Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – October 2011

This month I thought I’d join in with this meme held by Christina, however I’ve never been big on foliage, I don’t often think about it and it certainly isn’t the only reason I buy something. Generally I buy for wildlife i.e. flowers, berries and spikes for safety.

Recently I bought this little Acer ‘Garnet’, it’s been grafted onto something smaller so should only grow to 1.5m rather than the expected 3m



Next up is the Phaeum Geranium, of which I have a few different types around the garden.

Another Acer, this time I believe it is Katsura but I can’t remember now.


I quite like the juxtaposition of these two. One is a Hebe but I’ve no idea what the other thing is but its leaves are normally green. They came in a ready-made little pot thing.

The corkscrew rush and stipa are quite different too; the rush is most definitely very different to most things. Really I ought to get a corkscrew hazel to continue the twisty theme.
Neither plant has filled out yet so I can’t really show them against each other – the stipa was only planted a week or so ago.

The crocosmia leaves are dying back gracefully, I do love their lush grassiness; even if they don’t have such a long blooming time (actually, I guess that’s a lie as I have one in the back garden still blooming!!! Crazy)

More geranium leaves, although this time they are from ‘wargrave pink’ I love what a soldier this geranium is and yep I also have blooms on it.

Finally we have Heather and Ferns making up a combo

This is one area where I enjoy the more structural elements of the Verbenas but there’s very little in the way of foliage; I do, however like the foliage on the Cosmos. I need to add some stipa next year to try to add interest in the lower section. I’ve protected the pennisetum, but have little hope of it surviving if we have another winter like last year.

I dug up this Weigela today ready for its new home at my parents. I don’t like its leaves and I’m not too keen on its blooms either. So I’m going to plant a smallish shrub Rowan that I ordered today.

The Russian Dwarf Almond generally ends up with spots on its leaves… Must be some sort of infection, but these ones here have managed to stay nice and clear… Oh and I never got round to posting the almonds I got off it this year! 😀

The Aster border is quickly becoming the grass border… I’ve planted the Japanese Blood Grass and some Stipas in there purely to protect them over winter rather than being in tiny little plastic pots. I had originally intended to move them, but I have the feeling that once they settle in, I might well leave them and see how the layers of grasses look together. We have two different types of Stipa, a Pheasant’s grass, the Japanese Blood grass, Miscanthus ‘Flamingo’ and some Deirama and Irises which look grassy too.

This Stipa is more mature and I love its whispy hair

‘Flamingo’

Pheasant’s grass with blood grass and persicaria

And its bloom

Further round we also have Panicum virgatum ‘Rehbaum’ with the lighter grass in the background being Pheasant’s tail grass. It survived last winter but didn’t produce many new shoots. So I’m considering cutting it back hard and seeing if it recovers well.

Aster ‘Lady in black’ and Sedum – the Aster doesn’t have much foliage at all, and much of it by this time of the year had wizened away.

Acer ‘Katsura’ and the crazy ‘cousin it’ Cotoneaster. I’m still undecided whether the Cotoneaster will stay, but for now the birds will enjoy the berries. (Willows in the background behind the Acer too)

Roseraie de l’Hay’s foliage with dwarf Almond in the background.

The Willows are now beginning to drop their leaves, I will have to cut its branches soon as it’s getting too large even though I only coppiced it in the spring.

Flat-topped Aster has some pretty colours, although as with lady in black its leaves often shrivel up towards the base.

A tomato sprung up from a seed but may be too late to produce any fruit

‘Harlow Carr’s’ leaves are looking nice and lush still… Normally my roses get spots!

Black Lilyturf always looks nice against the grey of the pebbles

And I think that’s about all I have for the foliage show… perhaps next year I’ll get to grips with the idea of foliage. Hopefully the ferns will mature next year and we’ll have more to look at too, as many of them are still small and aren’t very impressive.

Copyright 2011 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.

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12 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – October 2011

  1. Lovely post, just lovely! I have to admit, although I do place a lot of importance on foliage, I am usually more moved by flowers, as well! The one exception for me is grasses…which I just adore! I’m so excited to see your grass collection growing…that ‘Flamingo’ Miscanthus looks great! I have a red-tinted Pennisetum too (‘Shenandoah’). Mine seemed a little slow to get going, but I’m hoping next year it’ll really take off. It also gets a bit too much shade, so isn’t as red as it should be…oh well!

    • Hi Scott,

      Thanks 🙂 I have a long way to go to have all your grasses; plus I don’t think we’ll be able to have as many types as they aren’t hardy enough.
      I’d love to have some muhly grass that I see on various US blogs but it doesn’t seem to have made the jump over here yet, as I’ve only been able to find seeds of it so far… Perhaps I’ll just to have to try growing it instead 😀

      The Pheasant’s grass hasn’t done so well this year, I think it’s because the tall Aster has strangled it out and been taking all the water from it. So I’ve moved it in the hope next year it’ll be nice and lush. I should’ve had more this year but my Carex were all flattened by heavy snow and never seemed to recover and I discovered the Pheasant’s-tail grass wasn’t fully hardy, so I had to rip out 10 of them and I had given in with the idea of having whispy grassiness/sedginess. But I looked more closely and have tried to go for hardy plants that will survive. And those that are less likely such as the pennisetum I’ve protected.

  2. To be honest I don’t think much about foliage either, perhaps I should, as some of your pictures show, it can be quite beautiful at this time of year. So out with the camera tomorrow to see what I can find.

    • Hi Elaine,

      I’m just drawn in by pretty blooms; although I do love grasses too. Most grasses I come across at general garden centres are boring or not fully hardy so I’ve had to purposefully look for specific things.
      However I am quite lacking in terms of shrubs or bushy plants that have good foliage and look attractive for most of the year. I’ve ordered myself a shrubby Rowan that meets my needs for wildlife but also has pretty berries and very pretty fern-like leaves and will hopefully have nice Autumn colour.

      I think my problem is that I am so geared towards planting for wildlife that I see things purely for their benefit and would like to get hold of native grasses which Butterflies and moth caterpillars can feed on.

  3. Liz I am hard pressed to find a favorite since all these pics are stunning. The acers particularly so because of their unique foliage but then your pics of all the grases. I just love savoring your photos. I spend lots of time on the pics of your posts drinking them in..fabulous!!

    • Hi Donna,

      Thank you very much, I’m glad you enjoy my photos 😀

      I felt the need to get some more magical images with the short depth of field or ‘bokeh’ in them. I love how dreamy they make the photos 🙂

  4. Well, you may claim to not take much notice of foliage but you have amassed a lovely collection, and have taken stunning photos of them. I particularly love the “garnet” photos, I always find those small delicate leaves very difficult to do justice to. I feel all inspired now, though I am going to need my tripod…

    • Hi Janet,

      After having used my new lens for the past few weeks I was feeling an over-whelming need to go back to my macro roots. I am now considering getting a different lens which has a very low aperture so I can get the lovely ‘bokeh’ images but with better quality (not macro though). So far I’m still undecided but we’ll see how it goes. The ‘garnet’ isn’t very easy to photograph I must admit, mainly because it’s still small and only has 3 branches on it. But I hope in years to come it’ll look more like yours and I’ll have a lovely waterfall of spidery red leaves.

  5. As Janet, above, says you may not think about foliage but your garden seems to have some real gems! Thanks for joing GBFD and sharing your pretty foliage. I think the plant you needed the name for is Euphorbia mysirnites, I have lots and it self seeds everywhere. Christina

    • Hi Christina,

      Thanks for the plant ID, I’ll look it up! I need to move the poor thing out of the pot as the Hebe is really beginning to drown it out so I really ought to find the best place for it to go as it does have a very nice Autumn colour 😀

  6. Very nice foliage post, Liz! I am a little backward in other’s blogs following but I must tell you I really enjoyed the pics of the birds on your previous post!
    Here I loved the rosa rugosa leaves (I’m a fan of rugosas…) and the willows. I like them a lot. I have 5 in a row, like a big hedge but I’m willing to plant other varieties too…

    • Hi Alberto,

      Thanks 🙂
      I do like Willows too, it would be nice if they were more attractive to wildlife, but they do make gett screens and the weeping willows do look very nice too. The Willows here were here when we moved in, they’re along the side and back fence. A few in particular are doing very well and grow large every year so I chop them back, others are still very weak and small though. I don’t want them to become huge trees because I don’t have the space for them. I wonder if there’s a local weaver that could make use of them, although I believe it’s specific branches they can use which are supple enough to bend into shapes.

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