GBFD Evergreen forms for winter

Until I began my post for ‘In a vase on Monday’ this morning I hadn’t realised that it was 22nd of the month already – where does time go?

It is that time when I write about foliage in my garden.  Having walked around the garden to take some photographs the thing I really notice is how much the evergreens have grown during the winter.  Coming from a different climate I am still surprised that the main growing period for evergreens here is from the end of September to December and from mid-February to the end of April.  Those are the periods when it is usually quite mild and often there is some rain or at least humidity. 

This winter has actually remained mild up until now with only a few days of winter cold so that the new foliage is very noticeable and shrubs have filled out to make good strong shapes in the borders.

Acanthus mollis foliage looks at its very best at this time of year

Acanthus mollis foliage looks at its best at this time of year, although I can see that something has been nibbling it!

The bare trunk and branches of the white Mulberry are shown to advantage against the bay hedge and with its skirt of Acanthus

The bare trunk and branches of the white Mulberry are shown to advantage against the bay hedge and with its skirt of Acanthus

The bay hedge has grown tall without me noticing, I don't want it any taller than this so must keep up with cutting it

The bay hedge has grown tall without me noticing, I don’t want it any taller than this so must keep up with cutting it

New foliage is appearing all around the garden; in some ways this is more a sign of spring than the bulbs flowering.

The ghostly stems of Perovskia against the bay hedge add sparkle when the sun is shining

The ghostly stems of Perovskia against the bay hedge add sparkle when the sun is shining

I clip all the cistus in the garden to keep good tight forms.

Nandina domestica with its bright berries is one of the only shrubs in this border that I don't prune to shape

Nandina domestica with its bright berries is one of the only shrubs in this border that I don’t prune to shape

Looking across the drive border

Looking across the drive border

The Elaeagnus has put on masses of new growth; I’m happy for it to be taller than the Cistus; now it has finished flowering and filling the garden with its perfume it can be pruned to a strong shape (I’m thinking of a cube) to add variety to the forms.

What foliage do you have in your garden this month?  If you would like to join GBFD please just leave a link to and from this post.  Have a great week, Christina

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30 thoughts on “GBFD Evergreen forms for winter

  1. Pingback: Right on Time | My Gardener Says…

  2. I really like the textural contrast between the Acanthus leaves and the White Mulberry Bark Christina. A Bay hedge sounds unusual but lovely, do you let that flower? This month seems to be flying by, March soon and then hopefully Spring will here!

    • Yes the bay often flowers and I’m always pulling out little bay seedlings around the garden; it needs pruning once a year so sometimes I loose the flowers if I don’t think about when I’m pruning.

  3. When is the best time to trim the cistus? I have a couple now. They aren’t as lush as yours, but perhaps by clipping them a bit I can reduce some of the legginess.
    It’s still so sodden here, restricting my access to the garden beyond the paths, so I will be struggling to join in this month. I’m more than ready for some dry days now!

    • Hi Jessica, you can trim the Cistus any time after flowering, mine were done in early autumn last year but maybe earlier would have been better as then they would have had less foliage when it was hot. The leaves curl up slightly when it is hot and dry for a long time.

  4. Hi Christina, It’s been a while since I joined GBFD. You have so much life in your garden! It’s just wonderful to see! Acanthus under the Mulberry is beautiful. Wishing you a happy GBFD!

    • I’m glad your rain has relented a little. I felt the same when I was taking my photographs yesterday, new weeds are appearing and need to be dealt with before they set seed.

  5. I like the contrast of the unpruned Nandina with the other trimmed shapes and shades of green. And the Mulberry trunk stands out so well with the green acanthus at its base.

    • The Acanthus planted themselves where you see them, they were in the bed at the back of the Mulberry, I have to keep my eyes open for seedlings in places I don’t want them otherwise they would take over the garden, I may allow more in the new woodland path until I can find some suitable ferns.

    • I’m sure your driveway border was already evergreen before my foliage posts but maybe there’s something I have too, I’ll let you know if I spot it. Thanks for joining in this month.

  6. You are wise to have clipped the Cistus. I left ours unclipped and it went horrendously leggy in no time at all. Lovely post – I do so value evergreens, especially Acanthus. It provides welcome cover for wildlife too – last year a duck hatched 11 ducklings under the leaves of one Acanthus in a very busy corner of our garden.

    • Bay is a common hedging plant here in central Italy, it doesn’t grow too quickly so doesn’t need pruning more than once a year and forms a close hedge that protects from the wind.

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