GBFD: Shading

IMG_6613I haven’t joined in with Christina’s foliage meme a little while but have still enjoyed observing foliage on my rambles. Joining in with the meme has encouraged me to notice and appreciate foliage in a different way, so do pop over to My Hesperides Garden and see her foliage post and links to those of other bloggers.

Having been looking at a specific aspects of foliage in recent months I am continuing this by looking at colour shading – not patterns, but where different shades interact or blend into each other, often as a young leaf matures, Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ (above), although not a leaf, exhibits this with beautiful shades of salmon , peach and red in the stems. Below, Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’ always looks decidedly poorly at this spotted stage, as it gradually tranforms its leaves from green to coppery brown.

IMG_6606Nandina domestica ‘Obsessed’ does the same thing rather more gracefully, foliage ageing from red to green and back to red autumn shades – or so I believe, as my plant is a fairly new resident here:

IMG_6607Trachelespermum asiaticum is also noted for shades of red, still largely absent on my specimen:

IMG_6615New rose foliage often displays pink or red shades which change to green as they fully unfurl and looks so delicate in its infancy yet early shoots have withstood several frosty nights in the last week or two without any damage – the one below shows ‘Harlow Carr’, not the best of photos.

IMG_6619Uncina rubra always looks attractive with its red tones intermixed with the green as if it has a regular appointment with its hairdresser:

IMG_6608I had forgotten where I had planted this young Chinese witch hazel Loropetalum chinensis rubrum ‘Blush’, but having found it again today I could see why it was given this name:

IMG_6617Realising that most of the shading I found involved pink and red shades I was pleased to be able to show a different example from our variegated holly, where the outer edges of young leaves start off as a fresh light green that is almost yellow before developing the more typical creamy whiteness exhibited in the leaf on the top right:

IMG_6616It has been a really interesting exercise looking at shading and of course there will be scientific reasoning because the changes, no doubt the effect of a combination of light and temperature and available nutrients affecting the cell structure of the leaves as they mature. I wonder what thoughts other bloggers have had about the foliage in their gardens? Do visit Christina’s blog to find out and perhaps think of writing your own Garden Bloggers Foliage Day* post.

*GBFD is usually the 22nd of every month but I have posted a day late.

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22 Responses to GBFD: Shading

  1. Tina says:

    Lots of lovely reds–preparing for Valentine’s Day???

  2. Christina says:

    Thanks for your contribution this month Cathy, yes I’m sure there is a good reason why some of the colour changes aren’t as you expect. How can you forget where you planted a tree Cathy?! I’m kidding I imagine that it is a small sapling.

  3. Nice foliage. I didn’t feel like walking through the snow to picture any foliage this month. It is nice to see yours.

  4. Renee says:

    Very nice! I’ve also wondered how that shading works, especially when two leaves on the same plant are doing something totally different!

  5. Amy says:

    A fascinating post, Cathy! I do love to watch the shadings, especially on rose foliage, which occurs many times through the seasons. I hadn’t thought about it much with the variegated leaves, which makes me realize I have no green/white or green/gold leaves anywhere in this garden so far! Hmmm…

    • Cathy says:

      I have enjoyed focussing on just one aspect of foliage for this meme and I did focus especially on variegation one month. It has made me far more observant

  6. Lovely tints of warm colour, and from such a wide range of plants. Do you cut your cornus right down every year, or alternate thirds per year?

  7. Denzil says:

    Love the pastel purple shades.

  8. I really appreciate your photos and the information on foliage in your post. I to have become much more appreciative of foliage in garden design and I am starting to see the benefits in my garden and landscape from the different tips and suggestions I’ve found in different blogs.

  9. Anna says:

    A most interesting post Cathy. I’m pleased to see a photo of your nandina domestica ‘Obsessed’. Mine is planted at the caravan so I haven’t seen it since November. Can’t help but wonder what it’s getting up to (that is if it has survived the deluges).

    • Cathy says:

      Never mind the nandina, let’s hope the caravan has survived! When writing the post I checked to see whether Obsessed has berries and was disappointed to see that it didn’t…

  10. Most fascinating, Cathy. Although I’m already a convert to foliage, I must now venture out and examine my shrubs more closely, to see if I have any further examples of colour shading. I already have the Trachelospermum asiaticum and the Nandina you mentioned. I do believe the most stunning example must be Actinidia kolomikta, with its leaves that look as if they have been splashed with pink and white paint, before reverting to green. I do have a poor specimen, without leaves at present, that has had to struggle with cats and now the collapse of its supporting arch. Fingers xd and watch this space!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – the foliage meme does make me observe things in a different way, and see things I might otherwise have missed. Interesting about the actinidia – I have seen them in gardens but didn’t realise they reverted to green. Hope yours survives and eventually flourishes!

  11. Pauline says:

    You have so much shaded foliage in your garden, it all looks beautiful. We still can’t get on the lawn, it is so sodden, so couldn’t go looking for foliage this month, surely it will dry out soon!

    • Cathy says:

      Increasingly I am realising the benefit of hard landscaping, especially paths, Pauline! Sorry it has been so wet for you in the SW…

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