Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Foliage Followup -- July 2012

For Foliage Followup in July, I have lots of new foliage combinations, in two mostly dry, shade/part shade beds. I am watering them because the plantings are new, but my plan is to eventually leave them to fend for themselves, more or less, once they're established.

I've been trying to come up with interesting and unique combos of foliage, something more than just grasses, ferns and hostas -- although those plants are old stand-bys for foliage -- so of course, they've crept in. And I've just now realized, looking through the bed, that sometimes too much foliage variety can be just as chaotic and unrestful as too many flowers.

This bed is technically part of the gravel garden, but it's at the back, where there is more shade than towards the front of the house.

Viola labradorica, Geranium phaeum 'Margaret Wilson'

Begonia grandis, un-tagged fern, Carex oshimensis 'Everillo'

Heucherella "brass lanterns, un-tagged fern, Deschampsia 'Northern Lights', Tiarella cordifolia

 And this bed is also in the shade, but on the other side of the fence that separates front from back.

Hakonechloa macra aureola, Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'

Sword fern, Hellebore 'Ivory Prince', Hakonechloa macra aureola, Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost', Begonia grandis

A third area with a variety of foliage is in mostly sun, and gets irrigation in the summer, and in the rainy season is located right in the low spot where most of the water drains, so it's basically a mostly sunny, very wet spot. These plants have been in the ground for two years now, and I've lost the tags, so I don't have all the correct names.

Filipendula rubra, Dark-leaved bugbane (might be Cimicifuga racemosa 'Brunette'), unnamed fern, Filipendula ulmaria 'Aurea', and at the very far left Rodgersia aesculifolia

Rodgersia aesculifolia and Filipendula ulmaria 'Aurea'

Chocolate Eupatorium, dark-leaved bugbane, and Filipendula ulmaria 'Aurea'

Chocolate Eupatorium, Filipendula rubra, Cardoon

Now if I can just keep all these plants alive to come back next year, hopefully bigger and lusher.

Go to Pam Penick's blog Digging, where she is focusing on some spectacular foliage plants that she photographed on a recent trip to the Denver Botanical Garden. And you will find many more links in her comments to other bloggers who are focusing on foliage today.


  1. Wow, you have beautiful colours and textures going on there! I think its absolutely stunning!!!! I love it!

  2. Alison, your foliage garden is as lovely as the rest of your yard. Are all of your plants perennials? I notice you have several varieties of Begonias..I always have put mine in pots and would never think of leaving them year round.

    Thanks for sharing all of you green lushness! xo

  3. I don't think you can ever have too much variety - your plants looks so lovely and healthy!

  4. You have some beautiful combos. I especially like the caramel-silvery combo with the Heucherella. Yummy!

  5. I know what you mean about too much variety, but it is only in that first photo that I see anything close to chaos. All of your combos are simply scrumptious. I can't bring myself to buy multiples of anything when there is so much I just MUST try, but if a plant is happy, it soon spreads and can be divided to make more & more.

  6. beautiful...I don't think they are chaotic at all...yet ;-) LOVE the Deschampsia...and the Bugbane with the Fillipendula is an inspired combination!

  7. Love your combinations and I agree with Scott re:not chaotic at all! Nature does that, plants weave, it's lovely!

  8. My most fav combo is the chocolate colored ones, lol, made chocolate mint popsicles, and that reminds me of them.

    They are all pretty....

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  9. Your combinations are so pretty - I especially like the one with the Deschampsia 'Northern Lights'.

  10. Your combinations are great!!! Each picture I thought, oh this is my favorite.....then I saw the next picture!! Love the Deschampia -- keep us posted on its growth and progress.


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