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

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Foliage Followup -- March 2013

The day after Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is Foliage Followup, hosted by Pam at the blog Digging. Hold onto your hats, I have a lot more foliage right now than flowers, and some of it might even be interesting.

It seems like only a couple of days ago that I was down on my knees, weeding this patch and wondering where my 'Gold Heart' bleeding hearts were. They seem to have burst out of the soil!

Nearby in the same bed are three large-leaved foliage plants with gold highlights, planted last fall (the bleeding hearts are three years old). I just hope I haven't overdone it. Maybe my thinking was to let them fight it out amongst themselves. I always assume when I plant up an area that something is going to up and die on me.

Farfugium japonicum 'Aureomaculatum'

Acanthus mollis (but can I remember which one? No. It has mottled golden early leaves, which eventually fade to green)

Variegated Petasites

Beneath that trio of large leaves is this lemony-limey Heuchera

Also nearby is this bulbous monstrosity, looking a bit like a prop from an Alien movie.

It's Rheum palmatum x tanguticum, ornamental rhubarb. Not for eating.

Around the corner and at the front:

Cyclamen hederifolium

Primula marginata 'Mauve Mist' (no flowers yet, but who needs flowers with leaves like that?)

Another scene from Alien, Podophyllum pleianthum is rearing its umbrella-shaped head

Filipendula 'Red Umbrellas'
My favorite of all hardy Geraniums is Mourning Widow, Geranium phaeum 'Samobor'. During last weekend's dry sunny days, I moved several clumps to the front of one of my beds, rather than leaving them scattered around the garden in random spots.  At first they were a bit droopy, but this week's recent rain has revived them and they seem to be settling in.

Such a nice round shape!

Along the woodland path a yellow Corydalis has seeded itself around, appearing in random spots. I love its deceptively delicate foliage.

Planted just last year,  Jeffersonia diphylla, aka twinleaf, promptly disappeared, but is now up, I'm glad to see.

This dreadfully out-of-focus shot is Trillium ovatum.

Its big sister nearby is almost ready to flower!

Arum italicum 'Jack Sprat' is a reliable dry shade performer.

It just occurred to me while looking at my photos, that this variety's dark spots make it a good foil for black mondo grass, which seems to thrive just about anywhere.

I think I found a good spot for my recently purchased Cardiocrinum giganteum, in part shade in well-amended but well-draining soil. It's still tiny, and probably won't flower for another 7 years, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

I could keep going, but I'm sure you're getting bored. I'm just really thrilled to see so much recent activity in the garden.

To see more great foliage, check out Pam's blog Digging, where she is highlighting a recent trip to the conservatory at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. In the comments there will be plenty of links to other bloggers' posts.


  1. So many promises in your newly emerged foliage and such a range of colors from pale green to black with reds and violets for good measure. The spots on the arum would look great with the black mondo.

  2. You have so many varieties popping up all at's no wonder that you are excited to share. I have one in common with you, the hardy Geraniums. I don't know the full name but do know that they really are hardy like their name says. We have them at the Vancouver, WA house and brought some up here to Anacortes and they live around the old apple tree where they are very happy, even with the chickens digging at them all summer and our yard helper man weed-eating them down last summer (Really?), never mind that they don't smell like a weed..oh well.

    I just put a few of those "Fritillaria Meleagris" seeds that I won from your giveaway (seems like ages ago)in a pot out in front to see what will happen. I had intended to put them at City House but with my sudden diagnosis this fall, they were left behind up here..hopefully I will have a good report for you in the near future.

    Have a wonderful weekend, maybe we will see some sun tomorrow. xo

  3. 'Red Umbrellas' is something I definitely need to find for my garden! Love the pics of the golden bleeding hearts with the water droplets, too. It looks like someone adorned them with little jewels. :-)

  4. Wow! wonderful, fresh, new foliage. Don't you just love this time of year when all the new foliage is emerging. Love that Arum leaf! gorgeous

  5. Hi Alison, I believe spring has found your gardens! Wonderful varieties of color. My favorites are the bleeding hearts, gorgeous! Cheers, Jenni

  6. You just reminded me that I have/had some Corydalis tucked into what was, before removal of a large Eucalyptus tree, a shade garden. I have to get out there to see if there are signs of survival or whether it has given up the ghost...thanks for the great pictures. I'm definitely going to hunt down a Geranium 'Samobor.'

  7. Great post, you shouldn't have stopped. I went out to make pics of foliage, ended up with more blooms. I pass.

    Yellow Corydalis seeds around here, too. Isn't it wonderful?

  8. I've got a Rheum palmatum that looks exactly like yours, pretty interesting to watch them unfurl is isn't it? So is there anything you think you did indeed lose over the winter (besides the agave, we won't talk about that).

  9. Oh, just look at spring busting out in your garden! I love the 'Gold Heart' bleeding hearts leaves the best -- simply gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

  10. You've got so much happening in your garden right now! Isn't this an exciting time of the year? Only a couple of weeks until the Bloedel Reserve sale! Hooray!

  11. It's such a wonderful feeling to see this emerging life! I wish my corydalis selfseeded!

  12. Lovely fresh and filled with promise.

  13. hi Alison! i just discovered the Arum 'jack sprat'start you gave me at last year's swap is alive! i hope it will grow into the beauties you posted here.


Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.