Tuesday View – on Thursday this week

Tuesday I was hosting GBFD so didn’t post my Tuesday view to share with Cathy at Herbs and Words; but I didn’t want to miss a second week in a row so here’s my view today. Continue reading

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GBFD – it’s not autumn yet!

I started GBFD in Sptember 2011 with the aim of understanding how foliage works in my garden and hopefully helping others to recognise the importance of foliage in their own gardens.  Foliage is the mainstay of any garden whether we plan it that way of not, there may be a few plants that flower for 12 months a year but they certainly don’t grow in MY garden.  So it makes sense to me to consider the foliage (and form) of a plant just as much if not more than the flowers.  Don’t misunderstand I’m not advocating that we all change our gardens into flower-free zones, far from it, I think that foliage is the supporting role but if it doesn’t work then the stars find it harder to shine. Continue reading

GBFD – Silver and Purple

When it is hot and it is very HOT, the light shimmers and plants with silver or grey foliage look their very best.

The combination of silver and purple always looks great together; sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ seems to love the heat and its colour is better than ever.

Sedum 'Purple Emperor'

Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ loves the heat

Continue reading

GBFD – There may be masses of blooms but the Foliage is what holds it all together

The title of this month’s GBFD post says it all really.  When I went into the garden to photograph foliage this morning I thought it might be difficult this month to take images that didn’t feature flowers rather than foliage.  But then as I walked around I was reminded why I had wanted to start GBFD; Foliage is EVERYTHING in a garden.  In some seasons it might be all there is, but when it is spring and the garden shouts with colour and tells me it is truly spring it is the foliage that makes the blooms sing in a harmonious way.

The garden is full of colour, maybe more colour than at any other time of year; yet without the foliage the garden would be nothing!

The structure of the formal garden works all year.  Now supporting the white tulips in the front two beds

The structure of the formal garden works all year. Now supporting the white tulips in the front two beds

Structure, form and shades of green are enough to create a beautiful garden

Structure, form and shades of green are enough to create a beautiful garden

Box needing to be pruned give a slightly wild feel

Box needing to be pruned give a slightly wild feel; the pale green new foliage is too lovely for me to want to remove it

The slope is green in a different way; Stipa tenuissima waves in the wind

The slope is green in a different way; Stipa tenuissima waves in the wind

Silver foliage is a strong part of my Mediterranean garden, the bright spring light makes the silver leaves shimmer and also make a wonderful contrast to Tulip Negrita.

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Various Artemisia and other silver foliage plants

Various Artemisia and other silver foliage plants

Sedum Purple Emperor glows against a santolina

Sedum Purple Emperor glows against a santolina

The purple and almost jade foliage of the Sedum is stunning when it is new

The purple and almost jade foliage of the Sedum is stunning when it is new

Sedum Matrona has pink edges to its leaves which at present are an attraction to many snails

Sedum Matrona has pink edges to its leaves which at present are an attraction to many snails

Festuca glauca highlights the deep purple of Heuchera 'Obsidion'

Festuca glauca highlights the deep purple of Heuchera ‘Obsidion’

The bright spring light bleaches the true deep colour of the Heuchera

The bright spring light bleaches the true deep colour of the Heuchera

Heuchera 'Patty's Plum'

Heuchera ‘Patty’s Plum’

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Remember sometimes to turn your images into tones of grey to help you understand the forms and texture that your plants are creating.

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Some large round leaves would be a good addition here.

I think the form of the foliage here, works well with strappy Iris in the foreground, with Cotinus, santolina and Phlomis.

I think the form of the foliage here, works well with strappy Iris in the foreground, with Cotinus, santolina and Phlomis and a tall stand of Cerinthe in the background.

New foliage on a Mahonia

New foliage on a Mahonia

There is of course the pattern and colour you enjoy only when getting close.

A lot of new foliage is pink or red and not green

A lot of new foliage is pink or red and not green.  I think this is just amazing

and the foliage of wild lupin is a wonderful patter

and the foliage of wild lupin is a wonderful pattern

Nandina's new foliage is as colourful as any flower

Nandina domestica’s new foliage is as colourful as any flower

Hedges are very important for the form and texture they provide in the garden, the back of my garden Has Photinia, giving orangey-red new foliage which emphasises the colour of Tulips Brown Sugar and gives a good background to the rest of the garden always.

The large tree on the left is a White Mulberry

The large tree on the left is a White Mulberry

Please feel free to use GBFD in your own way; to maybe highlight one plant that is making an impact this month in your garden or to show the combinations that work for you.  Please post and add a link to your comment.  I really look forward to seeing what is happening in other gardens.  I hope you are enjoying spring as much as I am.

May feast – Sedum update

When I wrote about the greenhouse last weekend I mentioned that I had just taken some sedum stem and leaf cuttings; I’m happy to report that some have already started to grow some new leaves so that it very satisfying.  I had taken just 2 long stems from one Sedum ‘Matrona’ plant so that you can’t even see that the plant is any smaller than it was before.  The ‘Purple Emperor’ and another slightly curly edged leaf variety I took just one stem.  I will leave them to grow a little more before transferring them into larger pots.

I think I will try some more cuttings of the other varieties I have and some more of the purple leafed one that I find particularly useful in the large and small islands where I don’t irrigate at all.  If I really have a surplus I will plant some onto the slope.

This is a very satisfying sight

The leaf cutting on the left has a new leaf growing!

I will post some images ASAP, but I’m having real problems uploading anything at the moment.  For the same reason I’m even having problems leaving comments.  I am reading them and I’ll be leaving comments again very soon I hope.