It’s amazing how the garden and surrounding countryside has changed in the last month. There are now so many different shades of green delighting us as well as other colours of foliage. Driving round the lanes here, the beech leaves are at their best, such a wonderful soft, pale green, just the right colour with bluebells underneath but in the garden it is the oaks and chestnuts that are making us feel that we don’t have any neighbours, they will be blocked out for the next 6 months. Low down in the garden there is a rich tapestry of foliage growing rapidly, this is Tiarella wherryi which forms a ground cover under some of the shrubs near the greenhouse. OK it’s flowering at the moment, but even when not in flower, it is an almost weed proof carpet.
A shrub which is almost in flower is Vibernum plicatum Mariesii, but it is the leaves which I find fascinating. Tightly pleated when they unfurl, they hang down as the flowers stand upright.
The Euonymous Emerald Gaiety is evergreen, but as soon as Lysimachia cilata Fireworks starts growing, they both complement each other so well.
This is one of my favourite groupings of foliage, the ferns are still coming through so it will look better next month. The pulmonaria with the hart’s tongue fern, the epimedium and Solomon seal all contrast with each other, forming a foliage tapestry.
Philadelphus coronarius Aureus contrasts with its companions, too much sun and the thin delicate leaves will burn, too much shade and they turn green. This one is in semi shade and stays a lovely colour till autumn.
Brunnera macrophylla Jack Frost is starting to seed around so I’m now getting “freebies” to plant elsewhere.
The foliage of Acer Osakasuki changes all the time, bronze when they first come out, then slightly yellow and now turning green until the autumn when it becomes vibrant fuchsia pink before turning bright pillar box red – fantastic.
Another ground cover at the entrance to the woodland is Saxifrage stolonifera which sends out long runners and soon covers the ground. If it spreads too far it is very easy to remove. It will soon be flowering with very dainty flowers on long stalks like London Pride.
A small variegated bush of Pieris, given to us by a very good friend to mark our Ruby Wedding a few years ago, with leaves like these, who needs flowers?
In the woodland Milium effusum Aureum is seeding around, I must soon go and remove the flowering stalks as they are spreading too much. They bring a lightness to the shady areas but you can have too much of a good thing!
The hardy maidenhair fern Adiantum venustum also forms ground cover and contrasts with the Hellebore foliage. This is such a dainty fern, you wouldn’t think it would be hardy, it is a cousin to the houseplant that we have in our hall which wouldn’t survive a winter outside.
The Japanese Holly Fern or Cyrtomium falcatum has unusual pinnae to other ferns and are almost evergreen so they have a presence all year.
Hosta, fern, primrose, old snowdrop leaves and hellebore form a nice tapestry on the woodland floor.
Not a very good photo, but I hope you can make out the bronze fennel foliage behind the Phormium Yellow Wave. The fennel arrived from nowhere, I have the ordinary green fennel at the other side of the house, just outside the back door, so I don’t know if it is a seedling from that one.
The Astilbes are all starting to push out their foliage, some of them such beautiful colours which contrast with the bright green of the primulas in the bog garden.
While wandering round looking for foliage, the sempervivum in one of my troughs caught my eye, lovely two tone purple/grey, they’ve been there for years and I think they are very happy.
A golden form of Santolina on the alpine scree shines out all year long, a patch of sunshine for 12 months.
My favourite patch of ferns, Matteuccia struthiopteris, in a corner of the bog garden, looking so ethereal with the sunlight shining through them.
Such beautiful Epimedium foliage at this time of year, the leaves go more green as the months go by.
Seeming happy at last, the vibrant orange of a Libertia has taken a while to settle down, but this year has put up more sheaves than ever, did it need all the rain last year?
Good old reliable holly, Ilex Golden King, always looks good and contrasts with the heather in front.
I found one of my Rodgersia podophylla had been completely covered by a bush, more cutting back needed so that we can see the lovely bronze leaves that are produced, another one which enjoyed all the rain last year.
Actinidia kolomikta is a cousin of the Kiwi fruit and a climber. The leaves start off all green, then parts of some of the leaves turn white, these white bits then turn pink which stays until autumn, quite colourful and very interesting.
Sambucus Black Lace has such dark purple leaves which will form a super backdrop to the deep pink flowers in a couple of weeks time.
I thought I would end with a couple of general views of the garden,this is looking towards the pond with just foliage for interest at the moment, I think the only flowers are the daisies on the lawn, the cold weather is holding everything back in the bog garden. There are plenty of buds just waiting to pop up if warmer weather arrives, but for a while now it has been cold winds from the north making us feel as though we are back to March!
Yes, the hedge needs cutting (we’re leaving it for now as a blackbird is nesting there) but the foliage brings interest to the front garden before all the roses start frothing everywhere!
The last shot is of my retail therapy the other day, hardly a flower to be seen but don’t they look lovely together?! I will be writing a post about the area they are going to in a short while.
Many thanks once again to Christina at My Hesperides Garden for hosting GBFD and making us all think beyond the seductive flowers and appreciate the wonderful foliage that we have at this time of year.