Foliage Follow Up – December 2013

Cyclamen hederifolium
Cyclamen hederifolium

Despite being December and the start of winter there is still a lot of foliage interest in the garden and hopefully most of it will remain now all winter.

I love Cyclamen and more so for the vast differences in the patterns on the leaves than the flowers which seem very similar to me.  The patterns and variation on the leaves can differ dramatically within each species.  The one above, Cyclamen hederifolium, is a new acquisition and has blush pink flowers although there are not many of them in evidence at the moment.

Melianthus major
Melianthus major

Melianthus major continues to shine in the Big Border.  I love its serrated leaves especially when it has rain and the raindrops are caught like jewels along the leaf rib.

Saxifraga 'Silver Velvet'
Saxifraga ‘Silver Velvet’

I do  like the way the leaves on the Saxifraga ‘Silver Velvet’ are turning.  The deep burgundy is slowly bleaching from the outside to a bright pink.  This is the first winter this plant has been in the border so I have my fingers crossed that it will survive.

Ajuga reptans
Ajuga reptans

Another dark leaved perennial that looks good all  winter is Ajuga reptans.  It is especially good with the bright fresh shoots of bulbs pushing up alongside it.  I have only ever seen this form of Ajuga but I have recently been reading Marjery Fish and she mentioned some other varieties which I shall have to investigate.


Finally there are the Epimediums which I seem to be acquiring quite  a few of.  There are the evergreen ones such as above – I can’t remember the name of this one and it is now too dark to go and look at the label.  Then there are the deciduous ones like below, Epimedium ogisui, whose leaves turn as they fade and I really like the added interest they bring to the border.  I think we are so busy looking at the Autumn foliage of shrubs and trees that we forget to look down at the perennials.

Epimedium ogisui
Epimedium ogisui

I hope you enjoyed my wintery foliage but if you would like some warmer offerings pop over to Pam’s blog Digging where you will find links to many other posts with some from warmer climes.

Author: Helen Johnstone

I live in Malvern, Worcestershire and am a very keen gardener. I started the Patient Gardener Blog in January 2008 as a way of recording what was happening in my garden and connecting with other like-minded people. I started a second blog PatientGardener 365 January 2013 in order to try and post a photo a day to capture what is growing in my garden or places I have visited

10 thoughts on “Foliage Follow Up – December 2013”

  1. Still lots of interest in your garden The melanthisus is a thug in Northland, tho’ dramatic. Quickly packing up to leave my lovely ‘Gran’s Tropical Resort’ for three months! Am gypsying around my daughters in lovely situations, Bush or beach! Had a full moon swim last, blue lights on,warm and

  2. Oh, it’s been pretty wintry (by our standards) here in Austin, Texas, too, Helen. I enjoyed your macro views of the pretty leaves still hanging on in your garden. Merry Xmas to you!

  3. These memes are so good for encouraging us to look at our gardens in a different light and with foliage it can be fresh new foliage, variegation, the changing colours, rain or frost on the leaves, the list is endless, as your photos demonstrate

  4. I’m amazed at how much deciduous leaf has hung on this far into December. I’ve planted out quite a few of the tender Cyclamen from previous year’s winter pots just to see what they’d do. I’m not getting many flowers, but that doesn’t matter because their foliage more than makes up for it.

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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