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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Foliage Followup -- December 2014

There's plenty of interesting foliage in my garden, despite our recent freezing weather interspersed with rain and powerful wind. For this month's Foliage Followup post, I went out hunting for winter interest, even though it isn't technically winter yet. When I lived in Massachusetts, where the garden is buried for most of the winter under a blanket of snow, I never understood the concept. Now I do.

The top of Tetrapanax papyrifera 'Steroidal Giant' has one leaf covered in orange powder.

My Eucalyptus has put on quite a lot of growth in its first year, and was unfazed by the recent cold. I wish I could remember which one it is. I bought it this past spring at Xera on one of my trips to Portland. It might be E. subcrenulata.

I love its red stems and leaves that clasp the stem.

Pinus sylvestris 'Nisbet's Gold' is starting to put on its winter-time yellow glow.

Sedum 'Angelina' and Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' aka black mondo grass are great companions.

Sedum 'Angelina' planted in the shelter of the concrete wall has much more of a rosy glow.

Carex testacea is looking mighty orange.

As is Libertia peregrinans

Euphorbia covered in dew

Soon this year's well worn Epimedium foliage will get cut back to the ground.

I didn't realize till I looked through my lens that the growth tips on Hydrangea quercifolia have a powdery orange coating, similar to that of Tetrapanax or certain Rhodies.

Some of the leaves have finally started to turn, although most usually just dry up and wither.

Cyclamen hederifolium is another great foliage plant for winter.

Chaemacyparis nootkatensis was one of the first trees I planted here 5 years ago. I love its pendulous branches.

Although technically not foliage, the spent flowers of Eutrochium/Joe Pye Weed will persist till I cut them down.

This large Douglas fir limb came down in our recent windstorm. Last weekend Nigel helped me move it from here onto our patio, where it's now waiting to be chopped up and put in our yard waste bin.

Here is the detritus of last week's wind and rain. Picture this a million times over, everywhere in my garden.

Pam at the blog Digging hosts Foliage Followup every month on the day after Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, for the purpose of glorifying foliage, the workhorse of the garden all the time, but especially in winter. Check out her FF post here, where other bloggers leave links to their posts in the comments.


  1. Lots of nice looking foliage and winter interest you have in your garden Alison! Most of them should stay looking good all through winter.

  2. I do like the Pinus, must look it up to see how big it gets.

  3. You see the nicest details, Alison. Oakleaf Hydrangeas have interest year 'round but they sure can get bold and run over their neighbors here.

    I NEED a Eucalyptus. Parks Seeds used to have Eucalyptus seeds in their catalog. If I'd ordered off 20 years ago I would have big trees now.

  4. My storm debris (complete with the large branch) mirrors yours. I wish my libertia were mirroring yours's decided to be green rather than the lovely orange and red it was when I bought it. Do you know which euphorbia that is? Love how tight the foliage is and that blush of purple.

  5. Well, you are certainly making up for those years when you had no winter interest.

  6. Lots of debris here too, and the palm fronds are the worst. Lots of flat tires caused by driving over what look to be harmless fronds. That libertia seems to peter out. My big clump is reduced to just a few leaves. Love your cyclamen!

  7. I have raked the lawn after wind storms twice now since Thanksgiving. I hope that's it for this month anyway.

  8. You've got a lot of great foliage in your garden right now! I think that the fallen fir branch should yield some lovely and fragrant decorations for inside your house or maybe be the basis for your first in a vase on Monday post! Perhaps the universe has given you a gift. Then again, it may just be a pain in the *ss fallen limb, it's not like I'm psychic.

  9. Lots of wonderful foliage in your garden, plenty of interest to see you through the winter. Winter starts here on the 1st of December, so we are part way through already, spring isn't far behind!

  10. So many pretty things... Love the Eucalyptus - it reminds me that I planted some kind of Euca which was sold as an annual. The cold weather we've had doesn't seem to have fazed it at all. I might have to start worrying about where I planted it. I truly thought it'd be toast by now... It doesn't have the pretty red stems that yours does, though!

  11. My Tetrapanax stalks look just like yours. It's kind of fascinating with its fuzz. Everything looks so pretty in your December garden.

  12. I love your foliage, it's so interesting! and the pictures are great.

  13. That's some good bunch of foliage there. I think it speaks well enough of your gardening skills, that those are being brought to the fore. It's nice that you've been able to maintain a lot of flora in our pot of land, including trees for that matter. That should be a good bit of nature, all around. Thanks for sharing!

    Mike Gurung @ Bay Area Tree Specialists

  14. The euphorbia and cyclamen are especially lovely.


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