Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day May 2014

Today I am joining in with Christina’s GBFD. This is a chance to really look at the foliage in our gardens and appreciate the valuable contribution it makes to the garden as a whole. This is particularly true in May when it is all looking its best.
Hostas are looking wonderful just now if we have managed to keep the slugs and snails off them. I don’t like using pellets so it means regular inspections and various ways of dispatching them; all of them revolting.

Hodsta 'Sum and Substance'

Hodsta ‘Sum and Substance’

I keep several Hostas in pots round my pond as part of the heron barrier. I love ‘Sum and Substance’, it gets absolutely huge and looks quite dramatic in a pot. I love its crinkly leaves.
Another favourite is the blue and yellow ‘H.’June’.

Hosta 'June'

Hosta ‘June’

I didn’t realize until I posted this photograph that there is some slug damage. I shall remove the leaf because it will look unsightly all summer.
Also in a pot by the pond is this gorgeous golden and green striped grass: Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’.
I love the contrast of the leaves with the Hosta and the Iris leaves.
I have a little tree by the pond, it is quite small because I grew it from a cutting and it hasn’t had time to get very big yet. It is Cornus alternifoila ‘Argentea’
The other trees round the pond are Acers in pots.
If we walk down the garden there is a large golden Philadelphus: Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aureus’ near the gate on the right. The cream flowers are out now and the bumble bees love them. The real impact comes from the golden leaves.
Further down I love the bronze leaves of Cotinus coggygria ‘Grace’. Behind it is a bronze coloured Acer. Nearby is the lovely apricot coloured hybrid musk rose ‘Buff Beauty’.
On the other side of the garden there is a mature Cotinus coggygria which I think is ‘Royal Purple’. I have a dark leaved late flowering honeysuckle growing in front of it:  Lonicera periclymenum  ‘Serotina’.
I love bronze foliage and the frothy bronze fennel is a particular favourite. I love it with this young Acer griseum tree. The rose peeping on the edge of the shot is the David Austin rose ‘Summer Song.’ It just matches the new orange leaves on the Acer.
Blue leaves are always attractive and I am fond of the rarely seen Berberis temolaica which keeps its lovely blue colour all summer.

On the way to the big pond at the end of my wall the soil never dries out. The ferns here grow enormous.
The pond is in a deep hole which I call The Pit’ I can’t understand why it was made so deep. Maybe it is an ancient pond and whoever dug it was trying to reach the water table. I am never very happy with it. I have planted bamboos round it because it needs something big and spreading. I have the lovely Chusquea couleou from the rain forests of Chile.
Another favourite bamboo is Thamnocalamus crassinodus ‘Kew Beauty’ which comes from Tibet. it is very dainty. Neither of these two bamboos is invasive.
Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Aureocaulis’ may turn out to be a bit more of a thug but I don’t mind because there is plenty of space here under the weeping willow. It has lovely golden culms.
I am going to finish with the lovely foliage plant I bought at Crug nursery in Wales. I have never seen it before. It is called Bessiana calthifolia. As you see it is still in its pot, I had better go and plant it now.
Thank you Christina at MyHesperidesgarden for hosting this great meme.


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42 Responses to Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day May 2014

  1. Debra says:

    Oh the hosta really does look just right next to iris. I admire your gardening skill. When I tried to grow hostas I just had to blink or miss one day for the slugs to devour them hahaha

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Debra. The hostas are in pots are on gravel and this helps a bit as they are not keen on it. But still I have to check each day. Then I have to crunch or squelch depending on what it is. Squelching is worse.

  2. Pauline says:

    You have lots and lots of beautiful foliage. Normally the birds do a good job of keeping the slugs and snails at bay but with all the rain over the winter, I think the slugs had a good munch before the hostas showed their noses above ground, quite a few have been chewed which is unusual. The offending leaves are now removed so hopefully they will stay like that. Love the foliage on your Bessiana, is it slug proof?

    • Chloris says:

      I hope so but I don’ t know as it is new to me. It was an impulse buy. Crug Nursery has so many amazing foliage plants that you don’ t see anywhere else.

  3. gardenfancyblog says:

    Hostas: Finally, something we can grow better than you Brits! (Along with tomatoes and zinnias.) We don’t seem to have slugs here in the American Midwest (is it true that giant killer slugs crossing the roads make driving hazardous over there?). Seriously, hostas are regarded as the closest thing to a “no-fail” plant that exists here. If you have shade, you just plonk in a few hostas and forget about them. I’m not gloating (really), but it just seems interesting that such a common beginner plant (usually the first perennial new gardeners will try) is so challenging in England, the famous “garden isle” that has such favorable growing conditions for such a staggeringly wide range of plants. Just an observation…. Thanks for the lovely photos — your ferns look marvelous! -Beth

    • Chloris says:

      Ah yes, the giant killer slugs! They are much worse in Devon and Cornwall. Here in Suffolk we are reasonably safe; as long as we don’ t go out after dark of course.
      Tomatoes outside- they get blight in my garden. You’ ll be telling me next that you don’ t get lily beetles. Funny that we always want to grow plants which are a challenge.

      • gardenfancyblog says:

        It’s true: I can only look at photos of Himalayan Blue Poppies; if I purchased one, it would probably die within hours of planting it in the ground. I did have to look up lily beetles. I don’t think they are a problem here yet (I’ve never seen any), although they have spread through the Eastern US (where nearly all our horticultural blights seem to take hold). Something to look forward to…. 🙂

  4. Kris P says:

    You have wonderful foliage plants, Chloris, all nicely paired to highlight their best attributes. I always admire hostas in magazines and catalogs. Although one or 2 varieties can sometimes be found in local nurseries, they’re ill-suited to our climate, much to my regret.

  5. Chloris says:

    I love hostas too, there are more and more hybrids every year, many of them from America. I suppose your hot sun would fry them.

  6. Cathy says:

    Your new plant is really pretty Chloris. I also like the Cornus with silvery leaves – very effective next to the iris. And the bamboo is gorgeous! You have so much lovely foliage in different shades and colours, it’s all very lovely!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Cathy. I am thrilled with my new plant Bessiana with its lovely shiny leaves, I just hope that I can give it the conditions it needs to thrive.

  7. Christina says:

    I love the image of the blue foliage by the wall, the textures and forms are stunning. Chloris, thank you for sharing so many lovely foliage plants with us; you really are heartless; I could hardly see the slug damage and you’re going to remove the leaf! The Cornus is a joy when grown in the right place I tried one here but it was in too much sun and ‘grew’ smaller every year until I removed it to put it out of its misery. Christina

  8. Chloris says:

    Well thank you for hosting this meme, it is a wonderful idea. When I went to Crug nursery last week, I loved their garden which was nearly all foliage with such an amazing selection of different shape and texture. It was stunning.

  9. Alain says:

    What a beauty Bessiana calthifolia is. Such beautiful texture, shape and colour!

  10. mrsdaffodil says:

    The Philadelphus is very pretty. I have a ‘Summer Song’ rose, too, but mine isn’t quite in bloom yet. It finally got a permanent spot in the garden last fall after being in a container and moving around for awhile. Actually, hostas seem to do well in containers.

    • Chloris says:

      Summer Song is such a gorgeous colour isn’ t it? I love Hostas on pots, they do well, look stunning and it is much easier to protect them from slugs.

  11. pbmgarden says:

    Great array of foliage Chloris. The hostas are great, especially Hosta ‘June’ and love your ferns. susie

  12. You are truly a dedicated hosta grower for taking on the slugs mano a mano. Not that slugs have hands, but you get what I mean. Great Cotinus and Berberis foliage.

  13. What a great selection. I especially love the berberis but winners every one!

  14. Chloris says:

    I love the blue Berberis and it occurs to me that the yellow and blue hosta June would look good with it- a pleasing plant association perhaps?

  15. That plant from Crug is stunning! I have never heard of it but love the shape and markings of the leaf. This focus on foliage is such a good idea. I should try to join in as so much of my garden is more to do with the form of the plant than the flower!

    • Chloris says:

      The Bessiana is gorgeous, I hope that I can give it the conditions it needs.
      It would be nice if you would join in with the foliage meme in June.

  16. Cathy says:

    It was interesting to read Pauline’s comments about the early slug damage on hostas because I noticed that as well – and there seem to be many tiny little blighters about now although thankfully not making too much of a nuisance of themselves. I love Sum and Substance too – and I am fascinated by your ‘pit’ and the scope it gives you. You could have a veritable jungle down there at the bottom of your garden!

    • Chloris says:

      I think a jungle is the only way to manage my pit. Small scale planting doesn’ t work down there. Sum and Substance is wonderful and the slugs don’ t seem to like it too much.

  17. A wonderful collection of foliage plants there! I’m impressed by the well thought out plant combinations you have created. In particular, the simple combination of ferns and alchemilla, both great useful foliage plants in their own right, but very effective together. I’m sure I read somewhere, that the hosta “Sum and Substance” was more resistant to slug/snail damage. Have you found that?

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Ali.
      Yes you are right about Sum and Substance, slugs don’ t seem so keen on it. Mind you my problem is more snails than slugs. Although I have more slugs this year than ever before.

  18. I love your cornus, and the Bessiana calthifolia is really beautiful, I have a trip to Crug on my list of things to do this year, though I fear I will need to take somebody with me to hold the purse strings and manage the budget, they have so very many wonderful and unique plants. I really like the way the stems of the lonicera pick up the deep purple of the cotinus.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Janet.
      You are not far from Crug are you? You too could have a Bessiana- for a price. Their plants are expensive but then you expect that as they have to go exploring to find them. I love the garden there planted up with so many different sorts of foliage, most of it rare and discovered by them. They do have some fabulous plants I could have spent a fortune.

      • I have hatched a plot to visit Crug with my gardening-mad sister-in-law in a couple of weeks. I think I need to make myself a list of places I am looking for plants for, and be really really restrained. I really like the idea of growing hardy and spectacular plants that are rare, I like the thought that by indulging my love of plants I might actually play a small part in keeping a plant species going, but goodness it is going to make a hole in the plant budget…

  19. hoehoegrow says:

    Hi Chloris, this is my first visit to your blog, and I have really enjoyed this post. You have some very interesting and diverse plants, and some fabulous planting combinations. Funnily enough, I am growing many of the same plants, like Cotinus Cogyggria ‘Grace’, ‘Buff Beauty’, and my fave host ‘Sum and substance’, for starters.

  20. Chloris says:

    Thank you Jane and I have just been to look at yours. I love your sub tropical garden, and all the amazing foliage.

  21. I just love the look of this area of your garden, wonderful. My favourite shot is that of Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ with the Hosta and Iris. Great mix of shape, colour and form. Green, it is never boring. D.

  22. Anna says:

    I really enjoyed your post Chloris. What a fascinating new addition from Crug Farm – so many shapes within a shape. What anti – mollusc tactics do you deploy and what works best for you?

  23. Julie says:

    Hi Chloris – I have just realised that you have not been showing up in my reader – not sure why – and now I have quite a few posts to catch up with. I love your foliage today – particularly the acers and hostas and I can see that you had to leave your lovely garden for a holiday (so hard in May) – I hope you had a good time.

    • Chloris says:

      Hello Julie, I often find that different blogs I follow stop turning up in my reader. It seems to be a fault with WordPress. If you want to get their posts you have to re follow them.

  24. So many folks have blogged about bronze foliage this month, I’ve decided I must look for some, as it is nearly absent from my garden. Your hostas are spectacular. June is one of my very favorites, however I’ve just discovered a vole has dispatched two fatsia so mine are probably living on borrowed time. I’ve been attracted to chartreuse foliage for many years, but seem to be going off it. Recently, I’ve felt a blue wave heading my way.

    • Chloris says:

      I love bronze foliage it shows up other flowers so well. A particular favourite of mine which I didn’ t show is Physocarpus opulifolius ‘ Diabolo’.Actually, it has red leaves, not bronze, but it is gorgeous. . Blue is great too; blue hostas and the lovely blue hummocky grass, Festuca glauca.

  25. oh gosh, very beautiful gardens, you took really wonderful pictures! Love all of them especially the hosta! I grow hosta and love them.

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