Foliage Follow Up – June 2014


I thought I would focus the Foliage Follow Up post on one border this month.  This is the border which is most dependent on good foliage to look good.  I have called it the Japanese Fern Border in the past as I planted it up with mainly Japanese ferns but as you can see the Impatiens omieana has started to dominate the space.  I have already had to lift and remove the Cautleya spicata ‘Arun Flame’ and relocate it to the Hardy Exotic Border.

Impatiens omieana

Impatiens omieana

Tucked in beside the Impatiens is a Saxifraga fortunei ‘Wada’s Form’.  I do like its glossy foliage which I  much prefer to Heucheras.

Saxifraga fortunei ‘Wada’s Form’

Saxifraga fortunei ‘Wada’s Form’

However the majority of the planting is ferns and I am stunned at how quickly they have grown in the last year. 

Japanese holly fern

Japanese holly fern

The Japanese Holly Fern was the fern that started off the theme and I think probably the fern that really caught my attention and interest in ferns which just continues to grow.  I love its glossy fronds and it keeps these through the winter although at this time of year the old fronds need removing.

Cyrtomium fortunei,

Cyrtomium fortunei

Another Holly Fern, Cyrtomium fortunei, which has more delicate fronds and isn’t so glossy.  This plant has struggled a little due to the huge prostrate rosemary which overhangs it from the wall above and is cutting out some light and quite a bit of moisture.

Rosmarinus officinalis Prostratus Group

Rosmarinus officinalis Prostratus Group

There are a few more ferns, a couple of Athryium Burgandy Lace one of which is behind the Japanese Holly Fern and seriously struggling partly because of the rosemary but also because I hadn’t anticipated the Japanese Holly Fern growing so tall so quickly.


Tucked in front of the Athryium Burgandy Lace is Polystichum Tsus-simense and there is another Polystichum just behind, this time Polystichum polyblepharum. I do like the various textures and shades of green.  However, sitting looking at the border this Sunday with my eldest he commented that the rosemary was swamping the space from above and why didn’t I cut it back?  Good point and well over due the rosemary got a hair cut.  I decided to remove lots of branches from under the canopy as this was a very woody space and I wanted to retain the healthy looking leaves.  As you can see the size of the plant is drastically reduced but I think it will benefit from the prune and it has opened up the space below to air and rain although the border now has a thick mulch of old rosemary spines.


For more Foliage Follow Up posts visit Pam over at Digging

12 Comments on “Foliage Follow Up – June 2014

  1. Ah, Helen! I can only dream of what you are growing in that little border. I have a sad little rosemary that managed to make it through the winter indoors and is now planted ourdoors. And my holly fern is about 3 years old and just a tiny little thing. But I am so happy it made it through our record harsh winter that I don’t mind how slow its growing. I love ferns and have the best luck with Dryopteris species.

  2. Great combination of foliage; I envy you your Impatiens omeiana.

  3. Hey Helen- you know what- this border is turning out to be the one i think i like the most in all your garden (although i change my mind frequently depending on all your beautoful photos!)- its so lush and green! I love the ferns and the impatiens- i could see some asarum euraeopeum and some lilium martagon working well in this border too! lovely post! xx

  4. sorry, I’ve left a few comments on your blog and got – sorry your comment couldn’t be posted.
    Today our cat, like yours, was curled up on the bark mulch enjoying the extra warmth the dark surface absorbs from the sun.

  5. It always intrigues me to see plants in your cool English garden that also grow well in my hot, moderately dry Texas garden. Holly fern and rosemary are two such. In fact, holly fern is a bit of a pest here, showing up on invasives lists for Austin. Still, many gardens contain it (I inherited mine) because it’s so dependable for shade.

  6. Helen, the rosemary looks great! I have the same problem with mine – it’s overgrown and needs a haircut. Your plant has a very good location and looks almost exotic there!

  7. The ferns were some of my favourites when I was at Wisley just a few short weeks ago. I had grown them more in drifts, but now after seeing yours and those in the walled gardens of W. I’m thinking a collection would look very pretty.

  8. I’ve been getting more ferns for some shady gardens as well, the Japanese Holly Fern I like as well since the fronds don’t look much like most ferns, very textural.

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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