Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: Filling Up With Foliage

I know I have taken a closer look at the new shrub border recently in one of my posts, but as the season continues and the plants continue to mature I have increasingly become aware of what an important part the foliage plays in a new border – and of the impact made by the structure of shrubs and other plants that will still be standing during the winter. On the left of the border the three cornus are thoroughly enjoying the freedom of a bed instead of being contained in their previous pots – and they have responded to my hesitant cutting back of their colourful stems earlier in the year. I look forward to the reward of more plentiful colour when winter comes.

IMG_5654A new pulmonaria has bulked up in just a few months and the ornamental quince Chaenomeles ‘Madame Butterfly’ behind it, also enjoying freedom from containment, has quinces for the first time ever. Below, the value of grasses is already evident with Carex ‘Limeshine’, Luzula sylvatica ‘Marginata’, Carex ‘Bronco’ in the foreground and Pennisetum ‘Moudry’ behind. A garden centre rescue Fuchsia magellanica has quickly bulked up into a shapely bush, having also responded to a severe trim, and just emerging above the fuchsia is a fruit laden bough of crab apple ‘Yellow Hornet’ which will provide autumn colour. Foliage colour is also evident in Sedum ‘Thunderhead’, Loropetalum ‘Black Pearl’ and Nandina domestica ‘Obsessed’.

IMG_5655Lonicera purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’ and Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ look as if they have been here for much longer than a part season and will continue to bring interest in the winter months. Although not fully hardy, the dark red Pennisetum ‘Rubrum’ between them will also be a great asset to foliage colour for as long as it survives.

IMG_5656There is till space in the border, particularly towards the back, but there are several tall grasses, still tiny plants and tucked behind other things so not yet visible in these photos, like this one which I think is Pennisetum ‘Malepartus’ – I don’t expect them to do great things this autumn as they have mostly only been in situ for few months. The small shrub with bright green foliage and a few white flowers is Choisya dewitteana ‘White Dazzler’, which is meant to have two flowering periods each year and is already dazzling, albeit in a small way.

IMG_5657I love the dark glaucous foliage of Sedum ‘Jose Aubergine’ and the stunning bright greenness of Carex ‘Everillo’ in this corner, but the unusual leaves of Persicaria ( formerly Tovara) virginiana Painter’s Palette’ also show promise – this poor plant has been moved around the garden to several different locations over the years but perhaps this will be its final resting place. Behind them are a rehomed peony, Lonicera standishii ‘Budapest’, witch hazel ‘Magic Fire’, Rose ‘The Pilgrim’, Daphne mezereum ‘Rubra’, a prostrate rosemary and Pittisporum ‘Tom Thumb’ just hidden in the corner. And a few dandelions…

IMG_5658The fact that I stop and study this border as I ramble and run my hand through the grasses or admire the different shades of foliage instead of just walking past is proof of the value of foliage – if proof was needed – and I am convinced that it is through Christina’s encouragement of bloggers to share their foliage in this monthly meme that I have come to appreciate foliage in its own right, blooms or no blooms. Thank you Christina.

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24 Responses to Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: Filling Up With Foliage

  1. Brian Skeys says:

    You have a good selection of plants in the new shrub border, Cathy. It should fill out and look even more impressive as it matures. I do like the dark coloured sedum’s

  2. Anca Tîrcă says:

    A great post, useful information, so many beautiful plants!

  3. There is nothing more pleasurable than a walk through the garden on an August day to see what’s blooming; your photos are such a wonderful gift.

  4. Hannah says:

    Foliage is so important, especially evergreen, and the dark Jose Aubergine is wonderful! I was attracted to some Sedums and bought a couple of darker ones recently too, they are wonderful for fall flowering. You have some lovely plant combinations.

  5. Gina says:

    I love foliage plants and would quite happily have most of the garden as foliage only. Come to think of it I think I have to be honest

  6. I agree foliage is key and you have wide range of interesting subjects in your garden. I also like the sedums and grasses, they contribute from stoping right through the winter. I’m pleased you know the gorgeous red Pennisetuem isn’t fully hardy, I’ve lost several even only wintering them in a greenhouse ditto P.’Moudry’ maybe it’s so much colder and wetter on the Welsh borders?

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kate – I had noted from the NGS book that you like your grasses and I promise to pop over to your blog one of these days (so many blogs, so little time!). Thanks for the warning about P ‘Moudry’ as I hadn’t picked that up (yet), although we definitely won’t be as wet here as you are

  7. Christina says:

    I love the way you pack the plants in Cathy and are then brave about moving them if you need to. There is so much variation in texture of the leaves of everything you’ve chosen, it is lovely, I’m pleased if I have been instrumental in giving you pleasure. Thanks for joining in GBFD with this interesting post.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina. I shall be interested to see what the taller like grasses are like amidst the shrubs as I have not grown any of them before – looking forward to it!

  8. Anna says:

    Oh I do like the planting and colours in your new shrub border Cathy. The pulmonaria in the top photo is most deliciously spotty. Do you know which one it is? I bought some new plants for foliage interest this morning in beautiful sunshine. I was hoping to plant some of them this afternoon but it’s absloutely poured down.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – I hadn’t intended to put the pulmonaria there but bought it on impulse and didn’t really have room for it elsewhere… you know how it is 😉 It is Victorian Brooch and is meant to have pinky red flowers. Bit of heavy rain here too, but not a lot… and it definitely rained more in the centre of the town

  9. gardenfancyblog says:

    What a variety of different leaf shapes, sizes and colors you have in your shrub border. I can’t wait to see what it will look like as it matures in coming years! -Beth

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