January Foliage. GBFD

At this time of year it is the evergreen foliage that is standing out in the garden and the new growth on plants that are lulled into a false sense of security with the mild weather that we have been having lately. If we start in the front garden, the first bush we come to is an Osmanthus with very prickly leaves which is a pain to weed around, literally!


Camellia and beech

Also in the front garden is a Camellia in front of the beech hedge. The Camellia is now covered with buds so there should be lots of blossom in a month’s time. The Beech will hang onto its old brown leaves until the new green ones push them away in the spring.

Variegated Box

All down the border in the front are some variegated box plants. These were given to me by a friend as tiny cuttings and they are now ready to be shaped. I have lots of box balls so, for a change,  I think these can become cubes. Here they contrast with the spears of Sisyrinchium leaves and the red stems of the Cornus behind.

Lonicera Baggesens gold

Near the green house is a bush of Lonicera Baggesens Gold, this used to be a rather blobby shape but now it is being clipped as a cone, I’m still deciding if it will have a ball on top!

Euonymous Emerald n Gold

Another bush that we have lots of is Euonymous Emerald ‘n’ Gold, again, some of them grown from cuttings. In the winter they provide a nice splash of colour on a dull, grey day.

Box ball

The box balls in the rose garden are now starting to send out fresh shoots. I think these are Buxus Suffruticosa, which have a larger leaf than B. sempervirens, so far, thank goodness , we don’t have any of the dreaded box blight.

Acanthus mollis

Up by the pond Acanthus mollis is still putting out new leaves, usually it has collapsed in a heap by now, this shows how mild we have had it lately.


Another that shouldn’t be looking so bright and perky at the moment is Zantedeschia. It looks a bit lonely all by itself in the bog garden, everything else is underground waiting for spring.

Blue Cedar

In the back garden is a  lovely glaucous blue Cedar bush which I use a lot in flower arranging.

Euonymous Emerald Gaity

Now round towards the woodland, by the acer trees, are bushes of Euonymous Emerald Gaity. These plants are so easy to increase from cuttings, we have quite a few around the garden.

Saxifrage stoloniferous

On the woodland floor is Saxifrage stolonifera, as its name indicates, this one increases by sending out long shoots which then root. In a few years there is good ground cover to keep the weeds away, the pretty flowers are a bonus.

Hart's Tongue Fern

The harts tongue fern, or  Asplenium scolopendrium Ramo-cristatum, is very happy in the woodland, with its fronds unaffected by whatever weather is thrown at it.

Cyclamen hederifolium

Forming a lovely pattern on the woodland floor are the leaves of Cyclamen hederifolium.

Maidenhead Fern

The hardy maidenhair fern,   Adiantum pedatum, is still looking good, but eventually I will have to cut the old fronds away to make room for the new ones.

Cyclamen coum with epimedium

Cyclamen coum leaves are smaller than C.hederifolium leaves, here it is keeping company with some epimedium leaves and will soon be joined by Galanthus nivalis flowers.

Primrose and cyclamen

The roots of one of our huge Ash trees, which now has a covering of moss,  now has primrose and cyclamen seedlings nestling among them, they put themselves into places where I would never think of putting them.

Euphorbia melliferra and Pittosporum Irene Patterson

By the house, in the back garden, Euphorbia melliferra contrasts with Pittosporum  Irene Patterson. I must trim more from under the pittosporum so that the euphorbia can grow a bit more.

Phormium Yellow Wave

My Phormium Yellow Wave is growing again at last. We thought we might have lost it in the winter of 2010/11, we lost a couple of purple ones. This has taken its time growing again, but at last it seems to have recovered with lots of new growth this year.

Arum italicum marmoratum

We have lots of Arum italicum marmoratum around the garden. The seeds are dropped by the blackbirds when they are sitting in the trees and shrubs. At this time of year there are always some small leaves which look lovely with a few snowdrops in a vase.

Assorted Ivy

Ivy can be relied on to provide ground cover or a covering for walls and tree trunks through the winter. On the left is a hybrid between an ivy and a fatsia,  Fatshedera which has smaller leaves than a fatsia but larger than an ivy. On the right are two ivies which look very similar in the photos but the top one is I think Hedera Glacier which has green/cream leaves, the one at the bottom is green and gold, much more yellow.

So that is it for my wander (squelch, squelch) round the garden, looking at foliage.The evergreens certainly give the garden a furnished look in the winter, I wouldn’t want to be looking at bare soil until spring wakes all the deciduous plants up once more. Sorry to be late with this post, WordPress was objecting to the way I had labelled my photos!

Many thanks to Christina for hosting Garden Bloggers Foliage Day once more, do visit her to see other foliage from around the world.

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34 Responses to January Foliage. GBFD

  1. Christina says:

    You have so much lovely foliage in your garden, no need for flowers at all! All the lovely variagations on the Arum, Cyclamen etc. really add a touch of glamour. Thank you for joining in this month with GBFD especially when you had to brave the wet ground to take the stunning images. Thank you.

    • Pauline says:

      Foliage keeps me going in the winter Christina, while most of the flowers take a rest.We keep hoping the rain will stop soon so that we can do some proper gardening instead of tip-toeing round the edges!

  2. Chloris says:

    I can see you have put a lot of thought into the planning of the foliage in your garden. Who said that without foliage, flowers look like coloured hay? It is important to give structure and form particularly in winter. I love Euphorbia mellifera it smells so lovely. That is a lovely Asplenium fern.
    I have a very neglected Lonicera hedge at the bottom of my garden, does it recover if you cut into old wood and give it a really short back and sides?

    • Pauline says:

      When planning the foliage Chloris, I think I planted one third evergreen so that we would have something to look at in the winter. I agree, the Euphorbia perfume is wonderful and carries on the breeze from the back garden to the front. Our Lonicera cone was cut very hard back on the left side and it has taken a couple of years to grow back, but it is coming, another year and it should have filled in, I think they are pretty tough.

  3. Angie says:

    Pauline – your Topiary is just lovely. The path edged with those balls is so fetching. You’ve just reminded me that I once planted Saxifrage stolonifera – I must remember to have a look for it tomorrow.
    Your winter garden is a real credit to your planning.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Angie, its this time of year that I’m glad I planted all the evergreens. I feel I should be a little more adventurous with my topiary, so next I must improve the cone, plus the cubes, what next I wonder! Hope you find your Saxifrage stolonifera!

  4. Caro says:

    As usual, Pauline, you’ve broadened my horizons with this post – there were a couple of plants I had to look up as I couldn’t think what they were! Pittosporums are one of my absolute must-have favourite plants, Irene Paterson will go on my plant wish list now, it looks so good with the euphorbia underneath! Fatshedera is another fave (although I can’t bear Fatsia japonica – say it quietly, I know it’s popular elsewhere!) I’ll have to check the camellia growing under my window – it’s been there since before I lived here (11 years) and is plonked in next to a Ceanothus. The soil is not acid and, by rights, it should be very unhappy there but flowers prolifically every year! Lovely post, as usual – nice to appreciate all the seasons!

    • Pauline says:

      Caro, P. Irene Patterson does grow quite tall but can easily be kept to a reasonable height with clipping, there are other varieties which are smaller. My soil is just the acid side of neutral and all the camellias here seem very happy with lots of flowers each year. Its good to have interest in the garden in each of the seasons.

  5. rusty duck says:

    I have Saxifrage stolonifera too, which I stupidly bought for an exorbitant price, given how quickly it reproduces itself. It is good ground cover though, and lovely flowers for a shady spot.

    • Pauline says:

      It is so annoying Jessica, having to pay a high price for something that increases so quickly, they obviously know that we will never need to buy any more !

  6. Cathy says:

    You have got so many lovely different shapes, colours and textures Pauline – it looks as if you’ve really thought this out for interest in the winter months. Admirable and inspiring! I love the golden Euonymous too, but mine is a little out of control so I shall take a leaf out of your book(!) and try trimming it into shape in the spring. I daredn’t cut it yet as we may still get some hard frosts. I also love the dramatic contrast the cornus stems offer. It looks like your garden thrives on mild winter weather. 😀

    • Pauline says:

      Cathy, I don’t think I deserve such praise, maybe in the last few years I have been planting for winter interest but before that it was probably just a happy accident. The clipped shapes also take on extra interest when there is a sharp frost or snow, they certainly stand out. We love the Cornus at this time of year, during the summer they just fade into the background when the flowers in front of them grab all the attention.

  7. So many wonderful things! I particularily like the contrast of beech hedge and glossy camellia. Though considered a lowly plant here, I adore the dainty flowers of Saxifrage stolonifera and have planted it in several difficult areas.

    • Pauline says:

      The flower of the Saxifrage is so pretty isn’t it Marian, I got my first plant from a friend when I was visiting her garden, it was in flower at the time, but she dug up a clump for me and it is now covering a few areas in the woodland.

  8. Annette says:

    I like the combination of Cornus, Sisyrinchium and box as well as the E. mellifera with Pittosporum. You certainly have great foliage in your garden so winter is never a bleak time for you. Have a nice sunday, Pauline 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      You’re right Annette, winter is never bleak here, there is always something to look at, as well as the foliage , there is also the bark of trees with their various colours and textures. These tend to get overlooked in the summer when everything else is flowering it’s head off, so now is their moment.

  9. pbmgarden says:

    Another inspiring post Pauline. I’ve been lamenting the lack of winter interest in my own garden and here are so many great suggestions. The dogwood adds a nice pop of color. I love the Arum, which is labelled invasive here I think, but mine has behaved very nicely. Enjoy all this lush foliage. Susie

    • Pauline says:

      Susie, I am enjoying it all until all the flowers get going again, its nice to see different colours from all the windows in the middle of winter. The red of the Cornus is so vivid especially when the sun is shining on it as it is at the moment.

  10. A great roundup Pauline. Sadly all my Euonymous is infected with scale. I have lots of Euonymous and so the infestation is a nightmare! I love the Arum italicum marmoratum and vow to add some to my garden. I am not familiar with Saxifrage stolonifera. What pretty foliage.

    • Pauline says:

      Such a shame Jennifer,that your Euonymous has scale, I don’t think I’ve heard of it being attacked over here, thank goodness. The Arum and the Sazifrage both look lovely in the shade, making a nice tapestry on the woodland floor.

  11. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    Looking good! I’m pleased it’s been relatively mild so far, although I now worry about late frosts/snow just as the spring bulbs begin to bloom… Let’s just hope it remains good – although less rain would be nice.

    I love your Dogwoods and really, really, really need to get mine out of the pot it’s been in for a few years now – from a cutting – and into the ground where it should hopefully be much happier and give me a nice winter show.

    Considering how mild it’s been, I’m surprised I don’t have any Primula vulgaris yet, and it looks like you don’t either. I don’t even think I’ve seen its leaves appearing – will have to check.

    • Pauline says:

      Liz, I’m hoping too that it stays mild but I would love the garden to dry out. We do have quite a few Primula vulgaris out flowering, but they are all at the back of borders under shrubs and the ground is just too wet to walk on, maybe next time.
      I too have some dogwood in pots that need to be released, they are so easy aren’t they from hard wood cuttings, once you have one, you never need to buy another!

  12. Cathy says:

    Lots of deserved praise for your forward planning Pauline, as well for your neat clipping – your post shows the benefit of both individual shape and form that stands out in the garden, and the smaller unassuming foliage that clothes wider areas. You have both of these so thank you for sharing it all – you have really helped me appreciate the abiding benefits of foliage in all your posts, Pauline.

    • Pauline says:

      Cathy, the clipped shapes certainly stand out in the garden, even more so when there is frost or snow. Even the ground cover has interesting patterns on the leaves, it’s just a question of getting down to appreciate them, which isn’t so easy for me these days!

  13. catmint says:

    Hi Pauline, the different colours and textures make flowers unnecessary. I love the look, it’s more subtle and restful for a change from bright coloured flowers. All looking healthy and attractive.

    • Pauline says:

      Hello Catmint, I find it restful too, in fact there are a couple of areas that just have foliage all year round and these do make a nice change when every where else is flowering away. The torrential rain that we have been having for weeks now is making everything look nice and healthy, we all just wish it would stop!

  14. Lovely foliage, and confirmation that I defnitely need to get my hands on some Saxifrage stolonifera, though preferably not at an exorbitant price!

    • Pauline says:

      Janet, if you can’t find any saxifrage, do let me know and I will send you a piece! It does form a lovely tapestry at ground level with the other little plants.

  15. Anna says:

    How clever of nature to tuck those little primroses and cyclamens into that mossy cushion Pauline. I’ve got a rather overgrown Lonicera ‘Baggesens Gold’ to tackle – your post has given me inspiration 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Nature is wonderful Anna, I just hope they have enough nutrients where they are or I may need to move a few. My Lonicera Baggesens Gold was given a hard cut back on the left side. I wondered at the time that I may have ruined it, but slowly it started putting out new shoots and by this summer, hopefully, it will be fully clad once more!

  16. debsgarden says:

    I LOVED the tour of your evergreens! You must know how much I adore foliage, and your garden demonstrates what a great variety can be had, even with just evergreens. I like how the primrose and cyclamen found a perfect spot nestled amidst the old tree roots!

    • Pauline says:

      I hope Deb that the Primrose and cyclamen have enough room to develop among the tree roots, I will have to keep an eye on them. The first gardening book that I bought when moving here, was The Green Tapestry by Beth Chatto, and I was completely bowled over by the effect she created with foliage. She has been a great influence on the way I have planted the garden here.

  17. wellywoman says:

    Gorgeous, Pauline and so much interest for the time of year. I love how those primroses have self-seeded into the roots of your ash tree. Nature is brilliant.

    • Pauline says:

      I agree WW, nature is wonderful. The tiny primroses looked lovely between the tree roots, I hope they are able to grow there and not need to be moved. I will keep an eye on them.

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