Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: Keeping in Shape

Although Christina is away from her Hesperides Garden she is still hosting Garden Bloggers Foliage Day, as she does on the 22nd of every month. Falling on a Monday this month I am posting a day later rather than combine it with my Monday vase.

There is a huge amount of all year round foliage in my garden, with the elderly holly hedge and the striking variegated holly, resident ivy, plus all the ferns and different ivies I have planted over the years. However, over the time I have contributed to this meme I have come to appreciate the value of other foliage to provide shape and texture and colour at different times of year, and am thrilled to now have the makings of what is essentially a shrub border which will go some way to providing additional all year round foliage – up till then, I avoided shrubs because of the space they took away from ‘more decorative’ perennials. I have also managed to avoid the presence of grasses in most of the borders – not for any particular reason – and there were a couple of years when there was a small bed just of grasses, mulched with slate chippings over weed suppressing membrane but the slate chippings accumulated so much plant detritus that everything was removed.

This year I have enjoyed seeing the grasses shown on people’s blogs and used in their vases and knew this was something I wanted to remedy – many of the recommended favourites were out of stock when I looked and will have to wait till next year, but I have already put some subdivisions of existing grasses into the new shrub border and picked up some bargains at our local garden centre on a ‘discount on a discount on a discount’ day (really!). They are all low growing varieties but I love the shape and colour of all of them and already they make an impact in their front-of-border positions.

Here we have new and tactile Carex ‘Limeshine’:

IMG_3781Luzula sylvatica ‘Marginata’, part of an existing clump and a great ‘do-er’, leaves used in yesterday’s vase and flower spikes in previous vases:

IMG_3782Uncina rubra, a vicious grass from an existing clump that will slice your fingers when you so much as look at and cover you with hooked barbs when you walk by – but pretty nonetheless:

IMG_3783New Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’:

IMG_3784Another new carex, C oshimensis ‘Everillo’:

IMG_3785And in the hedge border but probably soon making an appearance in the shrub border too, Luzula nivea, spent stems now having turned a glowing russet, something I don’t remember from last year:

IMG_3786Thanks to Christina for hosting this meme and to her and other bloggers for teaching me to appreciate grasses and other foliage plants more than I had done before!

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18 Responses to Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: Keeping in Shape

  1. Christina says:

    Ok, second attempt to comment, the first was lost to wordpress! Im glad youve been inspired to grow more grasses, you’ve made some good choices, looout for Lazulu (spelling) peligrans too, excellent foliage and elegant flowers. Thankd for joining in so consistsntly with GBFD Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      I’ll check in spam for your first attempt! I wouldn’t say I chose any of the grasses except the L nivea (because of the earlier success of the other luzula) – they just happened to be in the right place at the right time and at the right price. I plan to get some of the taller ones too of course ps can’t find anything about the one you recommended….

      • Christina says:

        I may have got the name wrong, I’ll try to look it up and let you know. If you want to see it growing there is a good patch under the window of the building opposite the water lily pond at Wisley, that was were I first saw them and then I searched everywhere to find some to buy. I would of course recommend Miscanthus sin. ‘Morning Light’ as a taller grass, it has the most wonderful shape.

  2. Chloris says:

    You have chosen some lovely grasses. I love the effect they give to a border. You do have a vicious Uncinia. Mine hasn’ t attacked me yet. I shall treat it with respect from now on.

    • Cathy says:

      I must have just brushed past the uncina when I was cutting out some crocosmia and it has cut quite deeply 😦 I can understand the barbs from its ‘hook sedge’ common name, but if you ran your fingers through a clump you wouldn’t think the edges were so sharp, but they clearly are! ps see my comment to Christina about the non-choosing…

  3. rusty duck says:

    I love the grasses with russety coloured leaves and seed heads. They are one of the rare groups of plants that seem to like it here, many to the point of taking over. But they are wafty and I do like a bit of waftiness.

    • Cathy says:

      None of these are wafty ones really (although I suppose the carex is wafty on a small scale) but the plan is to have some tall and wafty ones. Glad you can indulge your desire for waftiness down there! 🙂

  4. Amy says:

    I can’t help being impressed by the range of colours just in the grasses you’ve posted here! I actually did avoid using grasses for years, but I think that may be over 😉 This whets my appetite a little more!

  5. Anna says:

    I’ve always liked grasses both in the garden and in containers too Cathy although I have had some problems with the odd vigorous self seeder. I had not realised that uncina rubra was quite so unsociable – sounds like shades of the dreaded pampas grass in the garden I grew up in 😦

  6. Over the past tow years I have really come to appreciate the late season interest that grasses can add…Really appreciated your suggestions and the photos.

  7. Cathy I adore your grasses and am looking at mine now that we have a thaw….I see some of mine ending up in a vase!

  8. bittster says:

    You have added quite a few interesting grasses, and always good news when they’re a discount on a discount on a discount! I’ll be waiting to see how your carexes grow, they’re tough plants and always seem to make a nice presence in the garden.

  9. Tina says:

    Grasses add such grace and elegance to a garden–and to floral arrangements. It looks like you have some winners there!

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