Every month on the 22nd is the time I ask you all to focus on foliage. In spring and early summer most of our gardens focus many on flowers even though I think that without good foliage the flowers won’t be as satisfying as they could be; in autumn (and there is no negating the fact that autumn is here in the northern hemisphere) foliage often becomes the centre of attention.
If you are lucky enough to live somewhere that has vastly different day to night time temperatures you are likely to be enjoying some beautifully coloured leaves on trees and shrubs and even on some perennials.
In my part of Italy this doesn’t happen, sometimes by late November or early December if you drive up into the hills you’ll see some colour but nothing very exciting. In my garden only the pomegranate has leaves that turn to a buttery yellow, but it hasn’t happened yet so I’m going to share with you what some of my foliage looks like, and it’s not a very pretty picture.
So let’s begin with a few things that are good.
My readers in England will think Choisya the most banal plant. Every municipal or roundabout planting will have at least one. Almost every garden will also have either C. ternata or one of its various cultivars. It is a plant that should like dry sunny conditions so you would expect it to be popular here too; but no! It is considered a difficult shrub, needing very specific conditions to survive. I didn’t know this when I planted one in the Left hand border, one of the first shrubs I planted in the garden and it has grown well and flowers twice a year; I have planted others – but by then I’d been told how difficult a plant it was and neither of them survived! What does this tell us, I wonder?
I fear my Rosa rimosa may have died this summer, because we had a lot of rain the irrigation to the pillars was never turned on so the roses may have suffered from lack of water or from their foliage being completely denuded in August.
My fig tree loses its leaves most summer and I often have to irrigate it – something that astonishes me as you see figs growing in the most arid conditions; it produces loves figs so I can forgive its ugly foliage as they brown and drop.
When we bought this property there were about 8 or 9 young walnut trees, most had their trunks ring marked from the strimmer so many were removed, they were much too close to each other anyway, but we left two in the back border as I like to eat walnuts and they provided a screen from the surrounding houses. Realistically it is too hot and dry for them, they have a disease that all the walnuts around me have so don’t produce any edible nuts. Add to this that walnut roots send out toxins that inhibit the growth of other plants and you will understand that I think I made a mistake in keeping them when there are other more attractive trees I could have included. The jury is out – should I follow my gut feeling and take them out? What would you do?
I hope you will join me this month in celebrating some beautiful foliage but I will be happy to know about any that is not pleasing you too. To join, simply write you post with a link back to mine, then leave a comment here with the link to yours. I’m hoping to see some lovely colour!
It is Monday so it is also the day to share a vase of flowers from my garden with Cathy over at Rambling in the Garden. Yesterday my garden was the venue for celebrating the feast of the patron saint of gardening, San Fiacre (more about this tomorrow) so I put together a lot of vases for the tables. So here’s the vase that decorated the table of food. The beautiful pewter vase was a birthday gift this year from my MIL, I love its shape even when empty. I was pleased with this very simple plonking of Helianthus tuberosus Jerusalem artichoke flowers (topinambour) and Aster Monch and Salvia Indigo Spires.
Do also visit Cathy to see other arrangements.