This is the third month I have focussed on one particular aspect of foliage for GBFD, hosted by our good friend Christina at My Hesperides Garden. This month’s chosen focus was ‘texture’, but today was one of those days that started out frosty and clear but although temperatures rose a few degrees it just got chillier and damper as the day wore on, the sort of weather that it is hard to warm up from once you have been exposed to it. Pleased I had braved the slightly improved elements of yesterday afternoon to fill the new raised bed, I remained inside as long as possible and finally began to make a dress I had bought fabric for a year ago, venturing outside only to take foliage photos and thus not giving the task as much attention as I might have done had it been warmer and drier.
Although not strictly foliage, the green addition of moss in the garden on paths and walls and on trees such as the prostrate salix shown above is very welcome with its velvet or, as in this case, furry texture. I bought this in a 3″ pot and it grew happily in the rockery for about 14 years until it was ousted it because it now spanned about 4 feet although only a few inches above the ground (a bit like a stepover apple in terms of shape). It was temporarily replanted in front of the cornus in the new shrub border till I can decide if there is a better location for it.
Also soft and velvety are stachys (this one is S byzantina ‘Big Ears’) and the underside of hardy annual centaurea C cyanus ‘Black Ball’, one of my autumn sowings, although the latter has more of a brushed cotton rather than velvet feel to it:
Grasses are very individual in their textures, with Luzula nivea‘s softer and hairy leaves, Uncina rubra‘s sharp edges and hooked seed heads later in the year and the tactile strands of Stipa tenuissima that beg you to run your hands through them:
Closer inspection of or touching leaves may show details you wouldn’t notice in passing like the ribbed feel of this Asplenium scolopendrium arising from the spores on the underside of the leaves, or the hairs on the reverse of geums:
It’s an interesting exercise to carry out and I am grateful to Christina for hosting the foliage day that instigated this investigation – do visit her blog to view more foliage posts, and have a look in your own garden for different textures but choose a more amenable day to do so! Completing my textured collection today is the ubiquitous ivy – always glossy, even when it isn’t raining: