May 22nd 2016 Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day

Welcome to Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day on a beautiful warm sunny day in May.

This is the first weekend in May when the weather has been good; even yesterday there was a strong wind from the north which meant that only in certain sheltered parts of the garden was it pleasant enough to sit, but it was possible to have breakfast, lunch and dinner outside – lovely.

When I went outside this morning to take photographs of foliage I hadn’t decided what the focus of this post was going to be; initially I thought it would be difficult to take any images that weren’t dominated by the colour of flowers.

Upper Drive Border

Upper Drive Border

The Cistus in this border have almost finished flowering so the only flowers are from a self seeded Eschscholzia.  The various shades of green and the forms are what give this border structure for most of the year.

Upper Drive Border - form is the dominant feature of this border

Upper Drive Border – form is the dominant feature of this border

View across the Large Island with the edge of the terrace

View across the Large Island with the edge of the terrace

The Irises have all but finished flowering so it is the silver foliage which draws the eye.

Standing by the west side of the new woodland walk and looking NW across the garden

Standing by the west side of the new woodland walk and looking NW across the garden

The bright sun is rather bleaching out the colour above, here it is the grasses which attract the eye.

Sedum 'Purple Emperor' has lovely coloured foliage

Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ has lovely coloured foliage, always looks good, time to take some more cuttings, I can’t have enough of this gorgeous Sedum.

Euphorbia rigida - I've pruned the flowering stems of most of the Euphorbia just leaving few plants to set seed for new plants

Euphorbia rigida – I’ve pruned the flowering stems of most of the Euphorbia just leaving few plants to set seed for new plants

What gave me most pleasure this morning was that the new evergreens (planted in the re-design last autumn) are all putting on new foliage.  I think that the wet spring has helped a great deal to encourage the new plants to produce new foliage, I hope that the summer isn’t too hot so that they have enough roots to support this foliage.  I will be watering them once or twice a week to make sure they have enough water.  I intend to water deeply so that their roots will be encouraged to grow.

Pistachi lentisco

Pistachi lentisco the new foliage on the evergreens is often a lighter shade of green than the existing leaves.


Quercus ilex - new foliage

Quercus ilex – new foliage

Both the above images are Quercus ilex, the first is the established shrubs which appear to have produced their new foliage earlier than the newer plants and therefore before the insect pest that attacks their leaves were numerous in the garden.



Quercus coccifera

Quercus coccifera

Quercus sumer (cork oak) with a flying insect as yet unidentified that attacks the new foliage of all the evergreen oaks in the garden

Quercus sumer (cork oak) with a flying insect as yet unidentified that attacks the new foliage of all the evergreen oaks in the garden

I will have to combat the above insect (squishing them) to try to contain their numbers.  I remember that when I planted the first Quercus ilex in the garden thee insects were a big problem, damaging all the new foliage for a couple of years.  As yet I haven’t been able to identify what the insect is, any help with this would be much appreciated.

I look forward to reading your posts about foliage, whatever you decide to focus on.  Please leave a link to and from this post.

Have a good week.

30 thoughts on “May 22nd 2016 Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day

    • It is lovely that it is warm again at last but probably the cool wet May has been a good thing for the new plants. There’s nothing like deeply penetrating rain. thanks for joining GBFD this month Susie, I love the images that you have shown.

      • It’s been a cool, wet May here also, resulting in lush growth–a far cry from the 100F degree days with no rain last spring before your visit that caused everything to die back early.

  1. There’s nothing more enjoyable than eating outdoors, in your own garden, when the conditions are nice. We’ve also had a wet spring, though it’s warming up as we head into our summer months. Those beetles(?) look a menace–I hope you’re able to figure out what they are and take a safe, but effective remedy against them. We don’t want your oak leaves damaged! Thanks for hosting, here’s my foliage contribution:

    • Thanks for joining in again this month Tina. I squished hundreds of the beetles after writing the post his morning, I think if I just keep doing that I’ll be able to keep them under control. I may have found what they are; it seems they lay their eggs in ant nests for protection so yet another negative for the ants that are everywhere in the garden!

  2. It’s great to see your new evergreens getting established and putting out the new growth! Hope you can stay on top of the beetle problem! I continue to be surprised that so few of the Mediterranean trees are on offer here, though there are some fine native species that perhaps are even better choices. Happily, my Arizona rosewood (Vaquelinia californica) is establishing well.
    I hope I’m not cheating too much: I am actually looking at a blooming plant today for GBFD, but one which has so much merit as a foliage plant, providing a lot of structure in the garden bed… 😉

    • Hi Amy, there aren’t any strict rules for foliage day; I don’t think of foliage plants as being evergreens that don’t flower but I would like people to think about the foliage when choosing any plant so I imagine your post is right on tract.

  3. Hi Christina I’m in my flat of the city and not as is the garden of the house. But I can tell you that all your garden is gorgeous and I’m glad the good weather. What I liked was in “View through the Big Island with the edge of the terrace” the contrast of green: Beautiful. The Purple Emperor Sedum love. Of the most beautiful trees and the Strawberry Tree Sumer Quercus.Muchas thanks for showing your wonderful garden. Greetings from Margarita.

  4. Pingback: Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: Unblemished | Rambling in the Garden

  5. I always enjoy fresh growth on evergreens! I have recently become a fan of euphorbias and planted my first specimens last fall. I had not thought to prune them, but seeing yours, i think i should. Mine are becoming a bit leggy, so shouldn’t a trim encourage bushiness?

    • Be careful of the milky sap if you do prune your Euphorbias, it can cause a nasty rash if it touches the skin in strong sun. I tidied my euphorbias by removing the old flowering stem, the plant did the rest.

  6. The structure you’ve created in your garden is a great example to us all, Christina. I hope you can ID those beetles and locate a good control – smashing them by hundreds at a time can’t be a fun way to start your day. You might take a look at the following on-line resource: insectidentification dot org slash beetles dot asp. Although it’s focused on North American bugs, the photo ID may provide some hints.

    • Thanks for the link Kris, I think I have ID’d the beetle now and it seems to be associated with ants nests of which I have lots in the garden. I will try harder to reduce the ant numbers; I don’t use any chemicals in the garden as I prefer to garden organically allowing a balance between pests and predators but I do make an exception for the ants!

  7. Lovely foliage throughout the garden….and glad to hear your weather is become better too. I also make exceptions for ants when there are too many nests dominating the garden….glad you may have figured out the beetle. We are finally warming and will have summer temps this week…looks like mid-spring weather was short-lived. Oh well, I have focused on the veg garden foliage as it dominates right now since the cold weather has delayed it.

    • Our lovely weather was a bit short-lived as it is very windy again today with interesting clouds but I don’t think it will rain. Thanks for your contribution to GBFD

  8. Good to know the new planting in settling in well Christina. It’s still on the chilly side here too.. especially tonight. I should not be moving plants back into the greenhouse at the end of May!

  9. It’s so nice to see the fresh new growth filling in, but a few less beetle pests would be nice too…
    Things look great and I hope you have plenty of time to enjoy that beautiful early summer weather!
    I didn’t quite make it this month, but fingers are crossed for next 🙂

  10. Ciao Christina, può essere che tu lo abbia ormai identificato l’insetto, ma in caso contrario ti informo che si chiama Lachnaia sexpunctata. E’ veramente un flagello, io ce l’ho sui lentischi e anche altre piante. Quando arriva il gran caldo per fortuna scompare.

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