April 22nd 2016 Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day

Welcome to Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day for April; I hope you will join me in exploring the virtues of good foliage planting in the garden this month.

I have been wondering what foliage I would feature in today’s post; looking through my images there wasn’t one that didn’t have some colour from flowers and although I have often written about the key part foliage plays in supporting the flowering plants that isn’t what I want to focus on today.

Night-time temperatures are still quite cold (I think colder than recent years) and the forecasters are even threatening minus 1 during next Tuesday night – I’m in denial regarding this having just spent 2 days planting out my tomatoes, courgettes and squash!  But during the day the sun is strong and to sit outside comfortably for lunch we are already grateful for some dappled shade.

After we bought our house the first priority was to build a terrace with a pergola over it for shade and the obvious plant choice was Wisteria.  I’ve already mentioned (probably too many times) that I’d always wanted a wisteria for the wonderful perfumed flowers, but truly the best thing about wisteria is the speed at which the foliage grows to cover an area is beautifully dappled shade; yet in the winter the foliage is gone allowing the pleasant winter sun to warm an area that would be too cold to sit and eat in if shady in winter.

It is hard to believe that just a week ago the pergola was covered in flowers and the constant buzzing of possibly hundreds of contented bees – and now, and this isn’t an excuse to show another image of the wisteria in flower – now there are only a few bees finding some pollen and nectar in the last,  hidden flowers; what there is to enjoy is the gorgeous dappled shade.  I don’t think there is another climber that works so hard for its place in the garden.

The brick pillars are now not visible from the front

The brick pillars are now not visible from the front, they are clothed in green.

Dappled shade of wisteria

Dappled shade of wisteria

As the sun becomes hotter the wisteria will have grown even more making the shade more dense.

Dappled shade of wisteria

Dappled shade of wisteria

Over the small table where sit for lunch the shade already castes enough shade to make it pleasant to sit outside.

Dappled shade of wisteria

Dappled shade of wisteria

Dappled shade of wisteria

Dappled shade of wisteria

The above image hasn’t been manipulated but to me it looks like an artist’s impression of foliage on a hot summer’s day.

What is foliage doing for you in your garden?  Do you choose plants for the beauty of their leaves or perhaps for their form; do you need to think about creating shade in your garden or do you already have too much.  To join GBFD simply leave a link to and from this post.  Thank you for sharing.


34 thoughts on “April 22nd 2016 Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day

  1. Pingback: First Blood – rusty duck

    • The shade given by mature trees is also lovely Pauline, there weren’t any good shade trees in the garden when we moved in and I thought we’d have to wait too long to depend on trees for our shade but the wisteria has done the job relatively quickly. Thanks for your contribution.

    • Hi Sally, you’ll have to wait until next year for the blooms now! The foliage always follows after the flowers on wisteria. If you look back over posts for the last couple of weeks or search, you’ll find several posts where I’ve high lighted the wisteria blooms.

  2. I agree with you about that last photo–it evokes the summer sun filtering through foliage. Your wisteria is quite beautiful as is, though I imagine the bees were a bit disappointed when the blooms faded. Shade is a very desired quality here in Texas, though I should add that some of the perennials I’d love to grow in my garden are not possible because I have too much shade. What can I say–the grass is always greener. Thanks for hosting GBFD–such fun! Here’s my contribution: https://mygardenersays.com/2016/04/22/strings-of-pearls

    • I’m trying to create other shady areas but my favourite place is the terrace under the wisteria. Looking forward to reading about your foliage; thanks for joining GBFD this month.

  3. What a lovely spot for lunch. There’s nothing like sitting in the shade of a gorgeous plant! Lovely photos as well as an informative post Christina. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Pingback: Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: Just Freshening Up | Rambling in the Garden

  5. I love the images you portray of lunch on your terrace under the Wisteria, it sounds so civilised and enviable. Our temperatures have taken a tumble too, I hope you have fleece at hand for the minus one!

  6. Pingback: friday grab bag…and more foliage | sprig to twig

  7. It is so gratifying when a plant does exactly what you intended it to do. That last photo is very artistic, I agree. We are nestled among huge cedar trees, so the trick is to find sunny spots for growing flowers. With the hotter and longer summers we’ve been having, I think that’s a good thing. Here’s my post: http://bannersbyricki.com/archives/5408

  8. I’m impressed by the amount of shade you get from those wisteria vines, Christina. Having thinned my trees in an unsuccessful attempt to accommodate my foliage-hating neighbor, I’m convinced that I need more large shrubs to protect the smaller plants already suffering from sun-scorch.

  9. Your lovely wisteria is a testament to your careful pruning- it has beautiful structure. As every year, I get so much delight from the shapes and variety of foliage in the garden here, despite the glory of tulips!

  10. Your fabulous wisteria certainly more than pays it way Christina. I must admit that I don’t know what happens to the foliage come autumn. Is there a blaze of colour before the leaves drop? Will keep my fingers crossed for your tomatoes, courgettes, etc.

    • “a blaze of colour”, no but it does turn a buttery yellow some years, it rather depends on how cold it is. Lots of sweeping up the leaves but I don’t mind as it is all quite soft so ideal for the compost heap.

    • Thanks for the crossed fingers; I think they’re going to need all the help they can get. The first storm was during the night with thunder and lightening with some rain but not as much or as heavy as I feared and last night the temperatures were the mildest of the week, so I don’t know what’s going on there! I prune the wisteria once a year now that the structure is complete. I prune back to 2 or 3 beds on every stem. During the summer I prune off long stems on the growth on the pillars (it can seem as if it wants to strangle you otherwise) but I leave all the top growth to create more shade.

  11. The wisteria certainly seems to be the perfect plant for the spot, and your shots are quite redolent of summer sunshine to come! I must get up my courage and experiment with vines as I can see they add another dimension, not just shade… For GBFD I’m also looking at a couple of plants which provide that much-needed winter sun, summer shade – and to my surprise, some splendid foliage colour this month: http://smallsunnygarden.blogspot.com/2016/04/garden-foliage-in-april-some-spring.html

  12. Hola Christina: tu Wisteria es espectacular con o sin flores. Me imagino la sombra que te dará porque mi Wisteria pequeñita da mucha sombra para su tamaño. Muchas gracias por las fotos de tu Wisteria es un placer verlas. Mi Padre ha tenido problemas de saludo y nos hemos tenido que volver a la ciudad a vivir para ingresarle de urgencias. Ya ha salido del Hospital pero nos tenemos que quedar en la ciudad al menos un mes porque le han mandado a muchos médicos especialistas. Así que mi jardín a quedado abandonado a su suerte y me voy a perder lo mejor de él y espero que aunque no llueva siga cayendo el rocío de la noche para que no se seque ninguna planta. Dejemos las tristezas a un lado y por fotos que tenía me uno a GBFD diciendo que tengo una pérgola de madera con mucha sombra aunque ahora no lo parezca. http://margarita141site.wordpress.com Verás el comienzo de blog “Sombra en camino”; haz clic con el ratón sobre el nombre del blog que aparece al final y te saldrá el artículo entero. Muchas gracias Christina. Saludos de Margarita.

  13. As I have been working in the garden, I am noticing more foliage, and appreciate your focus reminding us that foliage is so important in the garden…..I plan to focus some of my posts more back to foliage.

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