Foliage Follow-Up – December 2014


I have found it much easier to come up with shots for the Foliage Follow Up post this month than the Garden Blogger Bloom Day post.  I love foliage and I think it really comes into its own at this time of year. A favourite since childhood is Stachys byzantina, or as we called it when I was little, Lambs Ear.


Sticking to the grey tones there is Pulmonaria which has been self seeding around the garden for some years.  I’m not that keen on the flowers but the leaves are a lovely foil to spring bulbs and you often get different variation.  I am sure I heard someone say that if you cut the leaves back, as you would a geranium, after flowering you got a better plant so I might give this a go.


The everyday Digitalis purpurea has also started to self-seed around the garden and I think it has quite a structural presence in the garden.


I like Bergenias which I know isn’t a view shared by all gardeners.  I think their glossy foliage is excellent at this time of year especially those varieties which colour up for Autumn.  They are one of those plants that just get on with it and then when everything else has given up for the year you notice them.


One more self-sower is the Arum italicum ‘Marmoratum’.  They do produce flowers but it is the foliage and the seedheads in the Autumn.

For more foliage posts from around the world visit Pam over at Digging

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Pauline says:

    Yes, do cut your Pulmonaria leaves back after the plant has flowered, you will then have good foliage for the rest of the year. Bergenia leaves do form a good contrast with other leaves, I wouldn’t be without them.

  2. Pam/Digging says:

    Isn’t it nice to see those self-sowers popping up at this quiet time of year? They’re a glimpse into next season. Thanks for sharing, Helen.

  3. Bergenias were a favourite of Gertrude Jekyll….she often used them to edge a border(as I’m sure you know). From my experience pulmonarias have a habit of getting mildew as the leaves begin to age,particularly in dry soil.A good ‘hair cut’ at this point will magically rejuvenate them …at this point I always give them a mulch of garden compost with a bit of fish,blood and bone too .

  4. Alison says:

    Oh yes, I highly recommend cutting back the Pulmonaria to get a nice fresh flush of growth. I like Bergenia too, although I’ve heard it is a slug magnet.

  5. Anna says:

    I enjoyed both your bloom and foliage posts Helen. I used to have ‘Lamb’s Ears’ and must grow it again. I have bergenia purpurascens ‘Hellen Dillon’s form’, the leaves of which turn burgundy in the winter and which is most attractive.

  6. Your Stachys look to be in about the same shape as mine! I’ve had these in my garden for years but have to keep them in partial shade to keep the sun from frying them in the summer. They’re one of my plant favorites, by far.

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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