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