New shoots everywhere!

All the new shoots bursting out all over the garden are the subject of this month’s Garden Bloggers Foliage Day hosted by Christina at My Hesperides Garden. Everywhere I look, there are wonderful new leaves to grab my attention, so many different colours, shapes, sizes and textures.


Starting with the tall Acer in the back garden, the new leaves are a lovely pleated, bright green which contrast with the little pink flower buds that are showing already. This tree was here before we were, so I don’t know its full name, bu it turns a wonderful orangey/red in the autumn.

Acer Osakazuku

Acer Osakazuki is a little behind and is only just opening its buds where we can see the pink flower buds, the new leaves are all green. This tree turns the most vivid red in the autumn.

Matteuccia struthiopteris

Ferns are unfolding, this is Matteuccia struthiopteris, one of a few that I have planted in the ditch.


All the Heucheras are waking up and making new leaves, time to tidy away the old leaves!

Japanese painted fern

The Japanese painted fer, Athyrium niponicum Pictum, contrasts with everything around it, it has such beautiful fronds.

Hose Chestnut

Lovely new leaves of one of our horse chestnuts. The leaves are so thin and vulnerable at this stage, it is such a shame that by July they will have been infested with the moth larva that eats them from within and then they will be green with horrible brown blotches. The experts say it doesn’t damage the tree but each year the trees can’t photosynthesise properly, so I think they might become weaker and weaker, I really hope this isn’t the case. It has been noticed that blue tits are pecking the grubs out from the leaves, hopefully they will teach each other about this wonderful source of protein – a case of nature helping itself.

Pieris Forest Flame

Pieris Forest Flame with lovely red new leaves, who needs flowers when the new growth is as attractive as this?

Actinidinia Kolomikta

A cousin of the kiwi fruit, Actinidia kolomicta had beautifully coloured leaves. As they age they become more pink, they look lovely when both white and pink are on the leaves.


New growth on roses starts the rose season off early, all the new growth is beautiful, but they will soon turn green.


All the berberis bushes in the garden are sporting their new leaves, which look so beautiful with the sun shining through them.

Mahonia seedling

Where has this Mahonia seedling come from? We have a bush  in the front garden, this seedling is about 30ft away in the back garden. It will have to be potted up as there isn’t room for it to develop where it now is.

Cynara cardunculus

The cardoon in the side border by the field (Cynara cardunculus) is growing nicely, getting better and better each year, it is recovering from being swamped by the hedge behind it.

Pittosporum Tom Thumb

Just starting to show new green growth is Pittosporum Tom Thumb. Soon the new growth will be a lot more noticeable before it finally turns dark maroon/brown and blends in with the older leaves.

Candelabra primula

The bog garden is waking up, all the candelabra primulas are starting to grow, it won’t be long before the rainbow of flowers start appearing. In the meantime I can enjoy the leaves getting bigger and bigger each day.


Also in the bog are clumps of our wild iris, Iris pseudacorus variegata. The leaves look lovely before they flower, when they revert to plain green.

Meconopsis Lingholm

This is the only Meconopsis Lingholm that has survived the winter, I don’t know why it is the only one, so I hope this one flowers and provides me with some seed for next year. Only 2 flowers had viable seed last year, all the other flower heads were filled with a very fine dust which is no use at all.


Epimedium have beautiful leaves, starting out with a purple flush to them.

Day lily and Welsh poppy

There are lots of clumps of Hemerocallis foliage, this one is accompanied by the welshpoppy, Meconopsis cambrica.

mixed foliage

Pulmonaria, Dicentra and Gallium odoratum mixing together. I will have to watch the Gallium as it spreads a lot. Somehow it has come to this bed from the woodland where it forms groundcover.

Brunnera Jack Frost

Brunnera Jack Frost is happy mixing with Hemerocallis on the left and Aquilegia on the right. The blue flower is a forget me not and not the Brunnera which has very similar flowers.

Blue conifer and Philadelphus Belle etoille

In the back garden are two contrasting shrubs, a blue conifer on the left and the yellow leaves of Philadelphus  coronarius aurius.


Rearing up like lots of baby cobras are the fronds of Asplenium scolopendrium, the hart’s tongue fern, I love the shapes they make!

Morning sun on the Amelanchier

I will leave you with early morning sun on the Amelanchier. The new leaves emerge bronze before turning green and then back to orange/red before falling in the autumn, my favourite small tree.

Thank you to Christina at My Hesperides Garden for hosting this monthly meme which encourages us to look more closely at the foliage in the garden, do pay her a visit and see lots of interesting foliage.




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26 Responses to New shoots everywhere!

  1. Christina says:

    There is so much here Pauline so I will be back to read in more detail later, for now thank you for joining in GBFD each month and sharing so much glorious foliage with us.

  2. Cathy says:

    What lovely sunny foliage photographs, Pauline – and thanks for showing the acer flower buds too as that is not something I have been aware of before. I managed to miss the bronze stage of my amelanchier which you can see in full flower on my WW today – and I nearly missed those too as I don’t have the ‘long view’ that you have… Yours dioes indeed look stunning.

    • Pauline says:

      I already have 2 tiny Acer trees growing from last years A.Osakazuki seeds Cathy, I’m hoping to get seed from my other 2 trees this year. Your Amelanchier is wonderful, we only had about a dozen flowers, the same with the Prunus Kojo-no-mai, I blame all our bullfinches, it makes a change from Mr P!

  3. rusty duck says:

    You had cobras, I had meerkats.. love that Asplenium. Just as well because we are overrun with them! Our Acers are at a very similar stage. Your Amelanchier really does look good.

    • Pauline says:

      Lots of our plants are the same Jessica and at the same stage, not surprising as we live so close! The Asplenium pops up everywhere here too, which is handy as I have so much shade for them to enjoy. As I said to Cathy, yes, the foliage is nice , but we had almost non existant flowers which I think is down to the bullfinches eating all the buds. They did this year after year to the Forsythia, until in the end we got rid of it, I hope this isn’t going to be the same!

  4. I love seeing those acers unfurl…so unusual…and a great variety of foliage especially the Hart’s Tongue.

    • Pauline says:

      The new leaves are so pretty and delicate Donna, we just have to hope we don’t get a gale! The Hart’s tongue fern is so appealing as it’s unfurling, by tomorrow they will probably all be straight, it doesn’t take long.

  5. Christina says:

    Could the bull finches be eating aphids on the buds, that happened to my wisteria before it was properly established and so a bit vulnerable. The other reason might be water droplets that they take to drink and in doing so break the flower bud. If you think it might be the latter then you could give them a drinking source close by, it might deter them.

    • Pauline says:

      Sorry Christina, but all the birds have a good source of water by the bird table where they come and eat their breakfast,. Bullfinches have a reputation for stripping buds on flowering shrubs, and we have had 2 pairs of bullfinches in the garden for quite some time now, this means we should soon have lots of babies! I wouldn’t mind but they eat lots of expensive sunflower hearts for their breakfast and keep popping back to see if there are any more during the day.

  6. Chloris says:

    The foliage at this time of the year is such a joy. Yours all looks lovely. Bullfinches? I haven’ t seen any of those for years. We used to have a lot but they all disappeared like the hedgehogs and the nightingales.

    • Pauline says:

      We have hedgehogs too Chloris, we sometimes see them but usually it is their droppings that we find on the lawn, I saw some this morning. Everywhere is looking a very fresh green at the moment, including the lanes round about here, the garden is in its spring finery, such a wonderful time of year.

  7. Cathy says:

    A lovely post with all your beautiful photos, Pauline. I love the fresh leaves of the Horse Chestnut. It is such a shame that they turn brown and blotchy. Many beer gardens in Germany have chestnut trees for shade and the owners have spent fortunes on various measures to save them over recent years… the most effective though is removing all fallen leaves in autumn from the ground around and burning them… quite a job!

    • Pauline says:

      We swept all our leaves up for a couple of years Cathy, and got our neighbours to do the same, what a job that was! The problem was only slightly better in the following years as obviously we must have missed some leaves. We have registered our trees on a website that is keeping track of the moth and they told us about the bluetits, pity we can’t train a little army of them!

  8. Alberto says:

    wow the amelanchier looks wonderful! I have three that doesn’t want to grow. Stuck there since they’ve been planted. And I fear that moving could make things even worse. Maybe here it’s too hot in summer for them…

    • Pauline says:

      What a shame Alberto that your Amelanchier trees aren’t responding to your tender loving care! You could be right ,maybe your summers are too hot or could it be that you don’t have enough rain?!

  9. Angie says:

    Such pretty foliage Pauline. I love the freshness of it all at this time of the year and every day there is something new to enjoy. All looking great down there.

    • Pauline says:

      It’s a wonderful time of year Angie, everything new and fresh. We are in desperate need of rain though and thank goodness we will have some on Friday and Saturday.

  10. snowbird says:

    How lovely all your foliage looks, you just can’t beat this time of the year can you, when everything is young and vibrant. I particularly liked the tongue fern, the shapes are fascinating!
    I’m glad you talked about the brown patches on the horse chestnut, I didn’t realize the damage was caused by

    • Pauline says:

      I agree Dina, spring is a wonderful time, I want to press a pause button because everything is growing so fast!
      The brown patches on the horse chestnut leaves are caused by the tiny larva of the moth burrowing between the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves, which they then eat from the inside. We have tried sweeping up all the old leaves in the autumn, then burning them, but obviously some get missed and it all starts all over again.

  11. Caro says:

    Just gorgeous! Oh I have enjoyed reading this, Pauline! I do find spring so exciting with all the new growth; I noticed all the beautiful shapes of leaves unfurling as I walked through Regents’ Park the other day – there’s some intriguing buds appearing. I just love the new leaves of heuchera and really relish getting the old darker leaves off. I have several heuchera now of various shades, growing alongside galium odoratum so the contrast is vivid! Galium does spread (I want it to in my shady bed) but is very easily controlled and looks so fresh at this time of year. I’m making notes of your plant combinations, very inspiring especially Jack Frost with forget me nots and hemerocallis. 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Caro, I want it all to slow down, I feel I can’t keep up with it all! Gallium odoratum is a very useful little plant and so pretty when in flower, but I’m now finding it in beds that are a considerable distance from the original, it seems very much at home here! Heucheras certainly need tidying up at the moment, they look 100 times better without their old tatty leaves, it’s a question of finding the time!

  12. sally says:

    I’m a day late and a dollar short reading my favorite blogs….as usual. I do love the Acers you are growing! Such wonderful color… is so encouraging to see our plants get bigger everyday! Happy Gardening!

    • Pauline says:

      It is a wonderful time of year Sally, there is something new to see everyday. Each day brings new flowers and the look of the garden changes week by week. Have a good weekend!

  13. Anna says:

    I almost feel like weeping for our chestnuts Pauline and like you wonder about whether it does weaken the trees. Still we can enjoy them for a couple of months more and not long now until the candles are fully aflame 🙂 The brunnera and forget-me-not flowers are most similar indeed. I never realised fully until I recently picked sprigs of each to go in a vase.

    • Pauline says:

      Our Chestnuts are suffering across the country Anna. The trees looks wonderful at the moment, they are in full leaf and looking quite magnificent. By July you would think autumn has arrived as the leaves are brown and starting to drop. I don’t know what the answer is apart from training up an army of bluetits!

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