Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – Spring

A month ago the garden was emerging from the snow and I was happy to report temperatures rising to 10° C.  Now that we are officially in spring the temperatures are rising to just on 20° C – that’s a rise of 10° in one month!

I have been away from the garden for a few days and on my return was amazed to see so much difference! Clematis Armandii had two flowers open last Wednesday, today it is covered in flowers, spreading their honey, scent in the warm air.  Many more Muscari are attracting bees and other pollinators and reassuringly flowering even in their congested clumps.

Clematis Armandii

But I’m not here to write about flowers, this is GBFD after all!  Before I left Rosa mutabilis was looking a little bare; I’d pruned after the snow and in doing so had cut away a lot of the stems still carrying leaves revealing bare stems!  Today when I looked out of the window all the bushes were covered in new foliage making the bushes look very impressive.

Rosa mutabilis, new foliage, maybe there will be flowers before the end of the month

I may have pruned some of the emerging flower buds (last year there were flowers during March) but it will be worth it to maintain the full bushy shape.

The Lavender hedges have been pruned and look very sharp!  I love how they look at this point, they grow so fast here that I think they would benefit from being pruned 3 times a year, sometimes I only manage once; the clippings make excellent mulch as the leaves contain a chemical which inhibits the growth of seedlings hopefully including weed seeds!

Formal beds with newly clipped Lavender

Having only just cut down last year’s dead foliage it is wonderful to see all the new growth.  Euphorbia in its various varieties is the star of the show at the moment, either its foliage or vibrant bracts.

Large island bed, looking south

Euphorbia with silver leaved plants

Large island looking towards drive

Small island looking towards large island and drive

Through all the new ground cover foliage a large number of tulips are pushing up, this is gratifying as none were planted new in autumn 2011 so all are from previous years.

Between the Box balls masses of tulips are returning

I can’t resist sharing this Swallowtail butterfly drying its wings in the sun after emerging from its chrysalis.

What foliage is taking the starring role in your garden this spring?  It might be a foliage plant that has been giving good structure all through the winter or the newly emerging leaves of a plant you grow primarily for its flowers, I look forward to seeing and reading about your gardens now spring (or of course autumn in the southern hemisphere) is here.

22 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – Spring

  1. Lovely overview of your lavender hedges, I do like a bit of formality! Your butterfly is beautiful, yours is very new and pristine, the other day we saw a tortoiseshell but it must have been one from last year, it was looking very ragged.
    Have done a post for you, don’t worry about a link, my son will sort me out when he visits in a months time!! Link

  2. What a lovely garden! My lavender is not looking at all healthy probably due to poor, no make that bad, pruning. It is very woody with few new leaves just at the top, very sad. I rushed out this morning before work to take some photos of foliage for GBFD and will contribute something when I get home this evening – although there are very few actual foliage plants in the garden, I only realised this when I started to take photos for the post – must rectify that!

    • Hi Ronnie, I am lucky that the lavender does actually shoot from oldish wood here. I’m pretty sure it has soemthing to do with light levels; the Leylandii hedge also shhots from old wood which is impossible in the UK. I prune the lavender twice a year and I think I may try to do it three times this year to keep in tidy and not too large. Christina

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  4. Wow, I love your formal garden, those lavender hedges look beautiful. And stunning fresh euphorbias… I couldn’t resist a picture of our sambucus nigra foliage to join you this month too.

  5. It certainly is a contrast. We too have had a beautiful week of weather with temperatures reaching 21c yesterday, everything is really starting to shoot away. I love your clematis one of mine is showing lots of flower buds so hopefully it won’t be too much longer before I have some flowers too. How amazing to have that swallowtail butterfly in your garden. I love butterflies and have never had the pleasure of seeing a swallowtail. I was massively excited last summer to have a hummingbird hawk moth in the garden.

    • The swallow tails are a real joy and this one was certainly only just out of its chrysalis. We have the hummingbird hawk moth here too, I’d never seen one in England although I know they are present. Christina

  6. Hey Christina! It’s incredible to see how your garden has changed in only one month! It recovered pretty quickly, doesn’t it? I love euphorbias, I used to have a lot in my previous garden but for some cosmical mystery I can’t menage to make any survive in this new garden… It’s bizarre, as native euphorbias grow profusely here.
    That swallowtail butterfly is beautiful!

  7. I am again in awe of your formal garden with the lavender hedges! I can imagine wandering around on a warm spring day and breathing in the perfume. Your garden must give you so much joy. I also love the photo of the swallowtail. My own rosa mutabilis has grown quite tall. I must consider cutting it way back next year. Seeing how nicely yours have done will give me courage!

    • Hi Debora, thank you, the Rosa mutabalis is relatively new, planted in autumn 2008. As they are planted on the raised arrea next to where we park I have to keep them pruned at least on that side to stop the cars being scratched. Christina

  8. I’m suffering from lavender-hedge envy now (and I didn’t know that about the clippings, I must go and do mine immediately)… what a great range of foliage you have. I must work on this!

  9. I love the formal garden Christina, and the euphorbias are so lively,and a great contrast with the silver foliage.

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