Foilage Follow Up – August 2013


Some of the foliage in the garden at the moment is nearly as bright and colourful as the flowers.  The Coleus Henna is looking wonderful after a bit of a rocky start when the weather was so hot.  I have a pot full of 6 of these plants and they really look wonderful en masse with nothing else to distract.


I like this monthly meme as it makes me look past the flowers and appreciate the foliage more.  I hadn’t realised that I had hostas which had so far escaped the dreaded slug/snail attack which is quite an achievement this far into the year.   I don’t know what hosta this is as I have had it for years and the plant, or its parents, has moved house with me at least three times.  It is interesting as the variegated stripes are stronger on some leaves than others.


Like  the Coleus I am rather pleased and surprised by the Castor Oil Plants.  This is the first year that I have grown them successfully from seed and like many of the annuals they seemed to sit for a while doing nothing but in the last couple of weeks with more rain they have shot up and the glossy  foliage is a wonderful contrast to the dahlias around them.


I am beginning to realise that I have quite a few purple hued foliage plants in the garden.  Like the flowers this seems to be a garden I am drawn to.  Above is Actea simplex, another plant I have had for years.  When I bought it its name was Circumfuga but it has been renamed and now there are lots of named varieties so I really don’t know what this plant should be called.


Finally, one of my Japanese Painted Ferns, Athyrium niponicum, I love these ferns and they are surprisingly increasing in my garden as I keep buying more, each one slightly different to the other – well that’s what the nurserymen say but I’m not so sure!!

For more foliage follow-up posts visit Pam’s blog Digging


I was interested to read Christina’s recent post extolling the importance of foliage.  I have found myself in the last year or so beginning to think more about how different foliage works together and my favourite bed in the garden is one where the planting is based entirely on foliage combinations and the flowers come second.  As I said in a recent post I want to move more in this direction in the future.

This is the border at the end of August.  I can’t show you a picture of it now as I have been tidying up and the Jasmine along the wall has had a major thinning!  The ‘theme’ of the border is based around the deep purple of the Actaea simplex foliage.  I have tried to pick this colour up with the Japanese Painted Fern (top picture) and also with Iris robusta ‘Dark Aurea’ which has wonderful purple stripes up the leaf stem.

As a contrast to the Actaea and Fern I have planted Kirengeshoma palmata.  As you can see the leaf stalk (photo above) also echos the purple theme and at this time of year the buttery yellow flowers add an extra sparkle.  Also in this border is a yellow rose whose name escapes me but whose flowers are the same shade of yellow as the Kirengeshoma.

I also call this my ‘Spring’ border as it is full of snowdrop and eranthis bulbs. These are followed by some Candelabra Primulas (above) again with a magenta flower and Primula Dark Rosaleen.  Finally the other occupants of the border are Mathisella Green Dream whose foliage I adore, Japanese Anemones another good foliage plant and some hostas with white variegated leaves.

I have learnt quite a lot over the recent years creating this border and I am learning to look at plants more than for their flower colour.