Foliage Follow-Up – January 2015

Rosmarinus officinalis 'Prostratus'
Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’

Despite the wintery showers this last week there is still plenty of foliage in the garden.  I do like evergreen foliage. I know that there are many winter shrubs which have flowers before the leaves but I like to see some green outside on a grey day.  One of the stalwarts of my garden is the prostrate rosemary which grows over the patio wall.  It has been there some 6 or 7 years maybe even longer and has come through at least two very cold winters.  I tend to take it for granted but at this time of yet it is a star not just for me but for the bees that feed on its nectar.

Choisya ternata Sundance
Choisya ternata Sundance

Choisya is another plant which really earns it keep in the winter.  I know there are some that don’t like the yellowish foliage but I find it welcome.

Melianthus major
Melianthus major

And it wouldn’t be a foliage follow up post without featuring my favourite Melianthus major which just glows in the winter sun.

Watsonia pallida
Watsonia pallida

Close to the Melianthus is a collection of Watsonia pallida which is looking particularly good in the sun at the moment.  I do like the strappy leaves they provide a nice contrast throughout the year to other foliage such as Geranium palmatum below

2015_01110004

2015_01110005

The Acanthus mollis foliage is still looking good although you will see that some of the leaves are spattered and this is mud which has been splattered up in the heavy rain we have recently had.  I do like the glossy leaves which is lucky as it is an impossible plant to remove from the garden!

Dryopteris erythrosora
Dryopteris erythrosora

Many of the ferns are looking good with their wintergreen foliage.  I particularly like the Dryopteris erythrosora (Autumn Fern) as the leaves are yellowish and come the summer they will take on a more orangeish hue.  Like some of the other foliage on this post this plant seems to catch the winter sun very well.

Euphorbia pasteurii ‘Phrampton  Patty’
Euphorbia pasteurii ‘Phrampton Patty’

Finally a sun kissed Euphorbia pasteurii ‘Phrampton  Patty’ which is thriving having been planted a year ago.

So those our my foliage highlights this month.  For more foliage posts visit Pam over at Digging

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Cathy says:

    You have sun – lucky you! Rain again this morning here. Grand to see all those big leaves thriving in January – especially the Melianthus. I struggle with rosemary here, for the first time in my life. This year I think I sussed out what I was doing wrong (clipping for the kitchen too much in winter, causing dieback and death). Fingers crossed my one (flourishing) small plant comes through the winter.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Cathy
      We have sun on and off, in between the rain and grey. My rosemary is in a pretty free draining site which seems to work for it. I dont cut that much for the kitchen, although it is such a huge plant now I dont think it would matter. Maybe you need to give it a chance to establish before you clip away?

  2. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Acanthus and Melianthus both rampant weeds in the north of Auckland! Hot January for us here in Auckland, been 29degrees c for the last week! Hot, blue, sunny, mostly no wind days! In paradise sitting by 20m pool, palm trees, hills, blue skies and sea! Grand-son reallizes he can swim and underwater in 6′ deep water! Watering early before too hot. Beans, beaning, yum! Been spending hours watering individual plants in the ‘bird bush’ 1/4 acre a new shrubs/trees. Stand with hose and count to 100 on each plant to give them a good drink. Haven’t had rain for a month so very dry, especially on conrete/clay! Water tankers working hard to those not on town water.

    I love summer, especially as I am a water baby! Last summer windy south easterlies and cool. summers always different!

  3. There is such variety in the foliage textures and shapes, isn’t there..

  4. Pauline says:

    All your foliage is looking really good with the low winter sunshine. Melianthus is a wonderful shrub,I used to have one but lost it in the winter of 2010/11, maybe I should try a new one as the leaves really are so beautiful.

  5. rusty duck says:

    Is that the Dryopteris which has new fronds emerging a coppery colour?

  6. Such fine greenery. I’m envious!

  7. Anna says:

    I have to agree with you about acanthus being hard to remove Helen. I’ve been trying for years with no joy and to add insult to injury the plant has only flowered the once. The watsonia makes a good green punctuation mark.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Anna
      I try to accept the acanthus as is has good foliage

  8. Tina says:

    All of your foliage is lovely, but I especially love the photo of the rosemary–it looks like the stems with leaves are dripping! And the last photo of the euphorbia leaves with the light reflecting off of them–very nice! I’m not familiar with many of those plants, but it’s always good to learn about what other gardeners grow.

  9. Noelle Mace says:

    My melianthus was looking so really poor, drooping and sad, both frosted and damaged in the wind. I’ve cut it back, and maybe it will sprout up in the spring. It has added an interesting dimention to the garden till then.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Noelle
      I have just read that the foliage can die back in January, and to leave cutting back foliage until new growth appears. I mulch mine in late autumn to protect the roots. I hope yours comes back ok in spring

  10. Pam/Digging says:

    In my former garden I had both the prostrate and the upright rosemary and loved them both. In my current garden I have only the upright. Your post reminds me that the prostrate has great uses too. Thanks for joining in the Foliage day!

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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