GBFD – February and spring IS coming

There is a little new spring foliage that wasn’t noticeable in January but soon there will be more with tints of red and pink as new foliage appears.

The weather remains much colder than last year but on sunny days it is pleasantly warm but if the sky has been clear during the day and remains so during the night the temperatures have always dropped below zero centigrade.  Yesterday is a good example; the morning was sunny with a very cold wind but is a sheltered spot out of the wind it felt pleasant enough, in the afternoon there was light rain but the wind was still from the north so it felt bitterly cold, later the wind changed to the south bring heavy rain during the night but the temperatures hardly dipped below the daytime temperatures, in the greenhouse the low registered was 8.5°C, the heater wouldn’t have switched on so it is a fairly good indication of the temperatures outside too.  This morning is wet but not cold.

Looking across to the upper slope path from the drive

Looking across to the upper slope path from the drive

Nandina domestica continues to be a star of the winter garden

Nandina domestica continues to be a star of the winter garden

Arbutus unedo - needs a prune to maintain its form

Arbutus unedo – needs a prune to maintain its form

The border in front of the Arbutus is (later on) the Crimson zone, at the moment the Iris reticulata is flowering here.

I have been adding some more evergreens to the Upper Drive border.

Pittosporum tenuifolium

Pittosporum tenuifolium

When the Pittosporum have grown a little they will make good foliage additions to my vases.

Pittosporum tenuifolium

Pittosporum tenuifolium

New foliage on the cistus

New foliage on the cistus

Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Magic' in the upper drive border

Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Silver Magic’ in the upper drive border

Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Magic'

Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Silver Magic’

New Italian Cypress in a group of three

New Italian Cypress in a group of three

At last I made a decision about what to plant to hide the new houses that are visible from the sitting room and terrace.  I have planted three Italian Cypress that, when they have thickened up a little, I will cut with flat tops at three different heights, this added to the existing cypress by the drive should make a visually stimulating group.

If you would like to share some special foliage and join in GBFD please link your post in the comments here adding a link to this post in yours.  You may have the beginning of some autumn colour if you are in the southern hemisphere – or if you are further south than me and the weather is warmer perhaps you have some spring foliage to share, whatever you decide to write about your foliage post is  eagerly awaited.

41 thoughts on “GBFD – February and spring IS coming

  1. This will definitely be the year I acquire a nandina. If we manage to get away without too much more frost I think my cistus will make it (famous last words). It is looking a bit ragged at the top though, can I prune it or will that take away this year’s blooms?
    Apologies for not joining in this month. I’ve obviously got more work to do to make February foliage interesting here!

    • I’m sure if you planted the Nandina and Cistus where they don’t stand in wet soil they would grow for you. The Cistus needs full sun but the Nandina will tolerate some shade. You mustn’t feel complelled to join in every month, when you do you are most welcome.

    • To be honest Pauline I’m not entirely sure of the variety of the Pittosporum, it wasn’t labelled so could be the same as yours or just variegated! Thank you for joining in again this month, your support is very much appreciated.

  2. I love that decision about the cypress trees. What a great idea to cut them at different heights. The Nandina is as lovely as ever and there is definitely a hint of spring in your photos today. We have had 2 very mild days and a crocus is peeping out of the melting snow – not open yet, but nearly!

  3. I have noticed Leaf buds forming on trees this week, although we have a return to cold and a lot of rain here today. I like your 3 Cypress tree decision, did you decide against an arch in that position? I lost a mature variegated Pittosporum tenuifolium two winters ago, I think the harsh weather that winter did not help but I miss that shrub and its dark stems. You new Pittosporum tenuifolium with its bright foliage looks lovely in the spot you have chosen.

    • Yes I decided against an arch here as I want to put one at the back of the garden in the spring walk, that seems to be a more obvious place for one, I wanted something here that would be more natural with the surrounding countryside.

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    • Thr new houses are about 500 metres away. They aren’t too intrusive but if I can hide them, then all the better. I find I am liking evergreen shrubs much more than I used to and really like the way this border is developing. Thanks for joining in again this month Cathy, I will have a surprise for the post tomorrow.

  5. I really like the grouping of the three cypress and your idea of flattening the tops at different heights. Your garden is the expression of a true artist.

  6. Oh the warm colours of the nandina are most compelling Christina. Those Italian cypresses should do the trick perfectly once they have bulked out – what a clever solution. I would like to do something similar to block out my view of our neighbour’s garden but would have to plant a cypress forest 🙂 As a matter of interest how tall is the original tree? Here spring has seemed far off today with a mixture of snow and heavy rain as well as a strong wind but I will take your word for it.

    • The original cypresses where here when we bought the house and much be about 4.5 metres tall now, they grow quite quickly and are obviously well suited to the conditions, I just hope I have planted them too close together.

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  8. I do like the Pittosporum varieties you’ve chosen. They’re a very popular shrub around here and are often used as formal hedging, so at least you’ve no fear of cutting early and often for flower arrangements! I can’t wait to see your plans for the 3 Italian cypress trees. I think they will look very stunning clipped at different heights. I will add my GBFD entry here:

  9. The Cypress trees are a good call, Christina. I’m very fond of Pittosporum tenuifolium too – in fact, I put in 3 ‘Silver Magic’ at the bottom of our slope to replace the Yucca we took out and the screen out the neighbor’s backyard from view.

    • Hardiness tags are difficult because for most plants it isn’t the degree of cold that is the most important issue, it is whether the ground is damp or wet or very dry; most plants cope OK with cold if they are dry.

  10. Your additions of Pittosporum and more Italian Cypress are inspired. I had hoped to add a variegated Pittosporum this winter but am way behind on any garden plans for now. I hope by next month to join in again with a foliage post.

    • Florists in the UK use a lot of Pittosporum in their bouquets so I am hoping mine will grow relatively quickly, I will ensure they have enough water during their first summer. They would look lovely in your garden Susie.

  11. Hi Christina, quick question for you: I have several Nandina Domestica in the far back area of my garden and they never turn red. I suspect it is due to the shade provided by a small forest of evergreens back there. Do you think if I moved the Nandina to a sunny location, that this would be the trick to getting that gorgeous red foliage?

    • The Nandina do like sun but it is cold temperatures that make them change colour. Mine rarely change until well after Christmas while those in the UK were red in November.

  12. I like the cypress, not just your pruning ideas and the way they block the view, but I also like how the path disappears behind them now and feel as if it makes the path seem longer. The pittosporum have some great foliage, they’ll be another interesting texture in your garden.
    Temperatures went above freezing for the first time in 10 days and I almost made a BFD post, but it would have consisted of snowlumps and dried leaves, so I’ll give it one more month 😉

    • Curves in paths need something solid to make it right that there is a curve, I’m glad you noticed this. I am pleased already with the effect and I’m sure it will get better and better.

  13. I’m admiring your Pittosporum. The foliage is so light and airy! I have one very similar – “Silver Queen”- which was bought for its scent, but has found its way into several vases over the last year. Your idea with the Cypresses is very clever! I do love them!

  14. You made the perfect choice in those Cypress, they look stunning already. The pittosporum really add something different I think. Amazingly I have one that survives here despite the dubious hardiness rating.

  15. Christina it is lovely to see all this foliage I have been missing…I am particularly taken by the color of the Pittosporum tenuifolium….love that light green. I can’t wait to join in to your foliage love fest again….if March is kind I may be able to join in, but April for sure.

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