The Foliage in June is Hiding! GBFD.

Normally the foliage in the garden is so easy to see, so there is no problem when it comes to photographing leaves for GBFD  hosted by Christina. This time though, it is flowers, flowers and even more flowers, I have had to go searching for foliage that could be thought a bit interesting.

Crocosmia Lucifer, by the pond,  is just about to flower, but at the moment I enjoy seeing the sun shining through the sword shaped leaves, once the bright red flowers come, he just shouts for attention.

Crocosmia Lucifer

Acanthus mollis

Acanthus mollis is on the other side of the gate to the pond area, and is amazing this year. It didn’t collapse into a heap in the winter as it usually does, so much rain and virtually no frost saw to that. The leaves are far larger than normal and as for the flowers spikes, we have never had so many before, at the moment I can count 20 flower spikes, I think this will definitely feature in Bloom Day in July! Behind with the purple leaves and the pink flowers is Sambucus Black Lace. To the left is Rosa New Dawn.

Acanthus mollis

I can’t resist photographing them when the early morning sun shines through the Acanthus leaves.


At the side of the garden by the field is the Cardoon that I rescued a couple of years ago. The hedge by the fence had grown forward so much, there was no sign of the cardoon until I cut the conifer right back, there it was, a poor,  sickly, spindly  looking thing. Now it has filled out and is as tall as me once more.

Tapestry, rockery

In the shady part of the rockery which is behind the alpine scree, the ferns and heuchera are thriving. Two Japanese painted ferns and a tatting fern, Athyrium filix-femina Frizelliae. What a big name for a little fern!

Fern, Hart's tongue

Just by the bridge, into the woodland is a Hart’s Tongue fern, Asplenium scolopendrium Crispum speciosum Moly.  This one catches the light and shadows form in all the ruffles making it look like an Elizabethan ruff. With it is Heuchera Rachel, which I had to plant as our daughter is Rachael too.

Rosa glauca with Cotinus

In the back garden is the beautiful Rosa glauca which appeared in GBBD last week with its lovely simple flowers. Now though it is the glaucus foliage which contrasts with the Cotinus next to it.

Golden heather

Also in the back garden is a golden Heather, sorry about the crisp fern fronds, they have now disappeared! This forms a nice contrast when the campanula is flowering.

Bowles golden sedge

In the foreground is Bowles Golden Sedge beside the pond, over the other side of the pond is Iris laevigata variegata and behind that I can see the huge leaves of  Lysichiton which flowered earlier in the year.

Persicaria Red Dragon

I think I almost lost Persicaria Red Dragon last winter with all the rain, at one time it was just sitting in water where I don’t think it was very happy, time to move it I think so that it won’t happen again.

Hosta and ferns

Hosta, Alchemilla mollis, ferns,and astilbe making I think a pleasing combination.

Hosta Patriot

Another hosta that the slugs and snails have left alone, thank goodness!

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Last week it was the flowers that were important on the Zantedeschia aethiopica, this week it is the leaves. The flowers are huge and so are the leaves, well over 12 inches from stalk to tip. The flowers in front are from Primula florindae, yes, we are in the bog garden again!


Last foliage day, the leaves of this Rogersia were a beautiful burnished bronze, but have now turned green. This is the first time that this plant is flowering, after about 10 years, I think it needed all the rain that we had last winter!

Hosta Halcyon

Hosta Halcyon getting bigger and better as the years go by.


Still holding onto the colours of the fronds when they come through is a lovely fern, which is I think Dryopteris erythrosora. This is in the Sunset bed because of the colour of the new fronds.

Stipa arundinacea with Darmera peltata

Lastly, we have Stipa arundinacea  in front of the large leaves of Darmera peltata which are behind the alpine scree. The Stipa seeds around quite a bit but they are quite easy to edit if there are too many!

June is such a wonderful month for flowers, the foliage often gets overlooked, but thanks to Christina at My Hesperides Garden we have to focus on leaves for a change. Do pay her a visit and see the foliage from around the world.


This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to The Foliage in June is Hiding! GBFD.

  1. Alain says:

    Lots of beautiful foliage. The Persicaria Red Dragon seems an big improvement over the regular green Persicaria. I like your cardoon very much, such presence and calm beauty!

    • Pauline says:

      I really must move the Persicaria before next winter Alain, I don’t think it liked standing in water for so long, I’m lucky it’s still alive! The Cardoon has made a wonderful recovery after being squashed by the conifer, it has certainly appreciated having lots of extra room.

  2. Christina says:

    I am never disappointed with your foliage posts Pauline, or any posts for that matter. I think your post shows exactly what I mean about foliage. That, yes, we enjoy the flowers in our gardens but if we don’t think about the foliage too then the garden is much less beautiful than it can be. The light shining through the Crocosmia is fabulous!

    • Pauline says:

      I try to have some dramatic foliage Christina, for when flowers are having a rest, so that there is still interest in a border. I feel that no matter how beautiful the flowers are, if the leaves are more or less the same right along a border, then something is lacking. The flowers of C. Lucifer will soon be competing with the sword shaped leaves, making that plant the focus of the garden for a few weeks.

  3. Annette says:

    How I wish I could find a spot for that beautiful Athyrium – such a delightful fern. Everything looks so lush and happy in your garden whereas mine is struggling with the drought and me with the watering can! Wonderful foliage and I also love the way you combine them.

    • Pauline says:

      There are advantages sometimes to having heavy clay Annette, although it has all been improved with compost and leaf mould. We haven’t had any rain for a while now and it has been so hot, the flowers are over almost as soon as they open. We have been promised a little shower by mid week, so the plants should be happy, hope you too have some rain soon. I too like the Athyrium, it seems to look good, no matter what you put next to it.

  4. pbmgarden says:

    Your search for foliage was certainly productive. The Acanthus mollis is a star.

  5. Cathy says:

    You found so much foliage after all! I love the Acanthus, and so many other things too, and envy your damper climate… it’s so incredibly dry here I don’t think I could ever grow an Acanthus. It all looks so lush and healthy Pauline – wonderful!

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Cathy, I found it in the end, hiding behind all the flowers! We have rain forecast for Wednesday, I hope it arrives or the Acanthus will be flopping, it must take a lot of moisture to keep all those huge leaves turgid.

  6. catmint says:

    Yours looks lovely, but if I was starting again knowing then what I know now, I’d never have planted Acanthus. If you change your mind, too bad – it won’t go away!

    • Pauline says:

      We learn a lot over the years don’t we Catmint, at the moment I’m not regretting the Acanthus, just amazed at how huge it is this year after all the winter rain. My daughter asked for a bit for her tiny garden, I tried to warn her how big it would grow and how it would spread, but no, she will have to learn the hard way!

  7. Couldn’t agree more about the importance of foliage in the garden – my plot is very sunny, on clay, so I’m struggling to find the right foliage (the usual suspects often don’t work!) And I envy you your cardoon! I keep trying to grow it from seed, since it was so special in past gardens I’ve tended, but it just dies when planted out. Your foliage is truly lush – all of it, including thuggy Acanthus (that might work for me). I particularly enjoyed the Sambucus – such a superb plant. Like Annette and Cathy I’m praying for rain!

    • Pauline says:

      Rain is needed here too Cathy, it has been hot and dry for so long now. We are supposed to have a lot of rain on Wednesday and Thursday and I’m sure the garden will be very grateful. After I had bought my Cardoon, so many people told me it wouldn’t grow on my soil, but it seems very happy with added grit in the planting hole. I have found that adding compost and leaf mould each time I plant anything, seems to keep all the plants happy.The Sambucus is one of my favourite shrubs, we prune a third out each year to keep it to about 10 ft tall.

  8. debsgarden says:

    As always, I must take time to study your post! There are so many great combinations. I love the Sambucus Black Lace. I always thought my area was too hot for Sambucus, but a dear friend gave me Sambucus Lemon Lace; and it is thriving! so I may soon add a Black Lace to go with it. I also adore your Heuchera Rachel combined with the Harts tongue fern.

    • Pauline says:

      Deb, does your Lemon Lace have golden leaves, it sounds lovely and I’m so pleased that you will be able to add a Black Lace to keep it company. The hart’s tongue fern always looks so neat and tidy with its beautiful wavy fronds, it is one of my favourites.I think the Heuchera would maybe like a bit more light, the colour sometimes looks a bit green and not the deep purple it should be.

  9. I love the plants you selected to photograph. The colors, shapes, and the texture they create are all so interesting and create such a unique touch in the garden.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Charlie, you’re very kind, I try to make it look interesting when I’m planting, sometimes it works, sometimes not!

  10. Ther ferns particularly caught my eye Pauline. I like the tatting fern, Athyrium filix-femina Frizelliae with the long name and the Hart’s Tongue fern, Asplenium scolopendrium Crispum speciosum Moly (another long name!). It was a long time to wait for the Rogersia to flower. I have always wanted to add this plant to my garden, but wonder if it will prosper given our dry late summers.

    • Pauline says:

      Why do ferns have to have such long names Jennifer, it makes learning them so difficult! Rogersias like soil to be damp all the time, not so wet that they are standing in water but damp with water passing through, which makes it rather difficult if your soil dries out for any length of time unfortunately. Maybe if it was planted in the shade with plenty of leaf mould and compost to hold onto the water, you might succeed, it could be worth a try!

  11. Chloris says:

    Your foliage is all looking so lovely and fresh despite the dry weather. I love all your ferns and hostas. I cannot get my head round fern names either.
    Have you tried making elderflower cordial from your Sambucus Black Lace? It comes out a beautiful shade of pink.
    Your Acanthus looks great but I have inherited in many of my flower beds. The devil’ s own plant. Impossible to get rid of it.
    I absolutely love Cotinus though. The ‘ smoke’ is particularly good this year.

    • Pauline says:

      No Chloris, I’ve never tried making elder flower cordial from S. Black Lace, usually I use the wild one which is in all the lanes here. I think I might be a bit late for this year but will try next year definitely.
      Yes, the Acanthus can spread too much, I tried to warn my daughter that it would be too big for her little garden, but she had to have a piece of mine! It’s just as well that I have plenty of room for it. I agree, the smoke on the Cotinus has never been better than this year, it must be all the rain last winter, at least some good has come from it all.

Comments are closed.