Springtime foliage in April for GBFD.

Lovely new foliage is appearing on all the trees and shrubs now, in just a couple of weeks, bare trees have turned to such beautiful shades  of green. The fresh greens of the hedges in all our lanes is such a delicate shade of green and there are so many different shades in the garden too. I’ll start with a long shot taken from just outside the back door, in this view, there are hardly any flowers, but I hope it still looks interesting.

View from backdoor

Philadelphus coronarius Aureus

Philadelphus coronarius Aureus in the back garden,  is making a big splash of colour with its new leaves. This has grown quite a bit sideways and must be pruned back as it is getting in the way of the lawn mower, but it will be pruned once it has flowered.

Tapestry of Dicentra, henerocallis etc.

A tapestry effect formed by Dicentra, Hemerocallis, Rhododendron, Milleum effusum Aureum and Pulmonaria.

Heuchera withStipa arundinacea

A purple leaved Heuchera with Stipa arundinacea. Also contrasting with the Heuchera is the foliage of an allium.

Heuchera, Stipa and narcissus foliage

Another heuchera with another clump of Stipa arundinacea contrasting with the blue/grey foliage of narcissus.


Lovely new growth on Pieris variegata contrasts beautifully with the old variegated leaves, who needs flowers when the new leaves are as beautiful as this?

Acer Collage jpg

Having really stunning bracts protecting the new leaves is Acer Osakazuki. The bracts are the colour that the leaves turn in the autumn and the flowers which you can see drooping down are the same colour. A few years ago I planted some seed and now have two tiny trees which turn the same colour as their parent in the autumn.

Stipa arundinacea

Stipa arundinacea contrasting with  foliage to the right, left and behind. This seeds freely in this bed and some have to be removed  each year otherwise it would take over.

Dicentra with martagon lily

More Dicentra, this time with a Martagon Lily and at the front is the foliage and flower bud of Meconopsis cambrica, the Welsh Poppy.

Meconopsis Lingholm

Another Meconopsis, this time M. Lingholm, the beautiful blue poppy which should be flowering in a few weeks.  The foliage is so hairy you can stroke it!

Acanthus mollis

The foliage of Acanthus mollis has been fantastic all winter with us not having a frost. Usually it collapses into an untidy heap, but this year has just kept on growing.

Pittosporum Tom Thumb

Pittosporum Tom Thumb with a ladybird. The new growth on Tom Thumb starts off green but soon turns dark purple. This variety stays small, it grows to about two and a half feet high.

Lysimachia ephemerum

Lovely new foliage of Lysimachia ephemerum emerges this beautiful colour but soon turns green.

Brunnera Jack Frost

Such a beautiful plant, Brunnera Jack Frost always features in Foliage Day and Bloom Day. The leaves are so beautiful and stay like this till autumn.

Matteuccia struthiopteris

With the morning light shining through it, I think the fern Matteuccia struthiopteris looks beautiful. This fern really likes the moist soil in the bog garden.

Astilbe, saxifrage and veronica

Astilbe, saxifrage and veronica mingling together to make a pleasing pattern.

Asplenium scolopendrium

Asplenium scolopendrium is slowly unfurling, looking almost snake like.  This fern puts itself around the garden and seems very happy here, contrasting with other leaf shapes.


Colourful foliage of Spirea  japonica Goldflame stays for a long while but eventually changes to pale green.

Pieris Forest Flame

Pieris Forest Flame, still a small bush but if it grows much more it will need moving.

Unknown tree in front garden

I seem to remember that this tree is a cross between a Copper Beech and an English Oak to mark the wedding of Winston Churchill and his american bride Clemantine. As you can see, the leaves are the colour of the copper beech but the shape of an oak leaf. The pretty flowers are hanging down and later fruit is formed which look like beech nuts, but they seem to be sterile unfortunately. Can anyone help with its name?

Box balls

We can still see the box balls, they will need cutting back before they get hidden by all the foliage of the roses round them. About twenty years ago they were just tiny cuttings, now they are so solid you could almost sit on them.

Cardoon and other silvers

A few silvers together, the main one is a Cardoon, on the right is some foliage of an Hemerocallis, to the left is a geranium, looking rather silver. In the front is a lily with double feverfew.


Lambs Ear or Stachys are next to more hemerocallis and a wild Arum seems to have got in on the act, must remember to move it as they are everywhere.

Euphorbia griffithii Fireglow

Euphorbia griffithii Fireglow moves around a bit in the border by the field, You can tell that I haven’t weeded this border yet -apologies!

Lemon balm

Lemon balm seeds around everywhere so I have to be strict with it, here it is nestling up to knapweed, Centaurea, which has lovely deep blue flowers in the summer, they look nice together. We quite often keep the lemon balm under control by making a lemon tea from it or some lemon ice cream, it’s good when you can eat your enemies!

Libertia peregrinans

In the border by the back door is Libertia peregrinans with Fuchsia Genii behind, they are almost the same colour but there is a contrast in the shapes. There is also some Ophiopogon and  Festuca glauca.

Colchicum and Fuchsia Genii

At the other side of Fuchsia Genii is a clump of Colchicums. At the moment the leaves are very lush, but when the flowers come in the autumn, the leaves have all died away, hence their common name of Naked Ladies.

Pittosporum Irene Patterson

Pittosporum Irene Patterson has very pretty leaves variegated with white, some leaves are almost all white. It is flowering at the moment with its chocolate brown/maroon flowers. This forms quite a large shrub.

Heuchera, millium effusum aureum

Heuchera with Millium effusum aureum and Narcissus foliage looking quite pretty together at the moment, it might be another matter when the narcissus leaves start to die back!

Adiantum venustum

Looking oh, so delicate in the woodland is the hardy maidenhair fern, Adiantum venustum. This pushes up through a carpet of foliage of Cyclamen hederifolium. When the fronds first appear they are brown but soon change to green with black stalks.


Just starting to unfurl its leaves is a Cotinus bush, it is planted next to a Euonymous which has climbed up the hedge behind it and is now at least 10ft tall. The Cotinus gets cut back every few years to keep its shape, plus also the leaves are better when it has had the chop!

Euphorbia melliferra

Euphorbia melliferra is flowering at the moment wafting honey perfume over the garden when the wind is in the right direction, especially in the evenings. The foliage is evergreen here, so even when the flowers are over and the flowering stems have been cut back, the bush still has presence.

Actinidia kolomikta

Climbing the wall beside the dining room window is Actintidia kolomikta, a cousin of the Kiwi Fruit. The variegation is just starting to appear, leaves are partly splashed with white or pink, the white will eventually turn pink, but while it has both colours, it is very pretty.

Long view through to back

I will finish with another long view, this time through the Rhododendron bed to the back garden. There is a path way through this bed to help with weeding etc, so I quite often look up and this is what I see. Apart from just 2 pathetic flowers on the rhodo bush, this view is just different shades of green. In the background on the right is a yew bush, then to the left by the archway to the woodland is an Acer with feathery foliage, next to Philadelphus coronarius aureus. Right at the top you can see the new fresh leaves coming on all the chestnut trees, the oaks and ash have still to wake up from their winter sleep.

The 22nd of the month is time for us all to look at and appreciate the foliage in our gardens.  Christina at My Hesperides Garden is good enough to host this meme each month, please pay her a visit to see foliage in gardens around the world.


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34 Responses to Springtime foliage in April for GBFD.

  1. rusty duck says:

    Astilbe foliage is at its best here at the moment, I think I prefer it to the flowers! I’ve never heard of the copper beech/oak tree so can’t help you with a name, but it is gorgeous!

    • Pauline says:

      I agree Jessica, the astilbe foliage is so beautiful at the moment. I really do wish I had kept the label to my beech/oak tree, if its going to take after either parent, it has dawned on me that I’ve put it in the wrong place! Maybe I can keep it to size by pruning for flower arrangements!

  2. Christina says:

    Pauline you always have so much of interest! Thank you for joing in GBFD again this month. when I’m reading through I think oh1 I’ll comment on this, and then this and then this and then by the end I am almost confused. I’m sorry I’ve not heard of the tree but it is lovely, the leaves look as if they are out-lined in pink lipstick! I’m so glad you included some long views I love seeing all your garden and it is nice to imagine you looking up whilst weeding and enjoying the texture and form of the shrubs.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Christina, I do love foliage which keeps the interest going while flowers are having a rest. It is a problem remembering all the different foliage which people post about, I seem to scroll backwards and forwards so many times! There are so many different shades of green, I feel that long views can still be interesting at this time of year when everything is getting clothed in their new leaves.

  3. Chloris says:

    Lots of lovely foliage and what a joy it is at this time of the year.
    I am intrigued by your copper beech/ oak tree. Whatever can it be?
    I have Spirea Goldflame as well. I love it until it gets its pink flowers which clash and have to be cut off.
    I enjoyed the glimpses of your lovely garden.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Chloris, it is a wonderful time of year for foliage isn’t it!
      I really wish I had kept the label for my tree, I can’t even remember where I got it from either.
      My spirea usually gets cut back about the time the flowers are formed, so no clash takes place!

  4. Gitte says:

    You really have so many wonderful plants. I also have the philadelhus Aureaus, and it really lights up. My Brunnera Jack Frost is still small, but the silvery leaves are so beautiful. The oak/beech tree has some lovely leaves.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Gitte, I do enjoy the different colours and shades of the leaves. Your Brunnera Jack Frost will soon grow, mine is now seeding around so I can move them to different parts of the garden. I agree the Philadelphus does light up the garden at the moment and is also wonderful when we have the perfume wafting across the garden.

  5. Cathy says:

    It’s lovely to see some long views as well as yll your indivdual plants Pauline. I think some of your photos really do look like tapestries – so many contrasting textures and colours. Very impressive!

    • Pauline says:

      Cathy, I’m so glad you like the long views, I think they show the contrast of foliage better than lots of close ups. Combining colour shape and texture of leaves can make lovely contrasts, almost as good as flowers!

  6. AnnetteM says:

    What a wonderful variety of foliage and all going so beautifully together.
    I love the photo of the fern with the light shining through it. Your crossed tree is amazing – I think it should be called a copper oak.

    • Pauline says:

      Annette, I think the sun shining through a plant makes them stand out in the border, asking to have their photo taken. What a super name you have come up with for my tree, thank you!

  7. Such lovely leaves of every shape and color. I am happy to see that you have a lot of American plants. That cyclamen foliage looks huge.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes, Carolyn, lots of your American plants have found their way into my garden, they are so beautiful, I can’t resist them and they seem very happy here!

  8. Wow, so much leafy beauty! Blessings, Natalie 🙂

  9. Wendy says:

    I agree all the fresh greens at this time of year do look lovely, especially in the spring sunshine. The morning light through the fern is beautiful. I do love the astilbe foliage, I lost all my astilbes in a dry summer but I would like to replace them – I will have to think if they can go somewhere else.

    • Pauline says:

      So sorry to hear Wendy, that you lost all your astilbes, that must have been so frustrating for you. I do love the light coming through all the leaves at this time of year, they look as though they are lit from within!

  10. Anna says:

    Can’t help with a name but the leaves on that tree are stunning Pauline. Hope that somebody comes up with an id. Slightly disappointed with my newly purchased pittosporum ‘Irene Patterson’ as quite a number of leaves are entirely green 🙁 I like the glow of the backlit fern.

    • Pauline says:

      Anna, I was so sorry to hear about your P.Irene Patterson, I’m trying to remember what mine was like when I bought it many years ago. I can’t remember any all green leaves, maybe it just needs another year before producing variegated leaves. I hope you weren’t sold a seedling of it as that wouldn’t come true.

  11. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Oh Pauline, your garden views are breathtaking! You have so many beautiful foliage combinations and the long views are equally gorgeous.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Peter, I like playing with the colour, shape and texture of foliage when it comes to planting, then just hope that the flowers are ok together when they flower! I’m surprised sometimes when I look at the garden now and remember how open and windy it was when we moved here 23 yrs ago, just grass everywhere, now it’s a question of cutting back to keep everything in its allotted space.

  12. pbmgarden says:

    Your garden is an encyclopedia of textures, colors and form. This time of year is exciting, isn’t it? I’ve admired yours and others’ brunnera and just added one to my garden a few days ago called Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’. susie

    • Pauline says:

      Brunnera is such a lovely plant isn’t it Susie, does Silver Heart have leaves that are all silver? Spring is such a super time of year, so many lovely shades of green, so many new leaves each day.

  13. Jane Scorer says:

    Pauline, I have been really inspired by your planting, and juxtaposition of colour, form and texture. Some really interesting groupings. Love the Brunneras, such lovely dependable plants, which, as you say, will remain just as gorgeous for the whole season.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Jane, I’m so pleased that you like the way I have grouped some of my plants. I have to admit that Beth Chatto has been my inspiration, her books have been such a help when planting each area. My Brunnera is now seeding around so soon I will be able to move them to new areas.

  14. I do love your garden Pauline, you have so many glorious plants, and more importantly, glorious combinations. That first shot is magical, you can really see Spring in all that bright fresh colour, and that Matteuccia photo is really beautiful. I was admiring the emerging fronds on mine earlier today but it never gets backlit like that, a magical effect. I am envious of your E. mellifera flowers, mine is showing no signs of flowering as yet, but I still adore the foliage.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Janet, you are so kind. I’m lucky, I was in the garden with camera at just the right moment to photograph my Matteucia, it only gets the sun for a short time in the morning. The foliage on E. mellifera is beautiful all year, mine has started seeding about, but some of the seedlings need moving or giving away as they have come up in the wrong place. I think the plant has to be a few years old before it starts flowering, some of my seedlings must be about 5 by now!

  15. wellywoman says:

    Wow! So much to admire. I must come back later on with my notebook to jot down the names of your fantastic plants. I’m particularly taken by that Spirea. This is the first year I have noticed the flowers on my acer. The beautiful weather we’ve had really has made everything this spring really sing. Your garden looks stunning as ever.

    • Pauline says:

      You’re very kind Louise. Quite often the Acer doesn’t have any flowers, I really hope this doesn’t mean it’s going to die! The Spirea is very pretty at the moment, but when the pink flowers come, I give it a haircut!

  16. Love your garden photos. I have gone through them several times and keep discovering new detail that I find interesting…I really love your banner photo.

    • Pauline says:

      Lovely to hear from you again Charlie! So glad you like the foliage here, I try to make the garden look interesting at all times of the year.

  17. Cathy says:

    Your post shows just how important foliage is in a garden, Pauline – it has been a pleasure to share in yours. Makes me realise that a few more grasses would be useful in mine – and having already read two references to Beth Chatto today on other blogs I think I need to add to my reading list!

    • Pauline says:

      Cathy, Beth Chattos books have been so helpful to me when planting the garden, she has a real knack of putting plants together so that they form a lovely group. Colour, shape and texture are all taken into account to make a tapestry of foliage, this is before you even think about the flowers!

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