Fire And Ice


Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’


It was cold this morning. Condensation on the windows and a proper chill in the air. Autumn is here. The garden is in transition too. Late summer flowers still abound but increasingly foliage is taking over the centre of the stage.



Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’

I tend to think of grasses as foliage plants and this is one of my favourites, seen here against the backdrop of a copper beech bearing the first of its golden autumn tints.



Aster, unknown variety

Mostly I use foliage as a foil for flowering plants. A foliage post wouldn’t be the same without the ubiquitous (for me) Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’. This month it provides sharp contrast for the newly emerging flowers of a dwarf aster.




The pink flowers of this Dianthus may be long gone but its steely foliage provides a second season of interest when combined with the blue green foliage of sedum.




The gently fading foliage and flowers of a lace cap mimic the hues of the mophead hydrangea behind.




I am trying to retrain this tall, slender growing Pieris into something more bushy and have been lopping bits off of it all year. As a result it has been constantly pushing out its bright red young shoots. They look rather good paired with the deep red blooms of another mophead hydrangea on the level above.



Persicaria virginiana var. filiformis

This season’s love affair with persicaria continues. My latest acquisition makes an impact even before it is old enough to bloom. I’ve planted it in front of the white rose ‘Susan Williams-Ellis’ in the hope that next year the red flower spikes will enhance it too.



Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’

Returning to the theme of ice, another new acquisition, planted in the shade bed against the mottled foliage of Geranium phaeum.



Saxifraga ‘Touran Lime Green’

Teetering on the brink.. I include this one for its curiosity value. I love the way the offsets are piling up on the edge of the wall. Next to it is Sedum spurium.



Sanguisorba ‘Tanna’


But to end let’s warm up with more fiery autumn shades.



Peony ‘Bowl of Beauty’



Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’

By next month the Cornus will be a beacon of flaming red.



Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’

Although the prize for red beacons will always go to this… now showing the first hints of what is to come. In the meantime I can just enjoy the seeds. And think about how to germinate some for even more glory next year.


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

Click through (here) to see how Christina and many other gardeners are using foliage this month.