GBFD – Sunshine, blue sky, I’m smiling

Welcome to Garden Blogger’s Foliage Day, where I celebrate the foliage that is the most important feature of my garden.  Today, as you can see from my title is sunny and after a cold start is now beautifully warm.

Looking across the garden from the top of the drive

Looking across the garden from the top of the drive

Apart from the leafless trees this scene looks more like summer.

The formal beds from the front door

The formal beds from the front door

I never tire of this view, which I see every time I open the front door or am standing in the middle of the terrace.  I am growing to like the rather characterful shape of the lavender; funny as I wanted it to be a very formal straight-line hedge, but nature does what it does!

Golden foliage of Miscanthus

Golden foliage of Miscanthus

Callamagrostis and Miscanthus light up the back border

Calamagrostis and Miscanthus light up the back border

The light does all the work of making the grasses come alive, they seem to grow from an inner light rather than being lit by the sun.

Viburnum burkwoodii has never had coloured foliage before!

Viburnum burkwoodii has never had coloured foliage before!

Now for a few plants that don’t usually put on much of a show in autumn but this year with more variation between day and night time temperatures they are showing me that they can do it.  Last night the temperature was down to 4°C and during the day I think it might just have reached the low 20’s.  Viburnum burkwoodii has never before been anything but green, just dropping its leaves in late autumn.

Cotinus, has some colour this year not as much as I'd like, but some!

Cotinus, has some colour this year not as much as I’d like, but some!

View across the Large Island, Circular Rose Bed to the back boundary

View across the Large Island, Circular Rose Bed to the back boundary

The above image was taken last week, all the rest today, it looks the same today except the crab apple in the background has now lost its leaves and most of its small yellow apples.

Honeysuckle foliage is pink

Honeysuckle foliage is pink

Nandina domestica with the sun shining through the foliage

Nandina domestica with the sun shining through the foliage

I love Nandina, at the moment it has white flower buds, wonderfully red berries and these multi-coloured leaves.  I know that in some parts of the US it is considered invasive but it grows very slowly here and no seedlings have ever survived.

It is so warm I've seen lots of Red Admirals

It is so warm I’ve seen lots of Red Admirals

I think the tap must be extra warm as the Red Admiral was very happy there.  I’m not sure what is eating the Bay hedge but it is difficult to find a leaf without a chunk out of it!  The butterflies have been feeding on the sweet fruit of the pomegranate that have split open before I picked them.

When I look at the garden from certain angles I hardly recognise it.  It is so hard to believe that in July 2006 (before we bought the house the garden looked like this).

This is how the garden looked on the day we first viewed the house in July 2006

This is how the garden looked on the day we first viewed the house in July 2006

In my post about the slope last week I mentioned how much the trees had grown and that I had only just suddenly noticed; the same is true for the shrubs in the drive border.  Various Cistus, Elaeagnus, a holly and a Lonicera fragrantissima are all significantly larger than they were in spring and the cypress I added to the bed, not visible here looks like its always been here.  The combination of warm weather, a lot more rain than usual and that fact that they have at last got their roots down into the tufo rock, which does retain some moisture, means they have grown strongly and this growth has continued into the autumn which I think is the time they usually grow most.

Looking across the garden from the top of the drive

Looking across the garden from the top of the drive

If you would like to share some of the foliage in your garden I would be very happy to see what is pleasing you today.  Just post in the usual way with a link to this post and leave a comment here with the link to yours.  Have a lovely weekend and I hope the sun shines for you.


61 thoughts on “GBFD – Sunshine, blue sky, I’m smiling

  1. ditto Christina, when I checked your blog for the link your foliage post wasn’t up yet then I posted and came back to read your slope post, your foliage post came up, though after seeing the photos of your garden I feel a bit like unlinking, mine hardly seems worth posting, oh how I wish I had an almost clear canvas to start with like you had, the other reason your plants have put on good growth is with the extra rain they can better feed on the nutrients in your lovely fertile soil, your garden is looking beautiful and the sun makes it even more beautiful, probably the only sun I will see today, thanks for sharing and hosting, Frances

  2. Christina, those before and after photos are absolutely amazing! Bravo! Just goes to show that hard work does pay off. Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to show some before and after pics on my blog, although right now I’m still closer to the “before” stage!

    Love the miscanthus in the light. Is it invasive? We have native grasses here (stipa) although they’re a bit straggly. I would like to add some other grasses like miscanthus, but I would not want them to propogate to the conservation land behind us. Do you water it at all in the summer?

    Today I wrote a foliage post – specifically a fall foliage post. I really miss the oranges and reds of my autumnal native New England this time of year, and I have modestly tried to recreate a bit of it with trees that work here (no maples, obviously). Hope you like it. Karen

    • The Miscanthus are not invasive at all here, they do need water in summer, it is the reason they are looking so good this year. Stipa tenuissima doesn’t need water so could be invasive, it grows all over the garden here is that the variety you have? As I read that it is eaten by sheep I don’t worry too much about it escaping as the fields around us are mainly used as grazing by the sheep that are milked to produce pecorino cheese, the local cheese here. Thank you very much for joining in this month Karen, it is lovely to be able to see what is happening in Spain.

      • Actually, ours is stipa tenacissima, which is used to make baskets and espadrilles. There is an area of our yard I plan to leave “native”, and it is full of stipa, rocks, asparagus and lots of different thistles. But I am also developing a transitional area with olive trees, Spanish oaks, lavender and thyme, and I wanted a more interesting grass. Miscanthus might do the trick!

    • I understand now that the light really is everything, without it I am miserable and the garden is dull. thanks for joining in again Pauline, you are very dependable for having lovely foliage colour and interest whatever the month.

  3. What a lovely sunshiny post Christina! Yes, the sun is shining, albeit intermittently today! You have created such a wonderful garden, and seeing it in 2006 makes it very clear how much thought and work has gone into it. 🙂 You really do have a lot of colour this autumn. And the light on the grasses is so uplifting…. it looks like white flowers from a distance in one shot.
    Enjoy your warmth and sunshine this weekend!

  4. It was lovely to see your wonderful sunny post and how great your garden is looking this Autumn. What a change from when you moved in. So that is what a Nandina is supposed to look like! Mine was a rescue plant and has taken a bit of nurturing, but I am not sure it is in the right place. It has not had much Autumn colour to date, but is showing signs this year. Is yours the same variety? (Nandina Domestica Firepower). Surely with a name like that I can expect a bit more colour. I enjoyed the photo of the light shining through your grasses.

  5. Damp and dreich here today, Christina but I don’t mind that as my greens are rich in much the same way as your sunshine complements the silver tones of your garden. I have loved seeing the way your garden has developed through your blogs over the years 😀

  6. Your garden looks fantastic and the foliage is outstanding and looks wonderful in the lovely light. I think one of the worst thing about November here is the lack of light. I’m afraid most of my photos were taken on a dismal day and the foliage doesn’t sparkle as it should. But then most days are dismal lately. Sometimes it hardly seems to get light at all.. Oh, for some lovely Italian sun.
    Thanks for hosting the lovely meme again Christina.
    My link is:…e-day-november/ ‎

    • I’m very happy to share the lovely light with you; this week has been lovely, today was warm and sunny with no wind at all (usual here as you know). I’ve been planting tulips and Dutch Irises, I can’t wait to see them flowering.

    • Your trees are wonderful Jessica, Do try Nandino, it is a fantastic plant, look at Chloris’s post to see another cultivar to die for! Thanks for joining again this month.

  7. Oh Christina – blue skies, sunshine and butterflies – I’m envious. Here it’s just soggy and certainly not the weather to tempt any creature on the wing to venture out and about. Your garden looks so different from July 2006 – you must be delighted with the transformation. I have seen nandinas pictured on a few blogs recently and your photo has further confirmed that feeling of iwantitisi. A very small contribution from me this month and thanks for hosting :

    • This week the weather has been so much better than last week, I’m very happy to share my blue skies with you. Thank you for joining in GBFD, small is beautiful so I’m sure it will be interesting.

  8. Christina, it is amazing to see the changes since 2006! I have always loved the views of your formal garden with the lavender. I can’t grow lavender here, so I have extra admiration for yours. The skies and lighting in your photos look a little wintry to me, and it is fun to see you have some fall colors1

  9. I have just made it Christina! I was determined to join in this month but it was a rush with being in London this week. I have really enjoyed your look at your garden this month – it barely feels like November with all that sun! I particularly love the view of your box and lavender and your lovely grasses. You have achieved so much – you must feel very proud when you look at your garden.

    You can see some of my less sunny foliage at:

  10. Ahhhh, that sunshine and blue sky really looks welcoming! Also I love seeing more of the before pictures, what a transformation.
    I’m with you on the lavender, it has so much more character with a few ups and downs and bulges in the edging. I think with your other formal lines it’s a nice in-between for the formal and natural parts.
    I made it this month even though I’m a day late, hope you approve!

    • I noticed that for some reason my reply to you hasn’t appeared, no idea why except I did it on my iPhone. I wanted to say thanks for joining in and I hope you might have some green to share next month too, I hate thinking of you in a white landscape! I’ll post some more before images it is good for me too to see the transformation.

  11. I just stopped by from Julie’s Peonies and Posies and so glad I did! What a total transformation in your garden from 2006! Just amazing and oh so beautiful. I have viburnums and never tire of them and their seasonal changes. And the miscanthus here is tall and stately, providing such texture as the trees lose their leaves. Ah yes, that lavender…it will grow as it wants no matter what we do!

    • I’m so pleased you visited My Hesperides Garden Libby and thank you for your kind comments. I used to say that if I ever had the opportunity to hold a National Collection it would be Viburnums, such a varied species.

  12. I can practically feel the warmth just by looking at your photos, Christina. You’ve accomplished a lot with your garden since 2006. I can only hope I’ll see similar progress in my own space in another 5 years.

    • You garden already looks very mature Kris but I expect like me, you see what you’ve planned as well as what is actually there and so want to see the final picture (not that there is a final picture with a garden.

    • One of the reasons I write about the weather so much is that you’re right after 3 days of grey I feel depressed and think it is always like that and a few days of sun and I forget the cold winds or and the grey days. thanks for the link, an excellent post is always worth reading and linking even if it has been linked before.

  13. I missed your post for several days (have not been well – better now!), but I wanted to say how inspiring it is to see the shot from 2006 compared with today. As my garden is still in its earliest stages, it’s very encouraging 🙂 I love the effect of the lavenders. What are the dark green bushes you’ve interplanted with them? It all comes off so nicely!

  14. Pingback: The View From Here - rusty duck

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