Foliage Doesn’t Have To Be Boring


Bonsai Acer

I’ve had this maple tree in a bonsai pot for years. Whether it’s the variety or it is under stress I don’t know, but its leaves have red tints all season.



Hakonechloa macra Aureola

The Hakonechloa is just starting to show hints of autumn to come (it’s pretty, but I am so so NOT ready!). It can be a difficult grass to place. The astrantia seed heads are about to be clipped out and there’s still time for a second flush of flowers. The delicate pink of ‘Roma’ picks up the deepening tones in the grass to perfection.



 Ferns, growing happily on the woodland edge

Foliage is the defining feature in the woodland. I love the architectural qualities of ferns but in the formal areas of the garden foliage provides structure and interest too.



Phormium ‘Pink Panther’



Sisyrinchium ‘Aunt May’




 At the far end of the lower terrace bed the Pieris is still sending up new shoots, bright red that gently changes through pink and yellow to green.

 Flowers may come and go: Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’, Astilbe, Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’, Astrantia ‘Ruby Wedding’, but it is the differing colours, form and texture of foliage that keeps this area going right the way through the year.




 The two varieties of sedum (inherited, unknown) provide interesting foliage before they flower themselves. Dianthus picks up the hue of the glaucous leaves; hellebore, Saxifrage London Pride, fern, euonymus, dierama and geum all add to the variety of form.



 Saxifrage London Pride

London Pride makes perfect ground cover too. I did get round to chopping the spent flowers off this one. In the background, Ajuga reptans ‘Burgundy Glow’.



Pheasant’s tail grass, Stipa arundinacea syn. Anemanthele lessoniana

 I use a lot of grasses, especially up on the bank where the style is less formal. This is a sneak preview of what’s coming in the End Of Month View. Yes folks, the astilbes have moved. They look so much better up here.



The silver foliage of ‘Snow in Summer’, Cerastium tomentosum

After the flowers have finished I clip back the Cerastium really hard and let new shoots form. In the meantime it provides a good backdrop to Sanguisorba ‘Tanna’



Fresh lime green leaves of Sarcococca against Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’



 The bird table rockery

 The tapestry of herbs under the bird table has really filled out now, set off by the brilliant yellow of Libertia ixioides ‘Goldfinger’. The aster, back right, will add colour next month but for the moment it contributes the deepest shade of green.


Linking up with Christina’s Garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day.

Click through (here) to find Christina and many other gardeners using foliage in truly inspirational ways.