down now from the beech. You do have some beautiful contrasts, especially those heucheras. How true, gardens are living, growing

    • Pauline says:

      Yes, leaves are falling here too, soon be time to get the rake out Dina! Foliage offers us such amazing planting opportunities, I love contrasting colour, shape and texture.

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