Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day. November.

When all our remaining flowers are beginning to look a bit sad and soggy, then we really appreciate the foliage which goes on brightening up the garden through the gloomiest months.  Christina ‘s  Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day meme encourages us to look at our foliage and its contribution to the garden every month.

I have a new Nandina with wine red foliage. It is called Nandina domestica ‘Plum Passion’

Nandina domestica 'Plum Passion'

Nandina domestica ‘Plum Passion’

If you look at it from underneath, it looks even more jewel-like.
Also still very red is this Acer palmatum. Nearby Cotinus ‘Grace has lost most of its leaves now, but the Acer continues to glow.
I love bronze leaves at any time of the year. Cryptomeria japonica ‘Elegans’ is green in summer but in winter it goes this colour. Unfortunately there was no sun yesterday and it was rather misty when I took this photo, but it sparkles in the sunlight.
Cryptos‘ means hidden in Greek and ‘meros’ means part. So I think this plant sounds beautifully mysterious.
I love this grass, Uncina rubra with the lovely coloured Heuchera ‘Ginger Peach’which is a sister to ‘Marmalade’
The leaves of Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ are still hanging on by the big pond but when they drop they will reveal the lovely orange stems.

Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire'

Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’

Every Autumn I wish I had bought a Ginkgo for its buttery, yellow leaves. In the meantime the common larch turns very yellow too.

Larix decidua

Larix decidua

It is good to have plenty of glossy green leaves in the Autumn too, like this wild Helleborus foetidus. Its apple green flowers are already beginning to open.

Helleborus foetidus.

Helleborus foetidus.

Another wild plant which I have never planted is Daphne laureola. It has small green, insignificant flowers which are not very exciting, but I like the leaves in winter.

Daphne laureola

Daphne laureola

The next tree; Podocarpus salignus is an evergreen which has moved house with me a couple of times and it never seems to grow very much. This tree comes from Chile and I believe it is the only place where it is native.

Podocarpus salignus

Podocarpus salignus

Some ferns keep looking good in winter and my favourite is the very desirable Polystichum setiferum ‘Pulcherrimum Bevis’.  This is quite difficult to find and I have been drooling over it in my friend’s garden for years. In the end she took pity on me and divided hers up so that I can have a bit too. That’s what I call friendship. I will tell you the story of how this lovely fern was found. Polystichum is a native fern and this beautiful and very unusual form was found near Axmimster in Devon in 1876. It was found by a farm worker called Bevis and he took it to a collector called John Wills who was naturally delighted with it. It was a one -off  and has never been discovered since, so we owe thanks to the sharp eyes of Mr. Bevis. I hope he was suitably rewarded.

Polystichum setiferum 'Puclcherrimum Bevis'

Polystichum setiferum ‘Puclcherrimum Bevis’

There are hollies all over this garden and they are a nuisance. Still, I suppose the berries are quite useful at this time of the year. This one is quite a good climbing frame for one of my rose seedlings.
I am always growing totally inappropriate things from seed. Plants that are too tender for my climate and will probably get killed by frost, like this tree Echium pininana. It would be lovely if it would produce towering spikes of blue flowers next year. I suppose it will be killed by frost though. I did manage to grow it years ago, but that was when I lived on the coast.

Echium pininana

Echium pininana

Even crazier, and I really don’t know what possessed me, is the giant tree Dahlia imperialis which I grew from seed a couple of years ago. It is tender, and comes from Mexico. My greenhouse is simply not tall enough.  It wants to reach 20 foot and the poor thing is trying to escape through the roof. The stems are like bamboo canes.

Dahlia imperialis

Dahlia imperialis

If we had a warm enough climate to grow this outside it would be enormous and have pretty pink flowers in November and December. I grow it in my far greenhouse with an apricot tree, a grape vine and various other borderline hardy plants. It looks like a giraffe being kept in a dog kennel.

My lovely  Japanese grass  with the impossible name:  Hakonechloa macra ‘Alboaurea’ will soon be collapsing, I am surprised that it has held on so late.

Hakonechloa macra 'Alboaurea'

Hakonechloa macra ‘Alboaurea’

I must save some foliage to show in the coming winter months but first this lovely Pittospermum tobira ‘Variegatum’ which lives in a pot by my back door. It has fragrant flowers in Spring but the foliage is lovely all year round.

Pittospermum tobira 'Varieagatum'

Pittospermum tobira ‘Variegatum’

And to finish here is some lovely foliage in the wrong place. The unloved (by me) huge Prunus tree with the big flowers like blowsy pink knickers is losing its leaves incontinently all over the lawn. I think the Pianist should go and rake them up as he is so keen on the tree.

Do join in with GBFD and show us what foliage is cheering you up through the gloomy month of November. If you go over to Christina at Myhesperidesgarden you will see what others are enjoying at the moment.


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56 Responses to Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day. November.

  1. You have loads of gorgeous foliage there…very green too still. I think the combo that caught my eye was the grass and Heuchera….beautiful!

  2. sueturner31 says:

    Beautiful foliage…cannot pick a favourite …but I do like the nandina…

  3. Debra says:

    Whenever I have seen pictures of Heuchera on the internet I have only seen close ups of the flowers. Now I can see that the plant itself looks really nice. Thank you! I love Pittospermum. It grows to shrub size here. Nice and evergreen and the flower fragrance in spring is so nice. Grats on the Polystichum! I love growing weird and wonderful things from seed.

    • Chloris says:

      There are some wonderful new Heuchera hybrids around now. I love the caramel leaf colour and also the dark plummy ones.
      I used to have a green Pittospermum that grew into a large shrub. I don’ t know whether the variegated one doesn’ t grow so big or whether it is staying small because it is in a pot.

      • Debra says:

        So good to know. I am definitely going to include some someday. Thanks, Chloris. I have the variegated version growing in my backyard. It is about 8 feet tall. I planted it about 5 years ago.

  4. AnnetteM says:

    Lots of lovely foliage and interesting plants. I do like your variety of Nandina – I am hoping mine lives up to its name (Firepower) a bit more this year. The Cryptomeria japonica looks a wonderful plant. I look forward to a photo of it sparkling in the sunshine – maybe you have one on a previous post?

    • Chloris says:

      Yes I have Nandina Firepower too and it hasn’ t coloured up yet. ‘Plum Passion’ is a new one to me. It is stunning, I must take another photo when the sun is shining. The Cryptomeria needs to be seen in the sun too. No, I have never shown it before. I only start to notice it in winter. I am planning a new winter garden so I am going too have to dig this up and give it a star position. I hope it won’ t mind.

  5. Nell Jean says:

    What wonderful selections you show here. I put Cryptomeria and Daphne on my list of things to find and buy. Would the too tall dahlia take to pruning?

    • Chloris says:

      Daphne laureola is native here so it is quite well- behaved. I think it can be very invasive in countries where it has been introduced. A much prettier one is Daphne Pontica which has very fragrant yellow flowers.
      The Dahlia will die back as soon as we have a frost, I don’t keep this greenhouse heated. A bit pointless keeping it really.

  6. If I had enough sun, the Cryptomeria would be on my list too. The new Nandina is also nice. Your northern colors may not be as bright, but no one can top your descriptions! My husband doesn’t rake, but he never misses a chance to use the beastly blower.

  7. Christina says:

    Liz, I’m in love; where do you find all these special cultivars? Nandina domestica ‘Plum Passion’ must be the best plant that I’m pretty sure would grow well for me that I seen in years. A friend of mine here had the Dahlia and even here it often begins to flower the day before we have some cold weather I seem to remember it doesn’t like less than 5°C. She did have flowers and we all duly went to visit and admire it. Thank you for joining in again this month and showing some very different plants.

    • Chloris says:

      The Nandina came from The Place For Plants at East Bergholt. They always have some interesting and unusual shrubs. You will have to come over with the car one year when you come to visit MiL. Then you could go to The Place For Plants and to Beth Chatto and fill the car with rare goodies.

  8. rusty duck says:

    I shall now be on the lookout for Polystichum setiferum ‘Puclcherrimum Bevis’. If it came from Axminster surely I have half a chance! I am coveting the Nandina too. Crack the whip on the leaf raking, it doesn’t do any harm if administered only occasionally.

    • Chloris says:

      Well, I thoroughly recommend both the fern and the Nandina, they are both gorgeous.
      I don’ t think whip cracking would work in this house. Don’ t forget the Pianist doesn’ t believe in outside. It’ s as much as I can do to get him to mow the lawn.

  9. Joanna says:

    I think those leaves, with their golden and red undersides, look beautiful on the grass! But then it’s not me having to rake them up…
    That fern is to die for.

  10. Julie says:

    Chloris you are a real plantswoman!! I always learn such a lot when I read your blog and I love the stories you tell. You have reminded me how much I want to plant a larch tree (great for winter flower arranging!) and to establish helleborus foetidus – I had a lovely patch in my last garden but have not tried any here yet.

  11. Chloris says:

    Thank you Julie. I love larch. It is so beautiful in Spring and it dies elegantly, then in winter you get the dear little cones. I have masses of the Helleborus foetidus, it seeds everywhere here. I want to come over to Harvey’s at Snowdrop time, so I will bring you some then.

  12. mrsdaffodil says:

    You are so right: foliage does brighten the winter garden. Just curious: when you say “wild Helleborus foetidus,” do you mean “wild” in the sense of “wild and crazy” or is this really a wild plant? I would love to have one in my garden, especially if it volunteered!

  13. Well, the Prunus foliage on the ground is very pretty with its mixed colors! You could probably mow it into the grass as a nice fertilizer–actually, the carpet of leaves doesn’t look too thick. I also enjoyed the Heuchera/Uncina combination! And the Acer and Nandina are stunning!

  14. You have some wonderful plants, cryptomeria and podocarpus are both favourites of mine, the rest are lovely too!

  15. Flighty says:

    A wonderful, colourful selection of interesting plants. Your last but one paragraph made me smile. xx

  16. Cathy says:

    It’s lovely to see so much colour still, as ours has been over for a couple of weeks now. I think the leaves look lovely on the ground under the trees, but I do realise the grass will suffer. I may have to do one more lot of raking now. The karch have only just changed colour here. Really love the look of the Nandina, and your acer is gorgeous!

    • Chloris says:

      Yes the Nandina is special. Do you have wild larch in the woods near you? I love them, they are wonderful trees.

      • Cathy says:

        We have a couple in the garden and they are dotted through the mixed woodland on the hills around us. It’s nice to see the odd splash of yellow late in the autumn. The needles do make a mess in the garden though!

  17. Anna says:

    Funnily enough I was looking at that very same nandina online last night Chloris and debating whether to go for it or another variety. I was going to decide today but am still dithering and will probably dither more after reading your post 🙂 It is such a fabulous colour. I like the effect of the prunus leaves carpeting the ground but then it’s not me who has to contemplate removing them.

    • Chloris says:

      Well I strongly recommend N. Plum Passion. It is an amazing colour. The leaves are colourful but they will have to go of course. At least I always have plenty of leaf mould.

  18. Kris P says:

    I love the color variations of your fall foliage, Chloris! I’ve never seen a Nandina that shade of purple – I’ll have to scout about to see if it’s available here. I actually have 2 of the plants you presented: the Uncinia and the Pittosporum. Unfortunately, the Pittosporum was used as hedge material here and has lost its natural shape (and tends to develop a sooty black mold, possibly due to the constant sheering). I laughed about your giraffe in the greenhouse – it seems that all gardeners do have an insatiable need to push the boundaries of our climates.

    • Chloris says:

      The Nandina is well worth seeking out, it is an amazing colour. Talking about my giraffe, have you ever tried growing Dahlia imperialis? It is easy from seed and it would flower with you, as you don’ t get frost.

  19. Annette says:

    I don’t know why but WP is quite often not showing your posts, Chloris, and they’re among my favourites. As always there’s so much to take in and many varieties I haven’t seen before. Plum passion is gorgeous! What sort of Acer is that? Although I’m not a great lover of onifers (as yet!) I absolutely love this Cryptomeria of yours. How large will it get eventually? Just reading the new edition of L’Art de Jardins and they too present some beautiful conifers for the small garden. Is Uncinia fully hardy? Pity about the tree dahlia. The one I saw is growing in the department Tarn and we have a really long growing season which is surely a help in boosting hardiness. Also frost is quite rare and usually not persistent, so I shall give it a try.

    • Chloris says:

      I have had similar problems with WP. It suddenly drops a blog I follow from the reader. Other people have told me I disappear too. When this happens to me I re- follow the missing blogs.
      This Cryptomeria is a beauty and very striking in winter. It grows to about 3 metres in 20 years and more in 50 years, but I’ m not thinking that far ahead. Another Conifer which I am mad on is Abies koreana which has lovely upright cones like candles.
      Uncinia is perfectly hardy with me.

      • Annette says:

        Yes, I know the Abies and you’re quite right about not thinking too far ahead. Haven’t seen Uncinia around here but will keep my eyes open.

  20. Julie says:

    Lovely tour Chloris, really interesting to see so many wonderful shrubs and trees in one garden too, your passion really shines through. We inherited a Cryptomeria here and I cut it down, despite my neighbour vehemently telling me of its merits, I lived to regret that chop. Roses through Holly sounds as if thats going to look wonderful.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Julie. What a shame about the Cryptomeria. They are very welcome in winter. The hollies are full of berries but the birds will probably have taken them all by Christmas.

  21. You have so much color still, I’m jealous. Especially of the hollies – I would love to have such a nuisance, so don’t take them for granted!

  22. Chloris says:

    Well I wouldn’t t mind if they were interesting hollies but most of them are wild ones.Still they do have plenty of berries this year.

  23. pbmgarden says:

    Don’t know if I’ll ever get the idea of incontinent pink knickers out of my mind.

  24. You’ve proved that flowers aren’t the be and end all of garden colour. Some wonderful gems you’ve shown us there, Chloris. I’m looking forward to seeing a sunny shot of your Cryptomeria – it looks really interesting. Pittosporum tobira is one I’m constantly on the look out for – it’s on my “must-have” list! Can’t wait for the Winter garden you plan to create. Lots of scented plants, I hope?

    • Chloris says:

      Yes Ali, the nicest thing about a winter garden is the lovely fragrance. I can’ t wait to get started but it is so wet at the moment.
      The Pittospermum would certainly be one for you, it smells wonderful.

  25. bittster says:

    You have all the best plants Chloris, I love the tours you give!
    The nandina is something with that color. Is it only on the new foliage? -and does it color more as temperatures drop? What a show it puts on.
    I’m a little envious of your year round interest, and the swelling blooms on the hellebore don’t help as I’m looking out the window at snow….
    The Podocarpus is an interesting treasure, I wish more of the plants from Chile would survive our temperature extremes, there are so many unique things! It looks similar to a Japanese umbrella pine. Funny how things half a world apart go down similar paths.

  26. Chloris says:

    I am not sure about the Nandina Frank, I have only just bought it, it was an impulse buy. I saw it and had to have it. I shall see be watching with interest to see how it performs when the weather gets cold.

  27. Caro says:

    Yet again a lovely selection of plants from your garden, Chloris. Like everyone else, I’ve fallen for your Nandina – the usual ‘Fire Power’ seems to be everywhere these days so to see a more subtle cultivar is lovely. Will it be evergreen in a mild winter? I seem to recall the Nandina shrubs at college keeping their colour through the winter …

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Caro. This is the first time I have grown this Nandina so I don’ t know how it will behave in the winter. I am looking forward to finding out. It has the most gorgeous foliage.

  28. Chloris, you share the most interesting and unusual plants with us. Thank you! The Nandina is pretty, and the fern and cryptomeria japonica are both stunning, sun or no sun. and that holly tree! I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a large holly tree in Canada.

    • Chloris says:

      The hollies in my garden are all wild ones. They are not very exciting most of the year but the berries are quite jolly at the moment. They won’ t last though, it has turned cold and the birds have started on them.

  29. Robbie says:

    I agree with Cynthia above-your have the most interesting plants + the colors + textures-just stunning. I don’ t have a lot of space when growing in a smaller area, but I do have some favorites in the winter- I have “nine-bark” Or Physocarpus opulifolius which is native here. I have a cultivar in my yard and it has some peeling bark for winter + colors of red for spring and late fall…My tour would be rather short-lol- but I do have some interesting textures and colors but we had cold weather early so it has been bare for a bit.
    I always enjoy your tours when I stop by:

  30. Chloris says:

    Thank you, Robbie. I love Physocarpus. I have a red one called Diablo. I didn’ t realise that they had attractive bark too.

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