Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – The weather has changed

The change in the weather since last foliage day is very noticeable.  Now the mornings are cold; early one morning last week there was a frost, although it must have been very light as nothing has blackened and the roses are still opening their blooms; during the middle of the day the sun shines and it is still pleasantly warm – warm enough to sit on the terrace with a grass of white wine and enjoy the rewards of a morning spent tidying up in the garden.  As soon as the sun begins to drop, it is cooler and a fire is a cosy addition to the evenings.

Autumn shades of Panicum against textures in green

again the bright yellow colouring of Panicum, matched here by a self seeded Californian Poppy

Close up autumn colour of Panicum - I love the tones of colour

Just a few days separate when the above images of the Panicum were taken.  Change is fast, once it begins to happen.

Only the flowers of Gaura in this view of the large island

I like the tapestry of texture here, layer on layer

Even though there are more plants blooming than is usual in November (see GBBD November), it is the foliage that holds the garden together, creates colour and texture that work on their own or as a vital support for the few splashes of colour that the blooms provide.

The calm centre of the garden

Only the bright yellow of the dying Box (second plant that has died in this position) spoils this tranquil view.

This month I thought I would concentrate on some overviews of the garden illustrating how it is the foliage doing the major task of creating stimulating vistas within the garden and leading the eye to the broader landscape.

View towards the left hand border, the wide angle makes it appear a much longer path than it is in reality.

Looking North from midway along the left hand border

This angle of the garden is almost always satisfying, the solidity of the cypress combined with, at this time of year, the glowing yellow leaves of the pomegranate, the trunk of the fast growing Melia which decorates the sky when you look up with its bright yellow berries, the broad leaves of a Canna and the mat-forming, evergreen Verbena all make this everyone’s favourite spot to photograph.

no flowers are needed!

Sun shinning on the sunny yellow leaves of the pomegranite

Moving around the pomegranate there are the box spheres with Bay hedging and a Miscanthus gigantea that will hopefully reach its stated 8 foot next year.

The back border

In the back border blue leaved euphorbias, and dark claret Heuchera contrast with light reflecting seed heads of Miscanthus and Calamagrostis, while a couple of Hemerocallis are valiantly continuing to put up a few more flowers and the abutilon has nearly regained its stature from before it was knocked back to the ground in the minus 8°C temperature of last winter; its orange flowers picking up on the ‘spring’ new growth colour of the Photinia.

Even though the Heuchera leaves are now a little tatty, their beautiful marbled foliage is a great foil for other plants

When I look closely at the self-seeded offspring of seed grown Euphorbias I am intrigued by the variation in colour, I like that they turn pink with the cold as does my face when I work out in the wind!

Not the flowers of Abelia grandiflora, pink again! but so subtle

View across the large island to the greenhouse and the ever-present sparkling foliage of the olives.

What foliage is adding to the enjoyment in your garden?  Is it autumn colour? maybe too late for that now; or evergreen plants that are ignored in summer to return to notice when the splendour of summer is past?  Do share; just add a link to your post when you leave a comment.

Pam at Digging also has a foliage meme which is usually the day after Bloomday, too soon for many of us to be able to get a second post up, here’s the link to this months post.

And to finish, nothing to do with foliage at all; just look what I picked yesterday!

planted in March, strawberries continue to fruit into November, amazing value

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Views from my windows

I haven’t been posting as much as I would like, but it is either actually get things done or write about doing them!

After several weeks of hot sunny weather yesterday afternoon we finally had a couple of hours of rain.  The first hour was extremely heavy, monsoon-like battering down the plants, the second hour was just what every gardener wants – steady but not damaging rain that really penetrates the soil.  Given that the temperature in the morning was about 27 ° C of even a little higher the result is that you can almost see the plants growing now.  Today is humid, hot and there was another shower, although not really enough to do more than wet the surface.

I would like to share with you the views from my windows, this will give you an idea of which bed I’m talking about in future posts and as some of the windows are quite high it is a bit like looking at a plan of the garden.  I am slowly trying to write details of each bed which will appear in Borders and areas within the garden, this will help me see the progress and changes that have occurred and remind me of all the plants in each bed.  I actually took these photographs a month ago and a lot has already changed, the roses flowered, were wonderful and have now more of less finished their first flowering; they have been dead headed and I need to feed them so they will flower again.  The only rose that is still looking amazing is R. Sally Holmes.

Upper Drive border and part of Large Island

Above you can see the drive, with to the right of the picture the olives with just grass and wild flowers under them.  The upper drive bed joins the Slope (you can’t see that from the windows but you can see progress there on my End of Month Views) and continues, wrapping around the Large Island, The Circular Rose Bed and the Small Island eventually becoming the Back Border which in turn joins the Left Hand Border.

A closer view of the Upper Drive Border

Part of the Large Island

I laid out the island shapes using hose pipe to help decide on the most pleasing shapes – this did involve a lot of going up and down my very steep stairs so quite a healthy exercise.

Above: The circular rose bed, with a small section of the Large Island (foreground, right) with the edge of the Upper Slope and a small piece of the Back border.

The Formal Garden

It is now becoming difficult to walk between the lavender hedges of the formal garden as they have grown so much and are about to flower.

Here is the Left Hand Border (in April 2010)

Rosa mutabilis hedge separates the vegetable garden from the drive and the back of the house

And finally the vegetable garden.

I hope that this helps to understand the layout of the garden.  The property is 3,000 square metres including the house, the olives and a portion outside the fence which I will be writing about in future end of month views.



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Christina.
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