Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day – High summer when foliage is essential

Firstly, many, many apologies for not posting for GBFD in May.  I was at the Chelsea Flower Show and didn’t have my laptop with me.  Thank you to those of you who posted anyway, I read your posts with great pleasure.

I know it isn’t actually high summer yet, we have only just arrived at the summer solstice, but the temperatures have been high for a month now and there has been no rain at all in that month so My Hesperides Garden looks more like mid-July or August.

There are only a few flowers in the garden – Perovskia and a few Hemerocallis but even these look stunted this year.  The evergreen shrubs whether pruned into tight shapes of left to their own form are the strongest features in the garden this month;  together with grasses to add some movement.

From the terrace looking west; I find this view very pleasing

With the boundaries so hidden, the garden feels larger.

Looking toward the left hand border from the path between the Large Island what was the circular rose bed but which is now the smaller island


Looking towards the drive and greenhouse from the upper slope path

Stipa tenuissima, Alliums and Euphorbia foliage

Stipa gigantea, I know these are really flowering spikes but I think of all grasses as foliage

The photographs were taken late in the evening about 8.30 -9 pm The Alliums pick up the camera flash

In the evening light silver foliage takes on an ethereal quality.  Stipa tenuissima is catching the last rays of the sun before it sinks down on the horizon.

This year the garden feels pleasantly enclosed

A glimpse of the countryside outside the garden, beyond the evergreen shrub border (from the terrace facing south)

Many shrubs have grown significantly in the last couple of years, changing the views within the garden and the vistas from it.

The garden would be very uninteresting without the various grasses

What foliage is giving you pleasure this month?  It would be lovely to see how you use foliage in your garden in summer (winter for the southern hemisphere).  Join GBFD by leaving a link to and from this post.

46 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day – High summer when foliage is essential

  1. Lovely pictures. The grasses are definitely the winners. They bring such movement to the garden. I particularly love Stipa gigantea with the sun on it. I am also very keen on Stipa barbata which is a bit eccentric because it is curly, but it shimmers in the sun.

    • Hi Sally, good to hear from you and thanks for joining GBFD this month. You were way ahead of your time if had such a strong interest in grasses when you were a child!!

  2. Christina the trimmed shrubs shape and background to the garden. I love the couple Stipa gigantea and Alliums. The photos are beautiful. Trees have also grown. It is very hot and it is true that your garden is seen in midsummer. I hope you change the weather and refresh and rain in your garden. Greetings from Margarita.

  3. I love the light in your garden in the evening. It highlights the naturalistic planting beautifully. Feels very romantic. I’m enjoying the foliage of Sanguisorba hakusanensis lilac squirrel at the moment. It’s just starting to flower, but I brought it as much for the foliage as the flowers.

    • Thank you for commenting Julieanne. I don’t really think of my garden being romantic but that’s one of the great things about comments it opens up new ideas.

  4. How wonderful your garden looks with all the glorious grasses. It certainly gives texture and movement. I’m trying to grow quaking grass here. It grew wild in the meadows on the farm where I grew up. I used to pick armfuls to fill the kitchen table vases. It’s a little bit cooler today. Mercifully! Have a good weekend Christina. I’m taking my lovely Mum to Cathy’s rambling in the garden open day on Sunday. Can’t wait. x

  5. Your garden is a real showcase of how foliage (and grasses) can work so well together and create just as much pleasure as flowers do.
    I’m sorry to have missed another GBFD. I’m finding blogging a real struggle at the moment but hopefully it will resolve itself over the next few weeks.

    • Thank you Jessica. I know how it is with blogging, if I didn’t do a vase every Monday sometimes I would go weeks without posting. I may stop the foliage meme as fewer people have joined in recently. Foliage will always be a very important part of my garden because with the high temperatures and drought conditions very little flowers in summer.

      • I’ve just read your comment on Pauline’s post (a rainy Saturday morning has given me a chance to catch up with everyone). It would be a shame to give up the meme, many of us appreciate it even if we don’t always get a chance to participate. I even took some photos for it this month too and then didn’t get a chance to write the blog.

    • Thank you Diana, yes, I feel the garden is becoming what I want it to be but this year is a real test for it with a very cold winter, no rain to speak of since last autumn and a very hot June that doesn’t look as if it will cool down any time soon.

  6. Don’t things look different in the early evening light? It’s a good exercise to look round the garden at different times of day although you will be governed by the heat of course – do you get biting insects in the evening? Sorry but no foliage post from me as I have other things to think about!

  7. I love silver foliage! One reason I have always admired your garden. Your garden is so successful because of its many layers and textures of foliage. I can imagine how gorgeous it is when the light shines through.

  8. I’ve been away too long, I think I missed most of spring and now you are well into your dry summer and the grays and tans have taken over again. It’s such a difference compared to the wet summer we’ve been having. Cooler weather and steady rains are something I haven’t seen in several years and it’s a nice change.
    I hope your weather cools down a little. I’m not the biggest fan of relentless high temperatures and it really plays a bit part in bringing my mood down. Maybe next month I’ll get back in for another Foliage day, I’ve been consumed by the garden this year and although it doesn’t look any better than other years I feel like I must be making progress!

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