Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: the Shreds of Evidence

shredsIt was only a month ago that I featured pots of hostas on Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (the leafy meme hosted by Christina at My Hesperides Garden on the 22nd of every month) but many of them are now a shadow of their former selves, thanks to this year’s seeming abundance of slugs and snails. Still harbouring some reluctance to dispose of the predators (after all, slugs have to eat, don’t they? don’t they….?) I have now just left them to it, on the assumption that it can’t be as bad next year. Whilst extending the hand of mercy it has been interesting to note which hostas have been particularly or less affected – and certainly the thicker more ribbed leaves have been less badly nibbled, the critters presumably needing to consult the local dentist if they wish to partake of this tougher fare. It is untrue, however,  that H. ‘Praying Hands’ (above right) is less susceptible, needing more than prayers to keep slugs away, one assumes. Now, slugs on my clematis flowers… that’s a different matter altogether!

There is plenty of other foliage to admire in the June garden though, untouched by slugs, and I realise that today’s photos are focussing mostly on form, plants having bulked up now after their winter slumber and showing the importance of this aspect in the garden as a whole. I haven’t got many grasses in the garden yet, but increasingly am realising their value in the garden – the two pots of Stipa tenuissima ‘Pony Tails’ shown below also have texture and movement to add to their attributes:

IMG_2401……and whilst Luzula sylvatica ‘Marginata’ doesn’t move but just sits there it does so with such aplomb that it easily earns its place in this border, requiring no attention whatsoever except the occasional word of praise:

IMG_2404It’s lily-livered cousin Luzula nivea is not so set in its ways and being young she does try it on a little, but she is an attractive young lady and is always on hand to help with a vase on a Monday:

IMG_2405I am fond of my pulmonarias throughout the year but now that the flowers have finished and they have spent time preening their foliage who could resist the wonderful clumps that an established plant can develop into? This unknown variety has formed a pristine clump over 2 feet (60cms) across:

IMG_2403Not forgetting the different colours that foliage can bring, the popular Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ has been making a lovely combination with the fresh new growth of an adjacent fern (probably labelled, but smothered in undergrowth) recently:

IMG_2402Thanks to Christina for hosting this meme, which encourages us to look at foliage in a different way. Completing this post and grown particularly for foliage are heucheras – after a winter of despair the heucheras around the base of the young Acer griseum have perked up and look human again, although there is a Heuchera ‘Green Spice’ amongst them which really needs to be somewhere else and enough space for a couple more in an appropriately autumnal hue:


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12 Responses to Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: the Shreds of Evidence

  1. Pauline says:

    I think it’s a bad year for hostas, I have some really big thick ones that have never been bothered before and this year they have been made to look like lace. I’m blaming the wet winter that we had! Your pulmonaria is looking really good and of course I love your heucheras!

  2. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Do you drink coffee at all? I pour grounds on my hosta and other susceptible plants – Lupins for example and it seems to do a good job of keeping the slugs/snails away. Just pour water on the grounds, then pour over the plant. Of course this does mean you can smell coffee as you walk around the garden but it’s a small price to pay for protecting the mollusc favourites.
    If you don’t drink it, then places like Starbucks often pack up their grounds for the public to take away and use in their garden (as compost, I assume they intend it for). If they don’t have any, just ask if they can pack some up for you; they often will.

    • Cathy says:

      Chloris mentioned coffee grounds too, and I have been putting it round my sunflowers. Watering it on seems an easier option than spooning it round the stems as I have been doing – so is it the smell rather than the texture that you think they don’t like? It would be less obtrusive watered on, I guess. I will look into the sources you suggested – and I am sure others will as well. Thanks Liz.

  3. pbmgarden says:

    That is nice foliage on your pulmonaria. Very bold.

  4. Cathy you need more thrushes in the garden to feast on the slugs, it was being told hostas were a slug magnet that put me off buying them for years and I still only have 2, I have found some sand around the plants deters slugs, love the pulmonaria leaves,
    seems you had a lovely stay with DD and the rose garden sounds wonderful, love the beautiful blue campanula in the previous post and new dawn sounds another beauty, Frances

  5. Julie says:

    My hostas have suffered the same fate Cathy & like you I have decided just to let them get on with it – hopefully they will look better next year. I always think it seems a bit unfair that we garden to encourage wildlife these days but happily conjure up many nasty endings for slugs. I love your pots of stupa, the pulmonaria foliage and heucheras. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Christina says:

    Thanks for joining in again this month Cathy. Poor Hostas! The slugs and snails have been dreadful here this year too, The coffee is worth a try and at least you get to enjoy the coffee first.

  7. annahig says:

    Eeeeek – those molluscs are certainly partial to Shreddies for their breakfast! Your pulmonaria makes a brilliant statement Cathy and there’s one plant that the mollusc turn their noses up at. Your fern looks like my Autumn Fern or Dryopteris erythrosora to give it its proper name.

    • Cathy says:

      Not all the pulmonarias seem to clump like this one does – I love it. Thanks for the info re the fern – all of mine were labelled once so I will perhaps have a root round and see if it is that.

  8. bittster says:

    Thanks for showing the hosta foliage, it helps sooth my insecurities about everything growing better in the UK…. granted yours might still be better grown, but at least the slugs and snails stay closer to the ground here.
    Lettuce is a different story though. The slugs are making a salad out of it.

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