Garden Blogger’s Foliage Day – April 2013

Look at me, all prepared for the foliage day and everything! I’m so proud of myself. Of course, it’s only because of all the emerging foliage that I thought to myself whilst taking the shots ‘oh I can save these for the foliage post!’

I’ve mentioned in other posts recently how everything seems to have suddenly started to grow, and it feels like I can see them growing because it seems to happen so quickly. There’s a very obvious difference in growth between days, let alone from week to week.
For example, the Sedum and Rose spent weeks with small buds, just appearing then suddenly in the past week have produced noticeable growth. Meanwhile, we can see the damage to the Hebe that the snow caused. I don’t know whether to try trimming lightly to initiate new growth or just get rid.

Sedum, Roseraie De L’hay and Hebe

My two Mecanopsis also have very obvious leaves now, I’m unsure whether to move them or not and hope they actually bloom this year. They’ve had plenty of water over the past year so hopefully will be happy enough to bloom.
Rhubarb leaves always look so tropical… I never eat the stems though, but I leave this one in the corner because actually it’s a good cover in a spot I normally can’t get to.
The Hellebore which looked very dead i.e. all leaves dead, has put on plenty of growth! Yay.
Oh and it’s almost time for the brilliant pink blossom of Russian Dwarf Almond and the firey red of fresh Acer leaves.

Mecanopsis, Rhubarb, Hellebore, Russian Dwarf Almond and Acer ‘Katsura’

Nothing says spring to me more than fresh Hawthorn leaves, I love their vibrant colour. It’s especially beautiful when backlit by the sun.


Acer ‘Katsura’

Acer ‘Katsura’

I’ve a few clumps of Pheasant’s Tail Grass, and they all seem to have survived, I’m in two minds whether to cut this one back or leave it a little longer to fill out first… I seem to be drowning under a sea of Allium in the right border at the moment… There’s so many seedlings, which aren’t yet mature enough to produce blooms… It almost looks like a lawn of grass! Speaking of lawns… I think this is a cheeky Allium growing in the lawn?? Am I correct? If I leave it, I’m guessing it would likely bloom next year.

Pheasant’s Tail Grass, Alliums and Unknown

It’s amazing that in spring, when I’m watching everything with an eagle eye that I notice the foliage. The rest of the year I find difficult to truly appreciate it all and I think it’s because I’m so overly stimulated by everything. For example, in my mind I can think what a failure a border was, but when I look back on photos I realise that actually it looked really good!

Lady’s Mantle, Quaking Grass, Aconitum, Black Elder and Geranium Herb Robert and Phaeum

There are, however always my favourites, such as these Sanguisorba leaves. Another favourite are the Rowan leaves once they’re developed enough for me to feature.


We can’t have a foliage feature without mentioning Aquilegia, not only does beading water look amazing on them, but in spring they have such delicate and beautiful leaves, it’s untrue.


Finally I’ll leave you with new Geum leaves, I think they’re spreading to produce new plants here… I may have to tame it back but we’ll see if they get too much. I love them back-lit though, and these too have delicately coloured leaves and stems in comparison to the mother plants.

Geum ‘Tangarine Dream’

Copyright 2013 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.


15 thoughts on “Garden Blogger’s Foliage Day – April 2013

  1. you reminded me to put Black Elder on my list to plant! Thank you
    what great pictures…perfect way to express Earth day….
    I would love to grow hebe, but it doesn’t seem to like our heat….
    Thank you for an amazing walk through your world…the foliage looks like wings unfurling to me …Great photos!
    Take Care…

  2. Gorgeous, Liz, utterly gorgeous. Lots of lovely foliage on your plants. Aquilegia leaves are magical when they hold water droplets, aren’t they. It is the Acer ‘Katsura’ that steals the show for me though. The hebe looks really pretty, I would try just cutting back the really burnt stems and then giving a light haircut overall, it should bounce back OK, like the hellebores – one of mine that I had to cut all the leaves off is now throwing up fresh growth at an amazing rate.

    • Hi Janet,

      The Acer is amazing at this time of year when its leaves are first opening, later they become yellow in the centre and red at the edge, slowly fading to green with a slight red edge.
      I’ll have a go at cutting the Hebe; we’ll see how well it does, otherwise I’ll just have to get rid of it. It’ll make space for the Geranium next to it which is likely to once again make a bid for world domination.

  3. I love it that you grow rhubarb for the leaves – that’s my plan as well. It’s like a hosta for the sun, breaking up all the other small leaves. My two little plants have a lot of growing to do before they’re very impressive, though. Which geum do you have? I just ordered a dwarf orange one, Firestorm or something.

    • Hi VW,

      The rhubarb was here hen I moved in and I’ve never got rid of it. I used to give it to colleagues at work, but I’m not sure if anyone at my new job likes it; I’ll ask around.
      I have geum ‘totally tangerine’, and I’ve already spotted seedlings off it as well as it sending runners/shoots. I’ll see if I get along with it as generally I don’t like plants which try to take over.

    • Hi,

      Not so sure it has deinitely arrived yet; it’ll probably get cold again soon for a little while. At this time of year you never can be totally sure that we’ve seen the last of the frosts.

    • Hi,

      I’ve a couple of black Elder; Black Lace and Black Beauty. Black Lace has the narrow leaves like shown in the photo above, the other has large leaves like that of the green Elders. Also, the blooms are slightly different on both too. So it is worthwhile looking into which variety you’d like – I prefer the leaves of Black Lace, personally. I’m just looking forward to seeing the shrubs mature as at the moment both are still quite small.

    • Hi,

      There’s nothing quite like fresh leaves, or the first time you smell fresh cut grass of the year… Long days ahead and I’m positively excited at the thought of spending evenings outside.

  4. Hi Liz! I love that sanguisorba leaves too and this year I’d like to have more than a few aquilegia clump established in the garden because I love their leaves as much as their flowers. In my experience the best way to have good aquilegia is seeding them ‘en plein air’ using fresh seeds just cropped in some friend’s garden. Grown plants are more fussy on my heavy soil.

    • Hi Alberto,

      I really love this Sanguisorba leaves; the other one has larger leaves which don’t appear for a while yet and they’re just not as pretty, at all. I like that these two are growing nicely and forming nice little clumps now, but the other yet again is somewhat slower getting settled and producing nice plants.
      Two of my Aquilegias were bought – including the one in this photo – but the rest are all hybrids from the bought ones and from a previous house I lived in. And actually, this year I’ve noticed a few plants have popped up that previously I didn’t have! The rest were all sown fresh from the seed pod when they developed and boy did I get a lot of seedlings from the sprinkling! They’re still maturing though and I expect perhaps this year they’ll be nice full plants as I believe it’s their third year.

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