Garden Blogger’s Foliage Day – June 2013

June and the garden still looks like it’s in May which of course I am grateful for because there’s nothing quite as melancholy as the yellowing hues of a late summer garden slowly slipping towards autumn.

Thankfully we still have plenty of beautiful fresh growth around.

After working on this small corner for a couple of years, things are becoming crowded now… Especially as I hadn’t anticipated the Echinops to get quite so huge… I will have to move it, however I am thrilled to have echninops for the first time. Also, who’d have thought Hellebores would crowd out anything else? Well they sure are! The small Sorbus shrub is struggling for light so I think I’ll remove a couple of leaves.

Acer ‘Katsura’, Caryopteris, Sorbus, Echinops, Hellebores and Thalictrum

As last year, I really enjoy the combo of the Acer Garnet and Aconitum. This year the Monkshood really suffered under the cold snow, it hit as they were freshly out and severely damaged the growing tips so they’re a bit malformed and stunted.

Acer palmatum ‘Garnet’

So, this year I allowed a Ragwort to grow on the tier, next to the bird feeding station… It’s huge! And there’s not a single Cinnabar moth caterpillar on it, but last year I had loads on some small, sickly Ragwort plants that were drowning in the rain. I ended up moving the caterpillars between plants to give them all the best chance of survival… this year I have plenty of plants around the garden and not a single striped little caterpillar in sight!

Ragwort, Sedum, Geranium, Veronicastrum, Lavender, and Black Lilyturf

Black Elder blooms contrast nicely with its foliage, so very different to the much larger, white version blooming just above it over the fence. The ferns are looking gorgeous this year, it’s just a shame the birds are messing all over them. It’s even worse at the moment thanks to the boom in numbers as the young are fledging, and hiding out in the cherry tree above.

Black Elder and Ferns

Various Ferns in the garden, some are hidden by the Geraniums and I repeatedly rip out some of the branches to allow the Ferns some light. Once the Geraniums have finished I’ll clear them away (herb Robert, that is) because it’s already seeding everywhere.


The Aster border has exploded this year, mainly thanks to the Feverfew, but also the Astrantia has really taken off after spending the past 4 years mainly hidden and only sending up a couple of blooms usually late in the season.

Autumn Fern, Persicaria, Digitalis, Astrantia and Sanguisorba

The recent rain really flattened the Cenaurea, it looks a complete mess and a hard lesson to Chelsea chop is learned! I’ve cut a lot of blooms off and have three vases of twisted stems… Hopefully it’ll produce new growth and perhaps blooms later. The same has happened to Geranium Thurstonianum and Shasta Daisies.

Alchemilla Mollis, Centaurea, Geraniums and Astilbe

I think that’s about it for the foliage day, please visit My Hesperides Garden to join in.
Copyright 2013 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden


8 thoughts on “Garden Blogger’s Foliage Day – June 2013

  1. Lots of lovely foliage Liz, I think ferns are the unsung heroes of the shade and there are so many different sorts. The black leaved elder is magnificent at the moment and the perfume from the flowers is overwhelming! Maybe this year I will have enough flowers to make some cordial without the bush looking stripped. Your Acer Katsura has lovely pale leaves, do they stay this lovely colour or turn green?

    • Hi Pauline,

      Ferns are lovely! I can’t imagine not having them, I love the scaled fern as it unfurls but the Autumn Ferns also look pretty amazing now with their rusty colours.

      Definitely something to have whenever I do finally move!

      TBH the Black Elder is still small here, in comparison to the normal one anyway which is a good 9 foot or so and the entire back of the garden is filled with its perfume. So I can only really smell the normal one; I’ll have to make sure to get my nose in there next time 🙂

      The Acer Katsura is the one that comes out red when the leaves first emerge: the leaves will pretty much stay this current colour until autumn.

  2. You have a wonderful selection of ferns. I have the golden leaved elder ‘sutherland’s gold’, I wonder how jarring it would be if it was planted with the black elder. Probably pretty jarring.

    • Hi Ronnie,

      Let’s hope the berries get the chance to mature this year! The normal Elder is especially abundant this year though so I think the birds will be loving all the berries in a couple of months.

  3. Lovely contrasts. Our centaurea montana has been splayed open by the winds too, as have the tall mounds of Geranium x magnificum, though I dug up our shasta daisy in the spring and replanted a smaller piece as it was getting leggy last year, so it is in much more modest proportions this year and the winds at least didn’t get a hold on it.

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