Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day. July.

Christinas’s  foliage day meme has come round again. it is quite challenging to find fresh foliage after such a dry summer.After writing about plants I don’t like in my last post I quite expect people to reply to this post with comments like: ‘Yuck! you don’t grow that horrible thing do you?’ So taking my courage in both hands I will start with a Begonia. I was rather rude about big, blowsy, tuberous begonias in my last post but I love this hardy one: Begonia grandis subsp. ‘Evansiana’. it grows well in the shade. I love its big, heart-shaped leaves. The flowers growing through it are Hydrangea paniculata.

Close by this is my favourite foliage tree: Cercis canadensis or the Forest Pansy. This poor tree lost two big branches in the recent high winds but it still looks beautiful.
In this same bed just near my spider gate I have the lovely Azara microphylla. I love its little, vanilla smelling flowers in early spring but the shiny foliage looks good all year round.

I first saw this climber Berberidopsis corallina in Jenny Robinson’s garden years ago. I was taken with the round, red flowers, but it has lovely foliage too. Although it seemed perfectly hardy in Jenny’s garden, other people have told me that they lost this in hard winters, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. The frothy dissected foliage on the right is Dahlia coccinea which grows very tall. It has orange flowers but I grow it for the foliage.
A shrub which was new to me last year is Mahonia eurybracteata susbsp.ganpinensis ‘Soft Caress’. Sorry if that is a bit of a mouthful. It hasn’t flowered yet but I love the foliage.
It is quite damp round here so I have primulas and ferns. I think this one is Polystichum setiferum. I am very fond of ferns but remembering their names is not my strong point.
The curly-ended fern, Asplenium scolopendrium ‘Cristatum’ grows in the shade with this Hedychium.
The next one is my favourite fern, I really love it but I can’t think of its name. I wonder if there are any pteridologists out there who can remind me. it will probably come to me in the middle of the night.

IMG_9978Grasses are coming into their own now but perhaps we will save those for next month. I will show you this Uncinia rubra though, growing with the marmalade coloured Heuchera.
I showed you the bamboos by the big pond last time but here is the tall variegated grass Arundo donax ‘Variegata’ which has grown well. It is not supposed to be quite hardy but it seems to survive here all right.
By the small pond this dark -leaved Lobelia cardinalis is doing well in the bog garden.It has lovely dark red flowers but the foliage is pretty without the flowers.
In a pot round the pond there is an Oxalis deppei that someone gave me. I am not terribly keen on Oxalis but I suppose it is quite decorative.
I love the variegated leaf of this Abutilon which lives in the house in the winter.
The succulents come into their own at this time of the year. I used to dislike these fleshy sun-loving plants and now I love them. Seeing them at the beautiful Abbey Gardens at Tresco years ago opened my eyes to their beauty. I wish I had the sort of climate where I could plant them outside and watch them get bigger and bigger.
I will finish with some luscious basil. These are the only two which I managed to save from slug damage. They are far too pretty to eat. The first one is Cinnamon Basil and the next one is the small leaved Greek Basil.
If you go to my hesperidesgarden you will be able to see what  lovely foliage other bloggers have in their July gardens.

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47 Responses to Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day. July.

  1. You have great variety in your garden. Shades, textures, etc. I like the contrast between the greens and the wine-coloured foliage.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Cynthia. I think foliage is particularly important at this time of the year to give the garden a bit of structure.

      • The all-important structure, Chloris! I keep trying – in my mind, at least — but shall we just say that my garden is “exuberant” and leave it at that?

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Love your ferns and the mahonia. Also the Azara microphylla is intriguing–off to look that up.

    • Chloris says:

      The Azara has tiny mimosa- like flowers which have the most incredible fragrance. Some people think it is chocolate or custard but I think it is pure vanilla.

  3. Kris P says:

    With the exception of foliage prone to disease, I find it hard to dislike any foliage, although recently I’ve tended to favor varieties in chartreuse, burgundy and silver tones. Other than the succulents, many of the plants you’ve shown here wouldn’t survive our heat and water limitations; however, I’ve had good luck with the Uncinia, which has a stronger orange cast in my garden.

  4. Oh my, such a fabulous collection. I too love ferns but also struggle to remember their names and yet it made me smile that you could remember the word for fern collectors! D

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Dorris. I love words and pteridologist is such a good one. It’s easy because I always imagine pteridologists idol ising ferns. But fern names are so confusing.

  5. Christina says:

    Your post contains some of the best foliage I’ve ever seen especially in July! Hard to choose a favourite but the Mahonia looks very special, I’ve never seen it before. Interestingly your Cinnamon Basil looks like my Thai Basil, which has grown well for me this year. I’ve also grown lime and lemon basils; a bit of a revelation as they have really different flavours which are really useful in cucumber, tomatillo or rice salads. Thank you very much for sharing all the lovely foliage with GBFD this month.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Christina and thank you for hosting the meme.
      I am always amazed how different basils have their own distinctive flavour. I have problems with them because slugs and snails adore them. I grew lots this year and these are the only two which are unscathed.

  6. Cathy says:

    Love the look of those two basils. I grew one called “Christmas” this year and it tastes more like cinnamon than the cinnamon basil! Is that perhaps an ostrich fern? (Matteuccia struthiopteris) Looks similar to mine.

    • Chloris says:

      I don’ t know basil Christmas but they are all different and all delicious.
      No it is not Ostrich fern, I grow this and it is quite different. It is a Polystichum. On reflection I think it is probably ‘ Bevis.’

  7. Pauline says:

    What a lot of fantastic foliage! You have so many beautiful specimens and all looking so lush! I got my fern book out to try and find your mystery fern, but there are so many it could be but I don’t think it is Matteuccia struthiopteris, it isn’t like mine at all!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Pauline. No it is definitely not an Ostrich fern. I think it is Polystichum ‘Bevis’. I remember buying one and this is the only fern I have that looks like it.

  8. Annette says:

    This begonia is about the only one I do like and how clever to grow a hydrangea through it! Your Mahonia is coming on well – mine is very slow, much slower than Mahonias usually are but the foliage is a delight. Rudolf broke off a branch of our Cercis but it’s recovering. Azara and Berberidopsis are both shrubs I’d like.

    • Chloris says:

      This Begonia is lovely, the flowers aren’ t very exciting but it has such lovely leaves.
      My Mahonia seems to be really slow growing too, but never mind it looks healthy. I’ m glad about that, it was really expensive.

  9. Julie says:

    Love your posts, its a wonderful tour of possibilities and plants to be inspired by. How lovely too, that you have so much foliage unspoilt by the lack of rain.

  10. rusty duck says:

    Uncinia rubra looks brilliant with that Heuchera!

  11. linniew says:

    You should certainly eat some of that basil. The Greek one is to grow in a pot by the door and to give a sprig to visitors for good luck. (I read that someplace.) But I used to grow it in a pot in the greenhouse and clip it like a boxwood for pesto. What a lot of beautiful foliage plants! I must make notes…

  12. Chloris says:

    I first saw the Greek one growing in a pot on Corfu. It was huge and looked like a piece of topiary. I have grown it ever since but I have never got it to grow so big.

  13. snowbird says:

    What beautiful pics of interesting and gorgeous foliage. I wouldn’t eat the basil either, I haven’t managed to grow any this year which is a first.I love the begonia

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you. I love the Begonia too, the flowers aren’ t very exciting, I grow it just for its leaves.
      These are the only 2 basil plants which I managed to preserve from slugs and snails and I grew lots. I have this problem every year and I don’ t like using slug pellets.

  14. Cathy says:

    Lovely shades and textures – it took me a bit to realise that is was the ‘flowers’ from an uncina that I kept finding attached to my legs! 🙂 Just seen some wonderful ferns today at Sizergh – photos later in the week

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Cathy. I hadn’ t noticed the Uncinia had flowers I must take another look.
      I’ m looking forward to your fern post, I am mad on ferns. I just have to find a way to remember their names.

      • Cathy says:

        If not flowers they were seedheads – definitely designed to ‘cling’ and be moved around the garden! Sorry didn’t say a lot about the ferns – sitting outside Tesco at 10 pm to take advantage of free wifi does not encourage long posts!

  15. bittster says:

    Those basils look good enough to eat! Are they as easy from seed as the other types? I might have to give them a try, just for the look.
    Now that begonia grandis might be the only begonia I do not like. I had it for a few years and never felt it looked happy, then I saw some healthy mass plantings and thought they looked unhappy too… it must be me, but I don’t need a plant that looks disappointed all the time. A lush fat tuberous begonia would be much more preferable!
    But I love my arundos. Now that’s a plant that looks happy all the time 🙂

    • Chloris says:

      The basils are easy from seed but what is not easy is preserving them from slugs and snails which love them so much.
      My Begonia grandis never looks disappointed, it is a very happy Begonia indeed.
      I agree with you about Arundo donax ‘ Variegata’ although yours looks much better than mine. Maybe I have an unhappy Arundo donax or at least a slightly sad one. Although what its got to be miserable about I don’ t know. It should pull itself together.

  16. Very nice Abutilon foliage!

  17. Robbie says:

    you have some of the most interesting plants I have ever seen:-) love the photos:-)

  18. hoehoegrow says:

    What choice and interesting plants, Chloris. It is one of the many joys of blogging to learn about new plants, and to see how they are performing in a real garden, rather than in a pot, or a show garden! I love the Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’ which I have read about in magazines but never seen. I shall look out for it in nurseries as it is lovely foliage.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Jane. Soft Caress has lovely foliage. It hasn’ t flowered yet but I’ m not bothered about the flowers. It is quite expensive but that is probably because it is quite new.

  19. What a gorgeous collection of foliage! Ferns are one of my favourites, so I especially love those.

  20. Some beautiful plants there Chloris, I love the begonia, which is not something I would ever find myself saying! I am cock-a-hoop about the fact that I have carved out a place for ‘Forest Pansy’ in my back garden, a firm favourite of mine too. I’ve been eyeing up ‘Soft Caress’ as well, I love the foliage but I’m not as sure about the gold yellow flowers for where I have in mind. Needs more thought.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Angie. I am mad on Forest Pansy but I was disappointed to find it was so brittle and the branches broke so easily in the recent high winds. It is not in an exposed site either.
      I grow Sweet Caress for the lovely foliage. It hasn’t flowered yet but I’ m not bothered about the flowers, I might even cut them off if they disappoint.

  21. Flighty says:

    A most enjoyable post with lots of wonderful pictures.
    I like foliage and grasses but feel that both can get slightly overlooked as this time of year when it’s seemingly all flowers. xx

    • Chloris says:

      Yes foliage is important at this time of the year and I think grasses are particularly important in July and August to set of all the bright colours.

  22. You’ve shown us a good collection of foliage plants there, Chloris. To me, it’s the best feature of begonias. The Mahonia interests me – I must look into that one. Foliage is the basis of a good border. It’s what keeps the interest going over the whole year. You have highlighted a few of my favourites there.

    • Chloris says:

      Yo are right about the importance of foliage Ali. It gives interest all year round and it acts as a foil for the flowers. I think it is particularly important at this time of the year.
      This Mahonia is lovely, I don’ t know about the flowers but it has lovely foliage.

  23. Anna says:

    Some fascinating foliage Chloris. The begonia is already on my wish list. I bought mahonia ‘Soft Caress’ earlier this year attracted by the lack of spines. It’s in a container where it seemingly stuttered for a while but it seems to have perked up recently. I’m looking forward to seeing it in flower although I’m more than happy with it in its leafy state.

  24. Chloris says:

    Thank you Anna. My Soft Caress is in the ground and didn’ t look too happy when it was first planted but it is fine now. I love it. I’ m looking forward to it getting to a decent size. I wonder if it is easy from cuttings. It was very expensive to buy.

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