Garden Bloggers Foliage Day October 2011

Welcome to the second GBFD!  I’m hoping to see some wonderful autumn colour from some posts; here in Italy, although we’ve had some rain and coldish winds for a week, the garden, in many ways, looks more like Spring than autumn.  Our autumn colour usually begins mid-November and is often very short-lived.  So I’m depending on you to share the colour around you with me.

I’d also like to thank everyone who joined in or left comments last month; there were some fascinating posts all with great images, this month should be even better with autumn (fall) beginning to give some beautiful colours in the northern hemisphere and spring just commencing in the southern hemisphere.

I have the feeling that the garden thinks it’s spring; is not just the number of plants blooming, and I have to say that there are now more than there were a week ago for GBBD; no, it is more the new foliage on everything from the red new foliage of the roses, to the fresh bright green of the Arbutus, to the peachy hues of Nandino.

I love this huge mas of Thyme with holly behind

Having said that there are a lot of flowers in the garden, it is the foliage that is predominant.  Maybe the blooms are smaller now or fewer per plant but whatever it is, the foliage sings out.  Looking from the drive across the upper drive bed to the large island the variety of different greens and not only greens of the leaves is like a tapestry or an embroidery blending together to give the garden a harmonious feeling.

New 'spring' growth on the Nandino

I never remember the name of this self seeding annual gem.

I was given a specimen of the above plant last year, during summer it is a bright vibrant green; it needs little water even though it looks as if it would be very thirsty.  In autumn the leaves turn first pink, then crimson, the flowers are the same colour as the foliage so maybe I’m cheating including this in a foliage post, but it looks much more like foliage than flowers so I’m including it.  I will try to check on the name and add it when I can.

Stipa tenuissima on the bank always gives me pleasure

At last this wonderfully lace-like Albizia 'Chocolate' is beginning to grow

I bought Albizia ‘Chocolate in September 2009; it only just survived the cold winter last year and until the last couple of months has hardly grown at all.  Suddenly it has begun to put on some healthy looking growth so I’m crossing everything hoping that at last it has its roots down and will grow into a small shrub and to take its part in the silver and purple combination I’m trying to achieve in the large island bed – all with plants that need no irrigation!

Most of the lavender has put on lots of new grow after being heavily pruned in early August.  It does sometimes grow back from old wood.  The colour and form is just right as we go into autumn and winter.

Box, lavender and the view to the fig tree with its tinsel bird frighteners

All the grasses are looking at their best, but I’m not going to include them here as it is their flowers, even if they don’t seem like flowers that are the attraction at the moment.  You can see them in the background of many of the photographs.  I have been surprised that Penisetum villosum continues to produce flowers into the autumn, there was a moment in mid-summer when I thought they were finishing.

Beautiful and also delicious fennel

Doesn't broccoli have amazing blue foliage?

When I was wandering around the garden I noticed that the leaves in the vegetable garden were putting on quite a show.  Bright green, feathery Florence fennel and the almost blue or jade colour of broccoli foliage help make the vegetable garden pretty as well as productive.

Click on the image below to see more foliage from My Hesperides Garden.

Looking across the large island bed to the greenhouse

I hope you will join in with your own foliage, either just one stunning leaf or a review of how foliage works for you in your garden, please leave a comment and the link to your post.