Foliage Follow Up – November 2013

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Finally I can blog again.  With the shorter days I am struggling to take photographs for the blog and being away last week meant that I couldn’t get any photographs for the GBBD post.  But never mind its the weekend and the sun is almost shining so I have taken some foliage photos.  There is still lots of colour in the garden and predominantly from the turning foliage than from flowers – I wonder should I look to have more floral interest at this time of year or just enjoy the autumn colours.

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The top photograph is a Cotinus which looks wonderful when the sun decides to shine on it. Above is Sorbus vilmorinii whose leaves have been slowly turning over a number of weeks, I like the way they go through a number of shades colour from green through burgundy to a yellow.

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The large unknown Prunus at the top of the garden has finally decided to give in to the change of seasons and the leaves are starting to turn a soft buttery yellow. It occurs to me that with all the trees and shrubs I have added in recent years I have increased the amount of fallen leaves I need to pick up.  I do tend to take the approach of pushing them under shrubs and hedges as a sort of mulch although I plan to bag some up again this year as rotted leaves are meant to be very good for alpine and bulb compost mixes.  I will have to find somewhere to store the bags where the evil badger wont find them and rip them to pieces.

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I think many perennials add to the autumn display and at the moment Kirengeshoma palmata is lighting up the patio border with its pale yellow flowers. Definitely a plant that should be grown more by people.

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But not all the leaves are turning and dying.  There is a whole range of woodland plants that give good foliage during the winter including epimediums, pulmonaria (above), ferns and hellebores. Then there is the wonderful range of cyclamen leaves which varying greatly within species

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Cyclamen hederifolium is a great plant, it flowers for months and slowly once it has started flowering you have these wonderful leaves.  I have noticed more and more cyclamen coming home with me from various horticultural club meetings chosen for their foliage!

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Melianthus major continues to look fresh and bright and I am wondering how long it will be before it succumbs to frost and cold.  I need to provide it with some protection but I have yet to decide what.  Last year I covered the crown with straw which seemed to work well but then it wasn’t that cold a winter.

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For more foliage follow up posts visit Pam’s blog Digging – there will no doubt be lots of sunny photographs with agaves and other interesting succulents.!

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Cathy says:

    Excellent photographs Helen, and at this time of year I notice even more that by blogging I have become more observant of changes and little differences. Thanks for sharing yours.

  2. Ogee says:

    I think fall foliage is a beautiful substitute for flowers at this time of year, helping us ease into acceptance of winter. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your garden.

  3. Just went and looked up Kirengeshoma palmata, you’re right, it is a lovely little plant. You have loads of gorgeous foliage, I am tempted to say who needs flowers, but cyclamen are so beautiful. A plant I really must start to stock this garden with. But I do have a Sorbus vilmorinii on its way to me! it will be a few years before it gives me a good show, but I do so love planting trees.

  4. rusty duck says:

    I have admired your Sorbus before, but having seen the way its foliage turns I really must get one!

  5. bittster says:

    The short days do make for trouble in getting out into the garden, don’t they?
    I sometimes think sorbus are sort of neglected here in the US. There are some native species but it seems they’ve fallen out of favor over the last few decades and were more common years back…. maybe it’s the big box store effect since I never see them offered as potted plants.
    There’s a self sown one I pass on my neighborhood walks and you’ve inspired me to get a few seeds next time I pass. The birds will love me for it I’m sure!

  6. Pam/Digging says:

    Ha — I surprised you this month and left out agaves and other succulents for an ornamental grass. 🙂 I do like YOUR surprise of woodland foliage plants mixed in with the traditional fall colors of trees and shrubs. It’s nice to have both the changing colors and steady colors at this time of year.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Pam
      I did notice the lack of agaves after I posted my link!

  7. hillwards says:

    I love the range of colours on your Sorbus; a pretty little shrub. We rely on lots of pulmonarias for groundcover through the winter too, such stalwarts although they spread here like crazy – a nice problem to have!

  8. Pauline says:

    Your have some wonderful colour from your foliage, this really is a super time of year for it. This is the time of year when textures also play their part and you have some wonderful examples, we must make the most of them before they all blow away!

  9. ginnytalbert says:

    Lovely photos of the end of season colors. Thanks for sharing!

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