GBFD – Spring foliage

Welcome to GBFD, a day to celebrate the foliage backbone of the garden.

After a glorious sunny, spring-like day on Friday today is grey with a cold wind; so not a day to enjoy being in the garden at all.  I think that in spring we are all looking for signs of the new season especially flowers so it is easy to forget that spring also brings all the new foliage on trees, emerging perennials and the special promise we get from the foliage of bulbs appearing.

I especially love the new fleshy leaves of Sedum as they make an attractive crown almost lovelier than later in the season when their stems can sprawl awkwardly.

Sedum's beautiful new foliage

Sedum’s beautiful new foliage

I took lots of cuttings from all the Sedums last year and will be adding all of them to the garden; some soon and the smaller ones in autumn when they have had time to grow a little more.

New red leaves of Photinia

New red leaves of Photinia

The Photinia hedge that forms the southern boundary has tints of orange and red in its new leaves which will give a good background to the tulips when they flower which shouldn’t be too long now.

Tulips, their foliage is not so special in itself but in the promise of the flowers to come, these are Brown sugar and this is their third or fourth year

Tulips, their foliage is not so special in itself but in the promise of the flowers to come, these are Brown sugar and this is their third or fourth year

Acanthus under the Mulberry

Acanthus under the Mulberry

The West view from the terrace

The West view from the terrace

The new planting of the border we see looking west from the terrace is growing well but the Nandina that was moved in autumn 2013 really hasn’t re-established so I am going to remove it and replace it with something else that can be trimmed into a sphere, either another Cistus or perhaps a different lavender to ones already in the garden.  .  I will also remove the groundcover Verbena as I really want to continue the rhythm created by the clipped forms.

Cistus with lovely pale green new foliage

Cistus with lovely pale green new foliage

The part of the garden that gives the most pleasure is the Upper drive border where the spheres of Cistus and other evergreens have fresh, new foliage of a contrasting lighter green.

Upper drive border

Upper drive border

I do hope you will join with me and post about the foliage in your garden.  All that’s needed is a link to this post and a comment with a link to yours included.  I expect many of you will have more new foliage or in the Southern Hemisphere you might be able to share some early autumn colour. Enjoy spring, it is simpley the best time in the garden!

50 thoughts on “GBFD – Spring foliage

  1. C’è una poesia di un poeta italiano moderno che esprime in poca parole le foto del tuo post… e quello che prova ognuno di noi nel suo cuore vedendo le prime foglioline…


    di S. Quasimodo

    Ed ecco sul tronco
    si rompono gemme:
    un verde più nuovo dell’erba
    che il cuore riposa:
    il tronco pareva già morto,
    piegato sul botro.
    E tutto mi sa di miracolo;
    e sono quell’acqua di nube
    che oggi rispecchia nei fossi
    più azzurro il suo pezzo di cielo,
    quel verde che spacca la scorza
    che pure stanotte non c’era.

  2. I love the west view. The clipped shrubs look so good against the olives and the rolling hills, with the cypresses providing the verticals. It’s a lovely composition Christina.

    • Lovely to have you join in this month SP. Ir is always interesting to know what the weather has been like in other places through the eyes of a gardener who always know better than anyone what it was like.

    • Thank you Susie, this part of the garden has changed since it was originally planted, it is becoming one of my favourite views. Thanks for joining in GBFD again this month.

  3. I wanted to rush out and check my sedums after seeing your post, Christina, as I forget to check mine – they are definitely not as advanced as yours. Your acanthus looks great in quantity – good to have the space to let it grow that way! And look at your tulip buds – oops, I was meant to be looking at the foliage 😉 Thanks so much for hosting, as always. Mine is at

    • I was surprised how quickly the buds were appearing on these tulips too, there’s no harm in noticing them. The Sedum foliage begins almost as soon as the plants die back in autumn but I do love them at this stage. Thanks for participating again this month Cathy.

    • Thanks for joining in again this month John. As Pauline said on her post she’d like to press the pause button to slow it all down. I feel even more like that as once summer is here it is too hot for many plants.

  4. I love the effect of the Acanthus round the Mulberry tree. Sedums are such good value from Spring onwards. Your Photinia hedge is going to be lovely as the red buds open more fully. As usual your foliage all looks wonderful.
    My link is

    • Photinia is rather under-rated as a shrub, it copes wonderfully with the summer heat and drought here and looks good all year. I’m not so keen on the perfume of the flowers but I suppose I could prune it at a different time so it doesn’t flower. Thanks for joining in again this month Liz. Enjoy your visit to Beth Chatto, always an inspiration whatever time of year you go.

  5. Your west view is looking lovely, as well as the upper drive. I love Photinia, but it isn’t sufficiently hardy in our region. Still very little foliage here, but it is mild and rain is forecast so it should start getting green soon!

  6. The west view from your terrace is gorgeous. The flush of pink on the sedum foliage is very attractive. Photinia is beautiful but plagued with diseases here, probably due to our humidity.

    • The Photinia doesn’t look particularly like a drought tolerant plant but it is so I assume that means it doesn’t like high humidity; but think of all the plants that do that you can grow and I can’t!

  7. I wish my Acanthus looked that good! (I think mine is already suffering the ill effects of our excessively warm temperatures.) I love the Photinia and need to find a place to use it.

    • The Acanthus are usually dormant by the time the hottest weather arrives having already flowered, but the new foliage soon appears. Perhaps yours need more shade? Mine are in deep shade from when the Mulberry puts out its foliage.

    • I think some gardeners are becoming afraid of using shrubs as the modern trend is for perennial planting but I think a garden works best for most people with the mix of everything. Thanks for participating in GBFD this month Amy.

  8. I often give the sedums a haircut in June. Another blogging friend calls it the Chelsea chop. I don’t get flowers that way, but the plant refreshes and keeps that early foliage look. And oh, Photinia: such a common thing, but right now, when leaves flame in the light…WOW!

  9. Beautiful as always! I love the acanthus now with it’s fresh foliage, what a nice spot under the tree with the bench and photinia hedge. Did you say the acanthus was a spreader? It does seem to like your garden.
    I had hoped to contribute this month, the snow melted just in time for foliage day but then the week got away from me. Surely next month, and my winter weary, sloppy foliage photos will surely not be missed 🙂

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