Foliage Follow Up

Well lookee here two posts in three days! Anyway, I have been reading gardening posts this last few days especially those from across the pond because I am planning to go to the Garden Bloggers Fling in Austin in May and I want to reconnect with the blogs that inspired me some 9 years ago to start blogging.

One of the first blogs I started reading was Pam’s Digging.  Pam is based in Austin and her blog is very much about foliage plants especially those that thrive in the heat of Austin – lots of Agaves. I was fascinated by the different look of Pam’s garden and continue to find the difference fascinating. Anyway, Pam hosts a Foliage themed monthly blog on the 16th of each month, following on the day after Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, and having spent an hour or two starting to re-engage with the garden I thought I would do a foliage post, albeit 3 days late.

This combination is one of my favourites in the garden.  The Melianthus major IS my favourite foliage plant and I have three dotted around the garden, grown from seed some 5-6 years ago.  I especially love the leaves at this time of year when they sparkle with rain drops or morning frost. The abutilon was acquired three years ago and is thriving so much so that my son can’t see out of his workshop window sometimes.  In the top photo you can see Euphorbia characias ‘Silver Swan’ which I have also had for a few years and has to be heavily pruned from time to time.

To the left of the Euphorbia is Fatsia japonica ‘Spiders Web’, planted at the same time as the Euphorbia. This photo is an indicator of the state of the garden with one plant becoming swamped by another. It’s that fine line between the borders looking full and generous and looking neglected and overgrown.  I need to do some careful editing and some rejigging to give the plants more space but I have plans to gain a little more space by losing the top path which goes nowhere!

I have decided to embrace my love of foliage going forward which should have the benefit of keeping the garden looking interesting through most of the year.

 

 

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. Ooh, I love that Abutilon…. don’t suppose you know it’s name..?
    And I’ve been to Austin before, I had the best ice cream ever & got sunburnt feet. (The two were not connected).

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      It may be Kentish Belle, sounds familiar but I can’t guarantee it

  2. rusty duck says:

    The abutilon does look fab. How are you supporting it? I have a very similar one against a wall but it isn’t thriving and needs shifting. Trouble is I have no other wall space. Yours looks to be growing up into thin air, unless it’s tied in to the workshop..

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      It’s growing as a shrub, free standing. I don’t think they need to be grown against a wall

  3. Pam/Digging says:

    Fabulous, Helen. I’m envious of anyone who lives where they can grow Melianthus major. I’d trade an agave or two for that one! I’m so happy that you’re coming to Austin for Garden Bloggers Fling next May and look forward to showing you Austin’s gardens, including my own. Here’s to foliage!

  4. Foliage is all about shape and texture, isn’t it!

  5. I agree about melianthus major – THE best foliage plant. A few yeas ago, I planted on section of my garden with plants with coloured foliage – purples. yellows, blues, variegated, etc. When everything else looks brown and grey, the coour in this section stands out.

  6. Anna says:

    Your melianthus is fabulous Helen and combines so effectively with the abutilon. I have one albeit much smaller and would also like to try the purple leaved variety. Have your plants ever flowered?

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      One of my melianthus flowered a few years back. It was the most established one in the sunniest position. It I had to move it two years ago so it hasn’t flowered since, am hoping it will flower this winter

    2. Anna says:

      Thanks Helen. A removal is on the cards to sunnier climes.

  7. Yvonne Ryan says:

    HI HELEN Lte spring earl summer here and sun – got a bi sick of cloudy dasy last week. 22c yewterdqy so is warming up GranddughterSUSMMER, hd her first sea swim t MILFORD LST WEEK A LOELY GOLDEN CITY BECH ON NORTH SORE OF AUDCKLAND AN D EILISH ANOTHER GRNDAUGTER EILISH HAD HER FIRST AT COOKS BEACH COROMENDEL A FEW WEEKS AGO. I HAVENT HD ONE YET AS HAVE MOVED TO THE WEST OF AUCKLAND WHERE BIG HARBOUR THE MANAKAU HAS LOTS OF BEADHES WITH MOTLY BLACK SAND AND VERY TIDAL TEND TO FACE SOUTH OUT COLD SIDE S NORTHE THIS THE WARM DIRECTION IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE AND THEY HAVE ERY COLD WQTER COMING IN FROM THE TSMAN SEA AND STRONG CURRENTS AND DANGEROUS. LSO OUT WEST ARE THE BIG SRF BEACHES AND MY SWIMMING NOT STRONG ENOUGH FOR THEM NOW ALWYS SOME DROWNINGS WITHE IDIOTS SWIMMING IN RIPS AN DWLSO IN CLOTHES WHICH DRG HEM DOWN. WHERE I LIVED THE POOL WILL BE WARM ENOUGH AS THE SOLAR HEATING WILL HAVE HEATED IT P BOO HOO. DIDN’T WANT TO MOVE BUT MY LANDLADIES DAUGHTER NEEDED MY APARTMENT ALWAYS A WORRY WHEN YOU ONLY RENT! I RELLY MISS THE SEA VIEWS, THE GREEN FIELDS THE MULTITUDE OF NEIVE BIRDS AND OUT TROPICAL GARDENS AND G ENERLLY THE WHOLE COAST, DOLPHINS SWIMING CLOSE TO SHORE EETC. REAL PARADISE. OVER HERE CARS WKE ME P INSTEAD PASSING EVERY SECOND AS VERY BUSY ROAD. ONLY SEENN TWO TUISGARDEN PRETTY SPARCE. AND AT MY AGE 79 IN TWO DAYS CANT’T SEE ME CREATING A GRDEN P TO MY USUAL STNDAAAARD EVEN THO’ I HAVE BROUGHT 150 OR MORE POTS OF LARD PLANDS WITH ME.I Qa hopinf lAR Fsden ws my last this is my 13th garden i hav createdd so will have left lots of plants behind when I kick the bucket. Reallly pised off at the moment as after my sstroke my left hand side not as strong and I hav failed my driing lidence makinking me lose my independence. Suk a pain as Auckland vey pread out and even to go for a seim I will need a ride. I feel sch a nisance asking for rides and not taking it ery gracefully there is a bus buyt AI don’t llike busses and my dog not allowed on bus.Mus pop over to shops and get a haircut – another pain finding a good hairdresser so here’s hoping.Hope nott too cold In our latest NZ Gardener here is an aricle on gian vegetbles and your area was mentioned His nme is kiven DFortey. Our lovely Lynd HLLhN QHO Ha Fb gRDEN IN RURl AucklND WAS VISIING ENGLnd ND VISIED SOME OF HR GIANT VEG GROWERS. I DON REALY NDERSTAND IT AS I DONT THINK THEY TST THt good. We did hVE T PROGRmme ro England on this subject and the growers re rHER trnge unch I thouht. Musf waddle off for my hIRCUT BETTER WEAR A SUNHAT AS BLUE BLUE SKY n sun hot NS QW URN Waily hERE. LOVE YONNE

  8. Yvonne Ryan says:

    AORRY GOBLEDE GOOK SPELLING t end meant to say we burn easitly here in 10 minutes in summer have to wear lots of block and wear a hat Haircut nic end short summer-cut. pleased with it hate looking for new hairdresser when move but she’s good and not expensive.so looks like he’s got a new customer!New doctor – tick – new social activities – tick oing to local theatre on Fridaynight 3 days of rain. owuld rher have had a comedy but here’s hoping. Nice wee theatre tht holds only aout 90 so very good apparently and they have good movies also.amainly English and no american rubbish ones. ai personallyh choose neaver to see american ones they can’t think of plot so steal English or French mostly and overact.I hope the landlord hurries up and puts shade sail up on deck it’s oging to be needed – pretty hot.

  9. mikegrantham1 says:

    Lush greenery! So refreshing to see at this cold damp time of year.

  10. Cathy says:

    Ah, editing and rejigging…there’s always some of that to be done!

  11. Luise says:

    How wonderful that your blog is up and running again! I’ve missed it so, you have the ability to bring us into your garden and life, and it’s been inspiring. Thank you, and I can’t wait to see how your garden develops.

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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