Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day: Would You Be-leaf it?

Earlier this week I was gazing out of the kitchen windows at the garden, as I do – and realised there were leaves on the trees! Not on every tree (next door’s beech is still naked), and most not fully open and still unfurling, but still an extraordinarily sudden change from winter’s skeletal branches. I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed before, but perhaps it really was as sudden as it seemed; I know I have been totally enamoured with all the activity in the various beds and borders recently and will have been looking down a lot, but still don’t think I could have missed noticing this distinct greening as the trees begin to close in around the garden. Indeed, it was not the only occasion I have been staring, transfixed, at the views of the garden this week so perhaps there really has been a subtle and intrinsic change …

Christina of My Hesperides Garden is hosting Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day today and indeed on the 22nd of every month, so celebrating the reappearance of leaves on the trees is certainly a good place to start. Thank you, Christina, for hosting. The above picture, showing the view that triggered my awareness of the event, is not brilliant as it was taken at about 7.00 this evening because I was too busy with gardening tasks to take photographs earlier in the day. The picture below is not much better but shows another of this week’s surprises – on looking up at the wisteria to see if any flower buds were evident, I found not only the delicate growth of fresh foliage but an absence of flower buds due to gradually lengthening flower trusses! Just how did that happen so suddenly?! I was in awe at the reclothing of our trees, but those of you have nurtured a wisteria may well understand that my reaction to the annual reawakening of mine was beyond awe…hyper-awe?

Trusting you will pardon that slight digression from  a purely foliage related post, I shall now turn my attention to hostas. One of my recent Titivating Tasks has been replenishing the slate chippings that top various potted plants, especially hostas, some of which were being repotted as their existing pots had scraped through too many winters to look presentable any more. Admittedly, there were also a few new hostas to be potted, our local garden centre for some reason having had a delivery of a surprisingly large range of hostas at a mere £3.99 or 3 for £10, and out of curiosity (and as a purely academic exercise, f course) I counted how many hostas there were in the garden – 61… Sixty one?! Good Grief , Girl! How did that happen? The fact that more than 20 of those are miniature hostas makes them a little deceptive I guess, as they are grouped together in shared pots, but sixty one – would you believe it?! The best slug and snail restaurant in the area perhaps…

Ignoring this excessive total, who could not be enamoured by the foliage of hostas, nor the way their spikes re-emerge each year, pushing through their way to the surface of the soil before unfurling in all their ribbed or puckered or striped or monochrome glory? Bright green or dark, glaucous or grass green, the variation is endless – particularly when there are sixty one of them!

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25 Responses to Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day: Would You Be-leaf it?

  1. clarission says:

    Wonderful hostas! 😀

  2. Well, I think you could be The Hosta Queen, or Princess?

  3. Those hostas are gorgeous! And your wisteria – ah, you are fortunate to have one that blooms.

  4. Christina says:

    Good grief Cathy, you’ll be the National Collection holder for Hostas next! But joking aside, they are gorgeous, one of the true foliage plants that everyone loves. BTW I like those zinc containers, the ones with “Property of Walls'” written on them, I won’t tell I promise. Does your Wisteria always but out foliage at the same time or before the flowers? Mine always has just flowers for a couple of weeks before the first foliage appears. What variety is it? Thanks for your participation in GBFD this month and enjoy those trees.

    • Cathy says:

      I can’t imagine how many hostas you would need for a NC – there must be a few hundred miniatures available so possibly thousands of bigger ones! The zinc containers are good aren’t they? Open air antique fair this time, not car boot! The wisteria is W floribunda ‘Magenta’ and certainly it is the flower buds that swell first but I am sure they were in cahoots with the leaves to take me by surprise this time 😀

  5. Pauline says:

    Sixty one hostas and in pots too, that must take a lot of watering! They are all beautiful with their very different foliage and not a nibble to be seen!

    • Cathy says:

      Still a bit early for nibbles, Pauline! The ones down the side of the house tend to escape damage because there is no other greenery apart from the hedge – and last year the dry summer meant virtually no damage at all for the others either. I have bought some organic slug pellets this year but will only use them if I have to

  6. I have a similar affection for hostas. I don’t have so many but I would if I could. Minis are my favorites I think. Yet when I think about that I love em all… Your wisteria is going to be gorgeous. It is fun to realize that the trees are leafing. I always notice how even with the smallest leaves give shade.

    • Cathy says:

      It’s not as if hostas are a particular favourite Lisa – I think being in pots means space isn’t an issue and I hadn’t deliberately built up a collection, honest!

  7. Heyjude says:

    I love hostas, but sadly have too many slugs and snails here so I am going to concentrate on Heucheras and Geraniums instead as they seem to leave them alone! Sixty-one is hard to compete with though! I too was astonished to see wisteria in flower in a nearby NT garden this week. Usually they don’t flower until early May. I’m beginning to worry there will be nothing flowering at this rate by July!

    • Cathy says:

      You have more rain of course, which encourages the little blighters – last year was noticeably nibble free here and we had a really dry summer. Perhaps the NT wisteria was a Chinese one which flowers earlier than the Japanese ones. Mine is the latter and would normally be fully out at the end of May but it’s a gradual process so can’t say yet if it is early. I am sure there will be plenty more things left to flower in July – and it would mean a longer season of dahlias and zinnias 😀

  8. AlisonC says:

    You could just pretend you had the National Collection if you needed an excuse for having 61. I have one. So far looking good. Yours look wonderful in their new leaf.
    I’ve noticed the trees gradually greening up over the last few weeks. I do think it has happened quite quickly. I drive 9 miles to work so I do have a chance to study the changes. Our beech is still bare though, too.

    • Cathy says:

      Haha! No, I don’t need an ecuse, but I was puzzled as to how I had accumulated so many without even thinking about it! Re tree greening, I know when I was working it was certainly something that I noticed, particularly with hawthorn which could green up in the space of only a week

  9. I had to have a chuckle as earlier today my sister told me she had been ‘foraging’ the hostas in her garden. She has a great deal of interest in growing her own food (and much less in garden aesthetics!) and it turns out that hostas are edible and ‘can be used if you have run out of spinach’ – I shan’t point her in the direction of your open day, for fear that you would find large holes in your beautiful plants…

    • Cathy says:

      Crikey, that’s different! I have never heard that before 🙂 Perhaps a miniature hosta leaf might be spared for garnish occasionally? So if we can eat what slugs and snails are partial to, perhaps we could try sunflower and sweet pea foliage too… And they devoured a tray of verbena seedlings in the greenhouse …grrr!

      • Oh damn those molluscs! How annoying about the verbenas. My cold frame is made of very rough wood and I have figured that they can’t crawl up it, as things seem to be safe in there. Perhaps copper seed trays are the answer – though on second thoughts it would be cheaper to just buy plug plants! I might try tasting a hosta leaf to test the theory…

        • Cathy says:

          It’s strange because they (but I think it was just one) could have had a field day with everything else in the greenhouse but it was only these that were touched. I have found occasional evidence since, but nothing to be concerned about. Don’t forget to give feedback on the taste test! 😉

  10. Brian Skeys says:

    It is amazing what can happen when your not looking, I blame the garden fairies. How many would you have if you hadn’t had your previous plant buying ban? They all look beautiful and healthy Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, the garden fairies work hard here, behind the scenes 😉 That’s an interesting question you have posed, though, as I haven’t intentionally built up a collection of hostas – although I would happily add more miniature hostas and none of those passed in front of my eyes last year anyway 😉

  11. I have voles which eat hostas in the ground like candy but when I put them in pots they do not touch them!

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