As well as all the beautiful flowers that are out at the moment, the foliage just gets better and better . Not just evergreens, golds and silvers, but there are purples, bronze, peach and lots of shades in between. Texture and shape of foliage also contributes to the tapestry effect, sometimes I feel that flowers are a bonus when the foliage is outstanding. This first photo is of the new foliage growth on one of the rhododendrons, so colourful, who would mind if it never flowered!
Such a lovely bronze leaf on Rodgersia aesculifolia, these turn green later in the year, but for the first few months after they have emerged from the soil in the spring, they contrast with everything round them in the bog garden.
Hosta Halcyon makes me smile every time I walk past it, I don’t know why! The leaves are so perfect and such a beautiful colour, it is obviously a happy plant as it is spreading nicely.
Growing up the corner of the house at the back, is Actinidia kolomikta, a cousin of the kiwi fruit. The leaves emerge all green, then splashes of white appear, along with pink. The white eventually turns pink,
then this is how it stays for the rest of the summer, pink and green.
The ubiquitous Alchemilla mollis, we all have it I’m sure, soon to be flowering, but in the meantime the foliage forms a good ground cover.
My, how my Cardoon has grown, do you remember last year, I discovered a pathetic little plant that had been almost obliterated by a conifer, the conifer was cut right back and the cardoon has flourished. It is now putting up a flower bud, the books say to keep the foliage looking good, to cut the flower spike off, but I love to see the bumble bees wallowing in all the purple pollen.
A view across the pond area with just a few iris in flower, the rest is foliage of contrasting colours, shapes and textures. Starting at the front left and going clockwise is crocosmia, Bowles golden sedge,Miscanthus sinensis variegatus, hosta, fern, inula and variegated Iris pseudocorus. In the pond are Iris laevigata Variegata and Lysichiton.
By the gate into the pond area is the foliage of Crocosmia Lucifer, soon he will be drawing attention to himself with his bright red flowers, but in the meantime the sword shaped leaves stand to attention and remind us of what is to come in a couple of weeks.
The left hand corner of the bog garden has hostas, ferns, primula, iris, astilbe and alchemilla mollis, all mostly green but all different.
The right hand end has astilbe, ferns and Hosta halcyon.
Moving further round the garden Heuchera Marmalade contrasts with the foliage of foxgloves behind. This heuchera is responsible for me starting to call this part of the garden, the sunset border, more peach, apricot, yellow and salmon coloured flowers are being planted here, which does actually catch the evening sunlight.
In the border behind the alpine scree ( which used to be the old pond), the previous people who lived here, planted Peltiphyllum peltatum. I have tried to move it to the bog garden but the roots are so big and tough, like an elephant’s trunk. I have had to give up and leave it where it is, here it is joined by pheasant’s tail grass which seeds around in this area.
At the back of the same border, we inherited a large tree heath, Erica arboria, which was growing too tall. Thankfully they respond to hard pruning, and we now keep it to about 5ft tall, the new growth is a lovely bright green and stays like this all year.
The new growth on Acer Osakazuki is the same bright red the leaves will become in the autumn.
Hosta Sagae is in the back border by the woodland and here has borrowed some flowers from a white Dicentra.
In the corner of the back garden we do have the occasional flower but most of the interest comes from the contrasting foliage of the shrubs that are there. The shrubs are, from the right, Seneccio, Euonymous, Cotinus, Rosa glauca, Choisya, Laurel and Rhododendron.
Such a lovely coloured blue for this grass, Leymus, which I keep in a pot as I’m not sure how much it would spread if allowed free reign in the border. Behind is a form of Libertia, but I have forgotten which one I’m afraid.
Hosta sieboldiana by the front door is now growing into a huge clump which is under planted with snowdrops for interest in the winter.
Acanthus mollis, back by the pond, has huge, wonderfully architechtural leaves, but the other day when our temperatures reach 26C, they flopped in all the heat! Thank goodness, the next day they were bright and perky once more in the drizzle!
Rhododendron yakushimanum decided not to flower this year, goodness knows why, when all the others flowered so beautifully. Instead, it decided to put out lots of new white felt covered foliage, this white covering eventually washes of in the rain, when they return to their normal green.
Some new planting behind the alpine scree, they have a bit of growing to do. There were quite a few Dryopteris, the male fern which had put themselves here, so I thought, what suits one fern will hopefully suit something a little more interesting. Joining the Heuchera Ginger Peach are two japanese painted ferns, Athyrium niponicum Pictum and one tatting fern, Athyrium Frizelliae, they will all look a bit better in a few years time.
Heuchera Lime Marmalade is another new plant which I think will go well with the pheasant tail grass beside it.
Not a good photo I’m afraid, dare I say, too much sunshine! The leaves of Sambucus Black Lace are such a dark purple, they form a nice contrast when the flowers open, which they are doing at the moment, to give us that wonderful perfume.
I couldn’t finish without another look at Hosta Halcyon with the fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris, behind. At one time my path through the wide border came to the right of the hosta. Over the years the hosta has spread and is now almost 6ft wide, so a couple of years ago, I decided I couldn’t disturb the hosta, therefore moved the path further to the left!
I hope you have enjoyed walking through the garden with me, thanks must go to Christina at My Hesperides Garden, for hosting foliage day once more and encouraging us to realise how wonderful foliage can be without flowers to distract us.